South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue

South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue
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Fire service shortlisted for major national diversity award

South Yorkshire’s fire service is up for a major national award celebrating its work with diverse communities.

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue has been shortlisted in the ‘diverse company’ category at this year’s National Diversity Awards.

The service has been shortlisted for its work to train and empower staff, promote inclusive recruitment processes and involve diverse communities in its work.

The nomination pitches SYFR up against seven other organisations from across the public and private sectors.

Chief Fire Officer Alex Johnson, said: “Not only is inclusion now more visibly a strategic priority at board level, it is also translating to real results on the ground.

“Reinvigorated staff networks, fairer promotion processes, universal training, better recruitment practices and braver communication are all tangible examples of how- in a sector which has traditionally struggled to modernise- we are pushing the boundaries, improving our diversity and becoming a great place to work where people can truly be themselves.”

The National Diversity Awards seek to celebrate the excellent achievements of grass- root communities that tackle the issues in today’s society.

Marcus Rashford, Rebecca Ferguson and Ashley Banjo are amongst those shortlisted in the ‘celebrity of the year’ category.

The winners will be announced at Liverpool Anglican Cathedral on February 4, 2022.

You can find out more at https://nationaldiversityawards.co.uk/

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Arson numbers down as service hones in on fire-setting

South Yorkshire’s firefighters have responded to less deliberate fires so far this summer than in recent years, according to figures released by the county’s fire service.

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue (SYFR) says it has attended 997 deliberate fire incidents across May, June and July this year – a seven percent reduction compared to the 1,073 attended during the same period last year.

Against the average for May, June and July across the last three years – which stands at 1,404 incidents – the reduction is actually 29 percent.

However, with several weeks left of the school holidays, a period which often sees an increase in fire service call outs, officers are still calling on the public to be vigilant.

In particular, SYFR is urging people to report anything they know about deliberate fire-setting via their FireStoppers service – which was launched earlier this year.

Much like its sister, Crimestoppers, all reports that go into FireStoppers are totally anonymous. Residents simply need to call 0800 169 5558 or visit firestoppersreport.co.uk.

“This may come as a surprise to some, but deliberate fires are amongst the most common types of incident that our firefighters attend, yet they are often entirely needless,” said Group Manager Matt Gillatt, deputy head of the joint police and fire community safety team.

“We put lots of effort in to trying to stamp out arson attacks and it is great to see that what we are doing – a combination of our new FireStoppers service and work from our community safety staff and operational crews – is having the desired effect in reducing incident numbers.

“However, there is always more work to do, and one deliberate fire is one too many. The summer is not over yet and this can be a really busy time for us, especially when the weather hots up.

“Deliberate fire-setting not only endangers life and wastes our time, it can also massively destroy local parks, facilities and landscapes, so I would really encourage people to keep using our FireStoppers service to help us help you.”

You can report information about deliberate fire-setting to FireStoppers, totally anonymously, by calling 0800 169 5558 or visiting firestoppersreport.co.uk.

As well as cracking down on arson, fire officers are also asking people to be extremely careful when visiting the moors, when using disposable BBQs and when around open water.

“All of these things are a big focus for us. Our ask, in each three instances, is simple – please just be careful and treat your surroundings with respect,” added Matt.

“Don’t use disposable BBQs and leave litter on the moors or in tinder dry areas, and never jump in to open water – only ever swim outdoors if you know what you are doing.”

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New Barnsley fire station goes operational

Firefighters have begun responding to 999 calls from South Yorkshire’s newest fire station for the first time.

The new two storey, three bay Barnsley fire station was completed earlier this month and went operational yesterday (Tuesday 17 August).

The energy efficient building on Broadway, Kingstone replaces the 60-year-old fire station on the same site which had reached the end of its operational life.

Firefighters had been housed in a temporary facility off-site whilst the year-long construction of the new station was completed.

Assistant Chief Fire Officer Tony Carlin, said: “This is a really special day, as the new station has been several years in the planning and represents part of our vision to provide all our firefighters with modern, comfortable and energy efficient spaces in which to live and work.

“The new station has been completed to a very high specification and with the wishes of the firefighters who will work there taken into account at every stage. It has been paid for using money set aside from the Authority’s reserves and we expect it to provide an outstanding service to the people of Barnsley for many years to come.”

An existing unused building adjacent to the fire station will be re-purposed and upgraded to host the service’s award-winning Princes Trust Team Programme initiative as well as providing space to hold events and meetings and bookings from community groups.

Energy saving measures at the new fire station include low energy, LED lighting with motion sensors and an air source heat pump.

The investment forms part of a wider, short to medium term approved plan to invest in the fire service’s property estate, with around £8 million being set aside from its reserves to modernise and improve its estate.

Bond Bryan acted as architects for the project, with JF Finnegans acting as contractors.

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South Yorkshire firefighters join mammoth ride in bid to raise vital charity cash

Two South Yorkshire firefighters are amongst a 20 strong team bidding to cycle the length of the UK to raise mental health awareness and thousands for charity.

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue’s Mark Peart and Paul Simmonite are joining firefighting colleagues from Suffolk for the 10 day, 1,000 mile ride from Lands End to John O’Groats in September.

The team are aiming to raise £50,000 for The Fire Fighters Charity, which supports the mental, physical and social needs of all serving and retired members of the UK’s fire family.

Paul has been a firefighter for 29 years and is currently based at Aston Park fire station. He said: “I’ve worked at stations across South Yorkshire and seen things that most people will thankfully never see, but due to the nature of the family feel of the fire and rescue service there has always been support available to me.

“I know The Fire Fighters Charity provides lots of mental health support though, so raising for them was something I really wanted to do.

“After meeting up and spending a day cycling with the group from Suffolk, I was honoured and privileged when they contacted me and asked me to join the team on this epic adventure. It’s been on my bucket list for years to ride the length of the UK, so I jumped at the chance.

“To be able to challenge myself with the mental and physical aspects of this adventure and knowing others will benefit from the team’s efforts is really inspiring.”

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Deputy Chief Fire Officer Chris Kirby, said: “Mark and Paul have the support of the whole fire service behind them. Not only are they raising money for a charity which does so much for serving and retired fire service staff and their families, they are also raising much needed awareness of the mental health issues which many emergency service workers face.

“I’ll be joining the team for part of the ride- but the scale of the full challenge is absolutely enormous and I’d encourage people to dig deep and donate to help inspire them to complete this incredible feat.”

The team begin their mammoth ride on Monday 20 September, stopping at eight fire stations across the UK along the way.

To donate, visit https://www.justgiving.com/team/longestride

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Fire services combine to reveal new, state-of-the-art kit

Firefighters across the Yorkshire and Humber region have revealed new, advanced fire kit following a joint procurement deal.

As part of a tri-service agreement, all firefighters in South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire and the Humberside region will begin wearing new fire tunics and trousers. For crews in South Yorkshire and Humberside, the personal protective equipment (PPE) revamp will also feature a pioneering, multi-function rescue jacket to reflect the changing role of the modern firefighter.

The kit is currently being rolled out across the three counties to assist firefighters in best protecting local communities. It is a proud moment for all three fire services, who have collaborated in a two year project, resulting in the final contract being awarded to supplier Ballyclare International.

The new fire kit features specially designed knee and elbow panels to make it easier to move and more comfortable to wear as well as innovative new spacer fabric, to improve breathability for those wearing it.

The collaboration means all three services have saved money, enhanced firefighter safety and standardised fire kit regionally.

The PPE underwent rigorous testing back in June 2020, as part of extensive performance trials involving both male and female firefighters from all three services.

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service Assistant Chief Fire Officer, Tony Carlin said: “Our operational crews need first-class fire kit in order to respond to a wide range of incidents and protect the residents of South Yorkshire the best we can. Our new kit features the very latest technologies and safety features to ensure that our crews not only have the best protection on the fire ground but have full confidence in their equipment.

“We have a dedication to collaborating however we can with our neighbouring services and this is another clear example of a collaboration project that not only enhances the safety of our firefighters but ensures best value.”

Humberside Fire & Rescue Service Director of Service Delivery Support, Steve Topham said: “This has been a great opportunity to work with our colleagues from across Yorkshire as part of a regional procurement of new structural PPE from Ballyclare International. It has helped us all in making efficiencies and providing our staff with new PPE that improves their safety and comfort while attending incidents.

“Great care was taken to make sure the new PPE provided a better fit for all our staff and provides better breathability when working in hot environments. Our staff will be receiving their new PPE later in August and supports our ongoing aim to provide safer communities, safer firefighters.”

West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service Area Manager, Dave Teggart said “We have worked closely with colleagues from across the Yorkshire and Humber region to purchase our new structural PPE from Ballyclare International.

“The regional procurement shows our commitment to making efficiencies, by reducing duplication and effort.

“The new PPE offers higher levels of protection and wearer comfort to our staff, making them safer than they ever have been.”

Deborah Hudson, Head Designer at Ballyclare said: “At Ballyclare, we recognise firefighters face an ever-expanding range of challenges and new hazards. With this project, we took an innovative design approach to increase protection levels.

“The three layer construction provides excellent protection against heat and flame, while delivering outstanding tensile strength. The lightweight combination provides barriers against heat and quickly moves moisture away from the wearer. This, coupled with the unique 3D structure increases the movement of air throughout the suit providing firefighters with maximum breathability and comfort. To significantly increase the visibility of firefighters in dark conditions we included the world’s first fire retardant and fully launderable phosphorescent tape in the design.

“Another key benefit of the suits are their rugged and reliable construction, allowing them to withstand a rigorous cleaning and maintenance regime without losing their protective qualities. Ballyclare is proud to provide this innovative fire kit to firefighters across Yorkshire and Humberside.”

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue service firefighters will now be wearing the new kit, with firefighters from West Yorkshire and Humberside donning the gear later in the summer.

Fire and rescues services in the UK are now being encouraged to do more collaboratively to drive down the amount spent on essential goods such as frontline equipment and workwear.

The Policing & Crime Act 2017 also received Royal Assent on 31 January 2017, placing a new statutory duty on emergency services to look at opportunities to work collaboratively.

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