Young people’s inspiration for Goldthorpe wildlife haven

A project to transform a rubbish strewn former railway embankment into a wildlife haven was got underway, having been kick started by young people on a fire and police led development course two years ago.

Young people on South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue and South Yorkshire Police’s Prince’s Trust Team Programme cleaned and painted three unloved bridges in Goldthorpe, Barnsley in 2016 as part of an award-winning community project.

The initiative helped to renew interest in the space, which had become blighted with flytipping.

Now work is underway to turn an area of disused railway embankments beneath the bridges into a new outdoor destination for residents and nature, after the Dearne Area Council Team established ‘The Railway Embankment Group’ in response to the frustrations of local residents.

During the initial stage of the project, architecture students from Sheffield University worked with residents to create a vision for the area.  The Railway Embankment Group and local volunteers meet regularly, and carried out litter picks and campaigns to clean up the area ready for the work to begin.  Pupils from Goldthorpe Primary School have made bird boxes and a hedgehog hotel for the scheme to encourage wildlife to the area, which will be placed at the site once the access route is complete.

The scheme is due to complete in 2019 and once finished the embankment will feature an orchard and wildflower area, with a new access route to allow people to get into the site. The site will be used for local environmental and wildlife sessions for all of the community to benefit. Interpretation boards designed by the Dearne Valley Landscape Partnership will be installed to provide visitors with the history and facts about the site.

Princes Trust Team Leader John Daley, said: “This project is evidence of the lasting impact that young people completing our courses can have. I am proud of the legacy we left in this area, contributing to a renewed interest in an unloved community space.

“The mix of modern ideas for conservation combined with Goldthorpe’s industrial heritage are a breath of fresh air for this former unofficial tip and far from the original ideas which would have seen them disappear completely leaving nothing for the young people in the area to remember their proud heritage with.  The embankment team have worked tirelessly with other agencies to see this massive project take root and fired the imagination of everyone involved.”

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue and South Yorkshire Police teamed up with the Prince’s Trust to deliver the Team Programme more than two years ago. During that time around 200 young people have benefited from the 12 week personal development course for unemployed 16 –to25 year olds, offering work experience, qualifications, practical skills, community projects and a residential week.

The courses are based at fire stations and are the only programmes of their type in the country to be jointly delivered by fire and police services. For more information or to sign-up, email princestrust@syfire.gov.uk

Grass fire warning during hot weather

Fire crews are warning the public to take extra care during this period of hot weather to avoid any accidental grass fires.

During hot and dry weather the risk of grass fires increases, but following a few simple steps can greatly reduce the chance of a fire starting.

Fire officers are asking people to help prevent grass fires by:

• Not using open fires in the countryside

• Making sure any barbecue or disposable barbecue is only used in a suitable location and is extinguished properly after use

• Extinguishing cigarettes completely and not throwing cigarette ends on the ground

• Not leaving bottles or glass in woodland – sunlight shining through glass can start fires

Fire crews want their resources available to protect the communities of South Yorkshire, incidents involving accidental grass fires can use up a lot of these vital resources.

Man found drowned in Doncaster

A man has been found dead after entering water near to Straight Lane, Skelbrooke, Doncaster.

Firefighters joined police and ambulance crews in searching for and recovering the casualty, who is believed to be a 19 year old man.

The fire service attended the incident around 8.35pm last night, mobilising four fire engines including specialist water rescue crews.

Our thoughts are with the loved ones of the man who died.

South Yorkshire fire crews join Saddleworth Moor effort

Two fire engines and a high volume pump from South Yorkshire have joined the huge firefighting efforts on Saddleworth Moor.

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) crews have been tackling blazes near Saddleworth Moor, Tameside, since 24 June.

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue mobilised crews to the area over the weekend- joining other crews from across England.

High Volume Pumps are capable of moving huge volumes of water, and South Yorkshire’s is capable of pumping 8,000 litres of water a minute. It is being used as part of a water relay system in an effort to surround the blaze to stop if from spreading.

Firefighter recruits put best feet forward at community tea dance

South Yorkshire residents have enjoyed a tea fit for the queen thanks to trainee wholetime firefighters.

Put on as part of their 12 week training programme, the new recruits from South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue hosted an afternoon tea and dance for elderly local residents and those who may feel lonely or socially isolated. The new recruits spent all afternoon serving tea and cakes to local residents and attendees were also treated to special live performances from musicians Stevie Moore and Patricia Lynn.

As part of their training course, the new recruits have been observing and working with the service’s award-winning community safety team to understand the work they do to reduce the risk of fire for the more vulnerable groups in society.

Community Safety Co-ordinator Claire Walsh, said: “Social isolation in older people is a key area for us to address in South Yorkshire and we are working with our partners and other organisations to tackle this growing issue. This latest event is the perfect illustration of that aspiration, where fire service resources are helping to improve the lives of one of the most vulnerable groups in society whilst also providing the new recruits with an understanding of the communities they will soon be serving.”

The event was hosted in partnership with Home Instead Senior Care Sheffield.

Officers believe that events like this will benefit the fire service by providing a vital link with one of its key target groups in terms of vulnerability to fire.

Lorraine Smith named MBE in Queen’s Birthday Honours

A South Yorkshire station manager has been named an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.

Lorraine Smith, aged 47, who lives in Holmfirth, has served at South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue since 1997, with most of that time spent serving in its 999 Control room.

Before joining the fire service, Lorraine had worked for the armed forces, where she attained the rank of Sergeant.

In her private life, she has been a volunteer teaching adults with learning needs, fostered several children and acted as a mentor for new foster carers. A keen runner, she has also raised thousands of pounds for cancer charities.

Lorraine has been awarded her MBE for public service.

Throwline stations unveiled in Rotherham

A throwline station has been unveiled next to a Rotherham canal.

The potentially life saving equipment has been installed close to the spot where a schoolboy drowned in 2016 and has been funded by Parkgate Shopping.

More than 20 throwline stations have been installed at open water sites across South Yorkshire in the last two years, including Doncaster Lakeside, Ulley Reservoir and Thrybergh Country Park. The lifelines have all been installed by South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue working in conjunction with local partners.

The specially designed equipment contains throwlines which are stored securely to avoid vandalism, with an access code given to callers by 999 operators in the event of an emergency.

Around 400 people needlessly drown in the UK every year and thousands more suffer injury, some life changing, through near-drowning experiences. These stations provide quick access rescue capability for anyone who might find themselves in difficulties in the water.

Exercise Seadog tests response to multiple car pile up

Firefighters joined forces with Sheffield Hallam University paramedic students for a training simulation on Saturday (19 May).

The exercise saw crews from Central, Rivelin, Parkway and Birley Moor fire stations simulate their response to a multiple car pile up.

Four vehicles were used and nine ‘casualties’, including people and manikins.

DipHE Paramedic Practice & BSc (Hons) Paramedic Science students took part in the exercise, to discover how different emergency services work together at 999 incidents.

Fire crews carry out rescue water training exercise

South Yorkshire’s fire crews have taken part in a realistic water and rope rescue exercise to test their response in the event of a high-risk emergency.

The training exercise involved the rescue of two ‘casualties’ who had climbed onto a structure and were refusing to come down.

Aston Park, Edlington, Rivelin and Cudworth firefighters all took part in the exercise on the River Rother at Woodhouse Mill Regulator on the junction of Retford Road and Furnace Lane in Woodhouse, Sheffield.

Wayne Sutcliffe, station manager at South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue, said: “Firefighters respond to a huge range of emergencies, far beyond the house fires and road traffic collisions we are traditionally associated with. Both water rescues and rescues from height can be extremely complex, which is what makes training like this so important. The scenario was successfully completed and generated a great deal of operational learning.”

Cooking safety advice during Ramadan

The fire service is calling on South Yorkshire’s Muslim communities to take extra care ahead of one of the most important periods in the Islamic calendar.

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue fears people are more likely to be at risk of fire during Ramadan, which began on 15 May.

Ramadan lasts for 30 days and is observed by fasting during daylight hours, with cooking taking place before sunrise or after sunset.

Head of community safety Trevor Bernard, said: “We recognise this is a really important time in the Islamic calendar, but want to make sure people observe it safely. In particular, people should take extra care to keep an eye on their cooking, as fasting could leave you feeling tired and more likely to become distracted or have an accident.

“Smoke alarms are the best way of making sure that if a fire does occur, you have the vital extra minutes to escape. So make sure smoke alarms are fitted on every level of your home and test them regularly.

“It’s also vital that if the smoke alarms do sound, everyone in the house knows what to do and knows how to escape, so talk this through with your family and loved ones.”

Top tips for staying safe during Ramadan include:

  • Cooking– Half of all house fires start in the kitchen, so take extra care when cooking, particularly with hot oil – it sets alight easily
  • Never throw water on a burning pan– in the event of a fire get out, stay out and call 999
  • Take extra care with clothing– make sure hijaabs, shalwar, kameez and saris are kept well away from the hob
  • Practise escape routes– and make sure every member of your family knows it well
  • Have a working smoke alarm on every floor of your home– test them weekly to make sure they work.