Firefighters to hold charity car wash

Firefighters across South Yorkshire will be washing cars over the coming weeks as part of a national charity event.

The event is aimed at raising money for The Fire Fighter’s Charity, which supports injured firefighters and their families.

Car wash events will be held at the following stations:

• Barnsley Station, Broadway, Barnsley, South Yorkshire S70 6RA – Sunday 13th – 11am onwards

• Aston Park Station, Worksop Road, Aston, Rotherham, South Yorkshire S26 2FZ – Saturday 12th 10:30am onwards

• Dearne Station, Manvers Way, Rotherham, South Yorkshire S63 5DN – Saturday 12th – 10am to 2pm

• Maltby Station, High Street, Rotherham, South Yorkshire S66 8LA – Sunday 20th from 11am onwards

• Birley Moor Station, Moor Valley, Sheffield, South Yorkshire S20 5FA – Saturday 12th – 10am to 4pm

• Central Station, Eyre Street, Sheffield, South Yorkshire S1 3FG (for sat nav use S1 3HU) – Saturday 12th – 11am onwards

• Elm Lane Station, Elm Lane, Sheffield, South Yorkshire S5 7TU – Saturday (12th) morning till 1pm

• Lowedges Station, Lowedges Road, Sheffield, South Yorkshire S8 7JN – Saturday 12th – 11am onwards

As well as washing cars, firefighters will also be on hand to offer road and fire safety advice, along with promoting their free Home Safety Checks.

Station Manager Steve Adams said: “Not only will members of the public drive away with nice clean cars, but our firefighters will also be offering safety advice, whilst raising money for a very worthy cause.”

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Robot Wars visit fire station

A Sheffield fire station had some unusual guests recently when robots from the popular Robot Wars television programme paid a visit.

It was all in aid of an event hosted by South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue, as part of a Get Started with Robotics programme being delivered in partnership with youth charity The Prince’s Trust.

Get Started is a personal development programme, for 16-25 year olds. It uses inspiring themes to engage with young people who are not in education or employment to take their first step to increase their confidence, skills and employability.

As well as teaching young people new specialist skills, the programme also widens and develops their personal and social skills.

The group of thirteen young people built their own robots and pitched them against each other in various challenges. At the end of the week long course the young people attended the demonstration by the famous robots, which were supplied by Roaming Robots, in the yard at Central fire station.

Station Manager Trevor Bernard said; “We were really happy to accommodate the robot display. As one of The Prince’s Trust partners we were really excited to see the Robot Wars in action.”

Kimberley Hendon, Get Started – Programme Executive, The Prince’s Trust said; “Throughout every programme we incorporate a real and meaningful group task, which challenges the young people and helps to develop their personal and social skills. By the end of the week, our aim is give young people a renewed sense of motivation and direction, to inspire them to move forward with their lives. We then continue to provide them with ongoing support for three to nine months to help engage them in education, employment or training.”

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Businesses urged to train seasonal staff in fire safety

Businesses should train their staff now to help businesses avoid a serious fire this Christmas, the fire service has warned.

Retailers, bars and hotels are amongst the businesses expected to start taking on thousands of temporary staff to cope with an increase in trade in the run up to the winter, seasonal peak.

Fire officers say that fire safety knowledge should be a key part of their initial training, with December considered a peak month for fire risks, including extra stock and winter shutdown periods

The warning comes during UK Business Safety Week (7 to 13 September). The awareness week, coordinated nationally by the Chief Fire Officer’s Association (CFOA), seeks to get businesses to engage with local fires services to help manage their fire risk, get advice on completing fire risk assessments and ensure business continuity.

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue (SYFR) has tackled more than 500 fires in non-domestic properties over the last three years.

Top safety tips for businesses include:

Keep fire escapes clear– make sure extra stock is stored away from fire escapes, ensuring staff and customers can get out safely in the event of a fire
Check alarm systems– regular checks and maintenance help to eliminate automatic false alarms and ensure the alarm is working if required
Complete a fire risk assessment– not only will it help to reduce the risk of suffering a fire in the first place, it will help make sure you comply with fire safety laws
Sprinklers– consider installing sprinklers, but make sure you leave a good distance between your stock and sprinkler heads

SYFR Technical fire safety manager, Amy Jenkinson, said: “A fire in a business can put staff and customers’ lives at risk, damage stock and premises and make it impossible for a company to carry out its day-to-day work, impacting not only on the business itself, but on its employees, suppliers and customers.”

“We know that many businesses will be starting to take on temporary employees now. All we ask is that they deliver training in some basic fire safety procedures, like keeping fire escapes clear and making sure alarm systems are working properly. This can help businesses avoid serious incident and help ensure they comply with the law.”

For more information contact tfs.cs@syfire.gov.uk or visit http://www.syfire.gov.uk/business-advice

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Edlington fire station seeks new cadets

Edlington fire station is looking to recruit new members to its fire cadet team.

The cadets train at the station once a week, learning firefighting skills and techniques from specially qualified instructors.

Cadets also enrol on to the Routes 4 U education package, which covers the employability skills needed to work within the health and emergency services. Youngsters work towards a recognised qualification at the end of a 12 month course.

Fire Cadets also play a key role at community events, and attend team-building days throughout the year.

Recruits can be aged 13 to 17. The cadets meet every Wednesday from 6.00pm to 8.30pm.

Edlington Fire Cadet Branch Manager Daryl Aitken said: “We’re looking for enthusiastic and motivated youngsters who are eager to work with our fire cadet instructors to learn new skills, and support the fire service’s work in the local community. This is a fantastic opportunity to gain first-hand experience of fire station life and to work closely with local firefighters.”

For more information, contact email yffedlington@syfire.gov.uk

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Fire Service volunteers jump for charity

Two brave South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue (SYFR) volunteers will be taking part in a charity skydive in aid of Rotherham Hospice.

Rob Hall (21) and Chelsea Hall (20) have been volunteering at SYFR for the past two years, working with the Fire Cadets at Rotherham station. They wanted to raise money for Rotherham Hospice after the charity supported Chelsea and her family through her grandmother’s illness.

Rotherham Hospice is committed to providing the highest standard of end of life care for patients and families affected by terminal illness over the age of 18.

Joining them on the day (Sunday 27 September) and also taking part in the skydive is Rob Lee a Mechanic at SYFR. In total they are aiming to raise £2,000.

Rob Hall said, “I’ve always wanted to take part in a skydive and thought it would be a brilliant idea to do it for charity. Although I am nervous, I am really looking forward it as well. The Rotherham Hospice is a fantastic organisation which offers end of life care for patients and their families.”

Sue Butler, Volunteering Co-ordinator at South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue said; “This is going to be a real challenge for them. It’s all for a really good cause though and I am so proud of them all.”

To donate, please visit their JustGiving page www.justgiving.com/rob-chelsea-rob

If you are interested in volunteering for South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue call 0114 253 2413.

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Firefighters test Rotherham United’s safety procedures

The fire service has practiced its response to an incident at Rotherham’s AESSEAL New York stadium, testing how the football club would deal with a blaze at the ground.

Rotherham United FC welcomed various emergency services to their stadium to carry out a live training exercise, involving tackling a fire in the ground and providing first aid to casualties.

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue, Yorkshire Ambulance Service and South Yorkshire Police worked with stewards to test the football club’s procedures to ensure the maximum safety of spectators should an incident like this ever occur during a game.

Station Manager Matt Gillatt said: “We know that these types of incidents are rare, but it’s imperative that the football club practice their emergency plans to make sure fans are as safe as possible.

“It also gives the different emergency services that would be called out to a situation like this a chance to refine their skills and learn more about the stadium.

“We perform a lot of realistic exercises like this so we can be certain that any response from the fire service and all of our partners would be as strong as possible. Going through plans on paper is one thing, but often the only way of really testing our decision making ability is to re-enact the incident in a live environment.

“I’m pleased to say the training was a great success and that the fans of Rotherham United FC should be reassured by the club taking their safety so seriously.”

A Rotherham United FC spokesperson said: “Rotherham United would like to thank all the parties who attended from the emergency services and Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council who contributed to the exercise.

“Close liaison helps us to deliver a safe environment for people to attend football matches safe in the knowledge that we have robust procedures in place to deal with varying challenges, many of which will hopefully never occur.”

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Fire service work scheme changing lives of autistic volunteers

A fire service volunteer has gained vital life and social skills thanks to a scheme which helps people with autism.

The Autism Centre for Supported Employment, is a small charity which supports adults with autism, aspergers and learning disabilities into paid employment and work experience placements.

Jonathon Clarke, from Sheffield, has been volunteering at South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue, through the scheme, for the past two years, working in the canteen at the Training & Development Centre in Handsworth, Sheffield, two days a week.

His role involves preparing meals for the dozens of firefighters, support staff and external partners who use the busy centre every day.

Jonathon, who has autism, says he loves his work at the fire service, citing feelings of value, respect and teamwork for improving his wellbeing. The favourite parts of his role include interacting with colleagues and firefighters and preparing salads and desserts.

Jonathon, 31, is learning and gaining new skills in a safe environment with staff that he trusts and who have the skills and training to understand and support his needs.

Jonathon Clarke said; “I like to meet everybody at work and they are very friendly with me. When I prepare the food I enjoy that people like to eat what I make and that everyone is so pleased with me. I enjoy catching the buses and going to work every week and know that I am doing well.”

Sue Butler, Volunteering Co-ordinator at South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue said; “Jonathon has continued to show excellent commitment to his volunteering role and has learned a lot of new skills since starting work with us. As well as supporting the smooth running of our busy training centre, we know we are giving him important employment skills which he will be able to transfer to future jobs. The team are really supportive of him, and Jonathon seems to love working with them. We are really proud of Jonathon, he is a credit to the training centre, the Autism Centre and to himself.”

If you are interested in volunteering for South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue call 0114 253 2413.

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‘Connor’s story’ highlights arson dangers

Police and fire officers have today launched a hard-hitting campaign to target the number of young people deliberately starting fires.

Dubbed ‘Connor’s story’, the campaign tells the fictional story of local teenager, Connor, who, alongside his friends, sets fire to the contents of a wheelie bin which explodes in his face leaving him disfigured with severe facial burns.

The campaign, which is a joint Suth Yorkshire Police and South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service initiative, will run until the end of the year with a focus on reducing the amount of arson incidents involving young people.

Last year, the force dealt with 681 incidents of arson- a 17% reduction on the previous year (2013- 799 crimes).

Analysis of arson related incidents over the last year (August 2014 – June 2015) showed that 80% of offenders were male with most aged between 11- 16 years.

The campaign will also be using the hashtag #ConnorsStory to promote messages on Twitter and other social media channels.

Hundreds of stickers will also be placed on wheelie bins across the county as a reminder for people to take their bin out on the morning of a collection. This follows a large proportion of fires that have been started after bins were set alight after been left out overnight for a collection the following morning.

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue head of community safety Kevin Ronan, said: “Three quarters of all the fires we attend are started deliberately, which is a massive drain on our resources. Starting fires is reckless and costs lives, as even small fires like bin and rubbish fires can quickly spread, take fire engines away from more serious incidents and put you and the people you love in real danger.”

Superintendent Colin McFarlane, South Yorkshire Police’s lead officer on anti-social behaviour, said: “The aim of this campaign is to make young people and their parents sit up and realise the very real consequences associated with incidents of arson.

“I make no apology for the graphic nature of the image we are using to promote the campaign as setting fire to someone’s bin may be seen by a lot of people as not much more than a prank but this type of anti-social behaviour can have fatal and life altering consequences.

“I would hate to think that this type of thing could happen to anyone’s child and I would urge parents to continue to speak to their children about the absolute dangers of playing with fire.”

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Early years education scheme gets global praise

A successful scheme to improve safety education in South Yorkshire is gaining international recognition, thanks to a fire service funding grant.

The education package has been developed by Sheffield Children’s Centre working closely with children, families and carers to help form appropriate, age specific safety messages to reduce deaths and injuries.

An Early Years Practitioner Guide, Fire Safety Song Book and Heroes & Heroines story book have been developed as a result of the £20,000 grant from South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Authority’s Safer Sustainable Communities Reserve.

Now, a new suite of qualifications for early years practitioners is being developed after the learning package included early years groups and practitioners in the pilot phase, who are members of the Pre-School Learning Alliance, National Day Nursery Association and the Cooperative Childcare sector. The qualifications will seek to set a national standard for teaching fire and other safety messages to young children.

The project has established international links as some of the education materials have been developed with the help of young people from Mexico, who worked with children here in South Yorkshire to bring the early years story books to life through writing and illustrations.

It’s hoped that thanks to these links, and recognition from bodies like UNICEF and Equality and Human Rights UK, the resources will be adopted in Mexico and other parts of the world too.

Chrissy Meleady MBE, Chair of the Sheffield Children’s Centre Advisory Support Group, said: “Through the centre’s outreach work with children and families and services across South Yorkshire, we found that fire safety and home safety resources for early years children and their families lacked real world emphasis.

“The key safe messages were not being fostered as well as they should be for the sake of children and families, and nor were they aligned to meet regulatory requirements. We are pleased that the Centre’s innovative approach to tackling this issue has been recognised nationally and believe this collaborative work will make a real impact in improving the quality of fire safety education worldwide.”

Head of prevention and protection Steve Helps, said: “This project is a perfect example of how a relatively small funding award can quickly snowball into something which has the potential to improve the quality and range of safety education to youngsters worldwide.

“What makes the scheme truly unique is that it’s children themselves- whether here in South Yorkshire or further afield- who have been instrumental in creating resources which are appropriate for young people and their families.”

The first round Safer Sustainable Communities Reserve saw dozens of registered charities, community organisations and partner agencies come forward and apply for grants from the £2 million fund, which had been set aside from the Authority’s reserves.

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