Firefighters have hailed the impact a first-of-its-kind training opportunity which saw them test their expert skills at a flame-filled live exercise in Barnsley.
South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue crews were able to stage a series of realistic scenario thanks to Barnsley Council and Berneslai Homes, who made soon-to-be-demolished properties on Baden Street in the town available for live fire and rescue training.
The scenarios all involved a fire being set in one of the properties and firefighters wearing breathing apparatus entering the property to rescue casualties and put out the blaze.
The burns were carried out in a safe, controlled way with every effort made to minimise disruption to local people and the environment.
Fire bosses say that as the number of house fires in the country continues to fall, it’s vital that crews are trained in the most authentic conditions possible so that they are ready to respond to the best of their ability should real incidents occur.
Station Manager Chris Mee, said: “This project was designed to improve operational effectiveness, firefighter safety and public safety. As the number of house fires in South Yorkshire continues to reduce, our crews are exposed to less incidents making it even more important that the training we offer them is as realistic and challenging as possible.
“It’s also an example of public agencies working together to deliver better outcomes for local people and we’re really grateful to Barnsley Council and Berneslai Homes for agreeing to facilitate these rare training opportunity. We now hope that other local partners will work with us to provide similar training opportunities.”
Fire Authority Chair Cllr Linda Burgess, said: “As both a Barnsley councillor and chair of the Fire Authority, I am proud of the way in which local partners have come together to support the work of the fire service. Firefighters do a vital job and are hugely valued by the public, so it is only right that we work together to provide them with appropriate training opportunities such as these.”
Berneslai Homes Director of Assets, Regeneration and Construction, Stephen Davis said: “We were pleased to have co-operated with this project with the fire service for the benefit of our tenants and residents and their safety and it’s been a great success.”