South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue

South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue
  • In emergencies call 999
  • General enquiries 0114 272 7202

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.”

Receive updates by WhatsApp

We want to make it as easy as possible for you to receive information which could help keep you and your loved ones safe.

So, as well as the information we share by email and social media, we’re trialling a new service where we send you mobile messages via WhatsApp.

We’ll publish safety information, campaigns and news of any ongoing major incidents via WhatsApp

How to subscribe

For safety information, pictures and video, delivered straight to your mobile, WhatsApp the message Join to 07917 307712 (important: you need to save this number in your phone’s contacts first).

How to unsubscribe

If you change your mind, send STOP to the same number.

What is WhatsApp?

WhatsApp Messenger is a mobile messaging app available for iPhone, BlackBerry, Android and Windows Phone. It allows you to exchange messages without having to pay for SMS, although it does connect to the internet so data charges will apply.

Click here to download WhatsApp messenger for your phone. The application is normally free to download, but cost 69p a year to use thereafter.

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.

‘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.”

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.

Connor’s story

Connor, aged 14Connor liked to spend time with his mates. When the nights got darker, they’d hang out near the shops or the takeaway. Or they’d talk to girls and play music on their phones. Other times they’d just mess about.

One night, one of the lads brought some fireworks to play with. Someone, Connor can’t remember who, lit a firework and dropped it in a wheelie bin on the street.

Nothing happened. Connor went back to have a look.

Suddenly the firework went off and the bin caught light.

The fire got really big, really fast. Flames leapt out and there was loads of thick, black smoke. Then the firework exploded. Connor’s mates ran off. Then he felt his face burning.

Connor wanted to look good in front of his mates. Now he looks like this.

Advice for young people

  • Even small fires spread quickly and can turn into something that could hurt you or someone you love- like your little brother or one of your mates
  • Playing with fireworks could leave you with burns and scars which will last you for the rest of your life
  • When fire engines are out at things like bin and grass fires, they aren’t available to rescue people from house fires. What if there was a fire in your house and your mum was trapped, but firefighters were busy putting out a fire you’d started?
  • People starting fires do get caught. As well as landing you in big trouble with your mum or dad, you could end up in prison

Advice for parents

  • Know where your children are playing this bonfire period. Is it safe? What are they up to when they’re there?
  • Keep matches, lighters and fireworks in a safe place where your kids can’t find them
  • Look out for signs your child could be starting fires- things like the smell of smoke on their clothing or lighters in their pockets. Talk to them about the danger of starting fires

Advice for residents

  • Help reduce fires by bringing in your bin in off the street as soon as it’s been collected, and only put it out on the morning of collection
  • Don’t store things like unwanted sofas and other furniture in your garden- these are an easy target for people wanting to start fires
  • If you know someone is starting fires in your area, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. Arsonists do get caught and they do get prosecuted

Connor’s story is fictional but the circumstances leading to his injuries are based on research and experience compiled by the police and fire service.

Open day at Rotherham station

Rotherham fire station is holding an Open Day on Saturday 5 September  2015 between 10:30am and 4:30pm.

There will be a range of activities for all the family including:

  • Fire engines to look round
  • Car seat clinic
  • Bouncy castle
  • Music
  • Food
  • Face painting
    And much more

This is a joint open day with South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership, as well as all the fun activities you will also be able to get fire and road safety advice to keep you and your family safe.

Address: Rotherham Fire Station, Fitzwilliam Road, Eastwood, Rotherham S65 1ST

South Yorkshire community groups to benefit from UK first fire service grant scheme

Thousands of South Yorkshire’s most vulnerable people will be made safer thanks to a £700,000 fire funding windfall.

Nineteen charities, community groups and health partners have been awarded money under the second round of South Yorkshire Fire Authority’s Safer Stronger Communities Reserve fund.

The scheme, now in its second year, is the only fire service backed grant scheme of its kind anywhere in the country.

Sixty-four bids were received for the fund which had been set aside from the Authority’s reserves, before these were whittled down to the final shortlist.

Key objectives for successful bids included prioritising the most vulnerable people in society and projects which combined fire safety with improving people’s health and wellbeing. Groups could bid for a maximum of £150,000.

Highlights of the successful bids include:

• A 12 week personal development programme at Barnsley fire station for 16 to 25 year olds who are not currently in education, employment or training
• A ‘fire buddies’ scheme which will recruit and train volunteers to visit the homes of isolated older people in some of Sheffield’s poorest neighbourhoods
• Pop-up safety stations to provide fire and personal safety information for people in Edlington, Doncaster
• A Rotherham-based project to develop road safety education materials suitable for people with autism and learning disabilities

Fire Authority Chair Cllr Jim Andrews, said: “By giving these grants to well researched, well planned projects to support our work in some of South Yorkshire’s most vulnerable neighbourhoods we are, in effect, fire proofing the county.

“The first year of funding highlighted how even a small amount of financial support from the Fire Authority can enable local communities to make a real difference in improving fire safety.

“This year, the fund was once more heavily over-subscribed so 19 projects the Authority has decided to award funding to really are the best of the best.”

Deputy Chief Fire Officer John Roberts, said: “Fires have been falling steadily in South Yorkshire for many years and the county is safer now than it has been at any time in its history. But for as long as people continue to suffer the devastating effects of fires, there will always be more work to do.

“The best way for us to further reduce emergency incidents is to work with partners like those which have applied for support from this grant scheme. It’s these organisations which can help us reach the most vulnerable people in our communities.

“A particular focus for us in coming years is the wider positive impact the fire and rescue service can make in our communities, particularly in terms of improving people’s health and wellbeing. Many of the schemes we’ve awarded funding to reflect this aspiration.”


People with learning disabilities make lives safer via fire funded scheme

The lives of people with learning disabilities and autism have been made safer thanks to a nationally significant fire service funded education project.

The scheme, believed to be the only one of its kind in the country, has seen people with a range of learning disabilities or autism play a leading role in developing a fire safety workbook, DVD and other educational resources suitable for one of the most excluded, vulnerable groups in society.

The project aims to help people with learning disabilities and autism to live more independent lives, by improving their understanding of issues like kitchen fire safety, escape routes and what to do in an emergency.

With the education resources created, the charity has now recruited and trained ‘fire safety champions’, to share the information and advice with other vulnerable people in South Yorkshire.

It’s the first time Rotherham-based charity Speakup Self Advocacy has worked with a fire and rescue service, following a £58,000 grant from South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Authority’s Stronger Safer Communities Reserve.

The organisation has been working with Government departments and national organisations for 28 years to develop information and training, which is suitable for people with learning disabilities and/or autism.

Speakup’s Geoff Doncaster, said: “Traditionally public services issue a lot of well meaning advice and information to vulnerable groups, whilst failing to recognise that a lot of people with learning disabilities have either no reading skills or struggle greatly with written information. Also, people with autism may need information given to them in a slightly different way, for example on video. What this funding inspired us to do was give people the tools to create resources which will make a genuine impact in terms of protecting their peer groups from the dangers of fire.”

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue vulnerable persons advocate Dianne Fox, said: “There’s a definite gap currently in the quality of information public services offer to people with autism and learning disabilities. By working with an organisation which specializes in delivering education and information to these vulnerable groups, we think we have been able to develop a suite of resources which is truly groundbreaking for a UK fire and rescue service.”

Dozens of registered charities, community organisations and partner agencies came forward to apply for grants from the first round of the £2 million the Stronger Safer Communities Reserve fund, which had been set aside from the Authority’s reserves.

For more information or to view the resources, visit


Fire service training partnership delivers life skills advice to Doncaster youngsters

Hundreds of South Yorkshire youngsters are being given vital life skills thanks to a unique partnership between the fire service and a Doncaster training provider.

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue works with Engage Doncaster, an apprenticeships and training agency, to deliver learning sessions to young people who are not currently in education, employment or training.

Sessions are delivered to youngsters aged 14 to 19 around road safety, fire prevention and the consequences of anti-social behaviour and arson.

The aim is to help young people make positive life choices, ultimately giving them the best chance to succeed in their chosen careers.

SYFR Community Safety Team Leader Amanda Thompson, said: “The feedback from both the training provider and the youngsters themselves on the sessions we have delivered has been overwhelmingly positive. Partnerships like this one show how the work of the fire service goes far beyond putting out fires or rescuing people from emergencies.

“We can have a positive impact on our communities in lots of other ways, and by engaging with young people in this way we can improve their life chances as well as building lasting, positive relationships which will hopefully reduce emergency incidents in the future.”

Tillie Silman, a youngster from Engage said; “I really enjoyed it when the fire service came in, it was a very interesting experience. I have learnt a lot about how to deal with certain situations and not to prank call as this could put someone’s life in danger.

“The best part of the course for me was learning about the impact of not wearing a seat belt. It has made me realise the importance of always wearing one even sat in the back of the car. This could cause someone in the front seats serious injuries event if they are wearing seat belts.”