South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue

South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue
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Prince’s Trust Team graduates with fire service honours

Eleven young adults have successfully graduated from the second South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Prince’s Trust Team Programme after having completed 12 weeks of challenges that have tested them to their limits. 

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue (SYFR) teamed up with the Prince’s Trust and Barnsley College to deliver the Prince’s Trust Team Programme. The programme is a 12 week personal development course for unemployed 16 – 25 year olds, offering work experience, qualifications, practical skills, community projects and a residential week.  

The young people have all been thrown out of their comfort zone during the last few weeks, participating in a week-long residential in the Peak District, working with the people of Goldthorpe by painting three unloved railway approach bridges and inspiring the first embankment nature reserves in the Dearne Valley, working in the wider community with various groups including local military veterans as well as learning new skills in individual work placements. 

The graduation which was held at Barnsley Town Hall was a fantastic celebration of all their hard work and efforts. It was attended by their friends, family, local businesses who were involved with supporting the team as well as local dignitaries. 

SYFR Team Programme Leader John Daley said; “I am really proud of the whole group, throughout the Team Programme the young people have experienced a sense of achievement which has inspired them to move forward with new confidence and ambition. We wish them all the luck for their future.” 

SYFR Area Manager Steve Helps, said: “The last 12 weeks have been about building the confidence of these young people and equipping them with the skills qualifications and experience to find employment and build better lives for themselves. From classes in CV building to university visits and work placements we have been able to offer participants crucial skills and insights they otherwise may never have experienced. I am truly proud of the role the fire service has played in helping these young people aspire to a better future.” 

William Wardale, member of the Team Programme said; “Before I started the programme, I was unemployed, didn’t have a lot of confidence or many friends. Since I have joined, I have made lots of new friends, I have lots of new memories and built many skills. I really enjoyed the experience and painting bridges in Goldthorpe.”

Young winner named in fire service writing challenge

A story writing whizz kid from Chapeltown has been awarded top prize in a fire service writing competition.

Dylan Briggs, aged eight, was presented with a LEGO City fire station after beating off competition from almost 100 entrants. His story, ‘A day in the life of a firefighter’, also contained an important message about the dangers of playing with matches.

The Lound Junior School pupil’s winning entry was selected by Barnsley born Caryl Hart, now living in Bakewell, Derbyshire who volunteered to judge the South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue competition, which called on youngsters to send in their best piece of creative writing.

Caryl, author of popular children’s books including Don’t Dip Your Chips, Welcome to Alien School and Supermarket Zoo, also selected five runners up who have won a signed copy of one of Caryl’s books.

The runners up have been named as Hannah Emsden, Benjamin Brookes, Toula Stelling, Sarah Mara and Nathan Lee.

Caryl said: “I loved Dylan’s story. It’s funny, charming and very well written. It delivers a clear fire-safety message while keeping the reader entertained and laughing out loud. I love the crazy character and place names that Dylan has used and I think his two main characters are really strong. Top marks Dylan on an excellent, entertaining and informative story.”

Education advocate Julie Claytor, said: “Children are an important audience for us, particularly as they are often the best advocates for fire safety at home. We know from school visits and other education work that they often pass on vital fire safety messages to their families and this competition was another opportunity for us to spread that learning.”

The contest was open to all primary school aged children in South Yorkshire.

Fire service attends hundreds of medical ‘break ins’ in unique 999 collaboration

Firefighters are attending hundreds more incidents each year in a unique arrangement with the county’s police force.

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue says it has attended more than 1,800 ‘medical break-in’ incidents since July 2014- when it became the first fire service in the country to take on this type of work.

It sees firefighters provide humanitarian assistance at emergencies where people are thought to be in need of urgent medical attention, but where ambulance service paramedics cannot get to them, for example when they are locked indoors.

Firefighters will normally use specialist equipment to break into properties, allowing paramedics to quickly deliver help to patients. The equipment and skills they use also means less damage is caused when entering properties and crews can help to make the scene safe afterwards.

The work used to be carried out by police officers, so is helping to save thousands of hours of police time each year. The scheme was the first of its kind in the country when it was first trialled in Rotherham in September 2014, but has now been adopted by other UK fire and rescue services.

This type of incident now comprises a growing element of fire service incident activity in South Yorkshire. Officers say the arrangement is another example of the valuable contribution of the modern fire and rescue service, on top of the thousands of fires and other emergencies like road traffic collisions and water rescues the service attends across the county each year.

Head of Emergency Response Tony Carlin, said: “We provide a first class emergency response to the people of South Yorkshire, but the skills and equipment our firefighters have mean we can apply that service to more than just fires.

“This arrangement benefits everyone. For the police it helps them to concentrate their resources on other areas of work. For our firefighters, they get experience of a wider range of emergency incidents and get to apply their extensive training to an even wider set of situations. For patients themselves, it means they can receive they medical attention they need as efficiently as possible.”

South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Dr Alan Billings said: “All the emergency services are working together in South Yorkshire to make our resources go further and avoid duplication.  I welcome these initiatives by colleagues in the Fire Service.  It is saving a lot of police time which can be better spent on directly fighting crime. I look forward to working more closely with both the Fire and Ambulance services in the future.”

Last year the Government announced new proposals to transform the way the police, fire and rescue and ambulance services work together. It wants to encourage collaboration by introducing a new statutory duty on all three emergency services to look at opportunities to work with one another better to improve efficiency and effectiveness.

COMAH plan consultation

Currently SYFR are reviewing the external emergency COMAH plan for the site named below;

DHL Supply Chain, High Common Lane, Tickhill, Doncaster, DN11 9HE

A public consultation will now take place with members of the public residing or working near the sites mentioned above.  Questions, queries and comments regarding the review of the external emergency COMAH plan for the site named above will now be taken.  The consultation will be open until Friday 11th November 2016.  All communication should be made via .

Find more information about COMAH sites in South Yorkshire is available here

Water safety plea ahead of school summer holidays

Firefighters are urging children not to swim in lakes and reservoirs ahead of the school summer holidays.

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue says it has attended 282 water related incidents since 2012. Most were flooding or animal related, but 49 incidents involved rescuing people from open water. People died in three of those incidents.

Safety officers say children and young people should avoid open water- like rivers and lakes- because they may not always be aware of the danger it poses. River flows can be unpredictable and water is often deeper, colder and faster than expected. People should enjoy water safely in swimming pools or safer, specialist facilities instead.

Head of community safety Trevor Bernard, said: “We regularly receive 999 calls in the summer about children and young people getting into difficulty in water, so it’s only a matter of time before someone’s safety is really put at risk unless people listen to our advice.

“It can be tempting to cool off in the summer months, but stick to a swimming pool. Hundreds of people drown each year in the UK and places like rivers, lakes or flooded quarries are completely unsuitable for swimming as they hide a number of hidden dangers.”

Over 400 people die in the water every year in the UK, and firefighters are urging people to follow some basic rules to stay safe.

The dangers of open water are:

  • The water can be much deeper than you expect
  • Rivers, lakes, canals and reservoirs are much colder than you think
  • Open water can carry water borne diseases, like Weils disease
  • Cold water dramatically affects your ability to swim
  • There may be hidden currents, which can pull you under the water
  • You don’t know what lies beneath, like pieces of rubbish or reeds which can trap or injure you

Open day at Penistone fire station

Firefighters from Penistone station will be welcoming local people into their station on Saturday 23 July 2016 for a fun-packed open day.

There will be a range of activities and demonstrations planned throughout the day, including:

• Fire engine rides with the National Emergency Services Museum
• Fire engines to look around
• Chip pan demonstration
• The Red Cross
• Yorkshire Air Ambulance
• Yorkshire Ambulance Service
• Bouncy Castle
• Face painting
• Refreshments

and much much more.

The event will be open between 10am and 2pm at Penistone Fire Station, Sheffield Road, Penistone, Barnsley S36 6HN.

Watch Manager Toby Bulcock said, “The fire station is a large part of the local community so we are inviting local people to come along and find out a little more about how things work here at the station. There will be plenty of activities for all the family to enjoy a really good day out. Our firefighters will be on hand to offer road and fire safety advice.”

Five ambulance stand-by points created at fire stations in South Yorkshire

A landmark agreement between emergency services in South Yorkshire will see up to five ambulance stand-by points created at fire stations across the county.

The existing fire stations at Aston Park, Barnsley, Birley Moor, Edlington and Parkway will be modified to allow ambulance staff to share space in one of the first schemes of its kind in the country.

The memorandum of understanding signed between South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue and Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust sets out the proposed co-location of ambulance service resources at the sites, including office space for ambulance staff, welfare facilities and ambulance parking bays. It also allows for shared use of meeting rooms and gyms.

Deputy Chief Fire Officer John Roberts said: “This is the best possible proof of our commitment to pursue meaningful collaboration opportunities with our emergency service partners.

“This agreement makes perfect sense for us, for the ambulance service and for the taxpayer. By working alongside each other, the move will also benefit both organisations by improving how we work together to solve problems we both face, which can only help to improve the quality of the service we offer to local people.”

Jackie Cole, Locality Director of Emergency Operations in South Yorkshire, said: “Our staff often work together at incidents across the county and this opportunity means that our close working relationship will be further endorsed. Our vehicles operate from a network of strategically located stand-by points and the locations of some of SYFR’s stations are well matched to where our resources need to operate from to serve local communities and provide responsive patient care.”

The fire service is pursuing similar opportunities to share buildings with South Yorkshire Police.

Planners in Rotherham have previously approved proposals for a joint police and fire station in Maltby. Maltby fire station will close and the nearby police station will be modified to accommodate fire service vehicles and staff.

The project won Government Transformation Funding of £560,000 last year and will help save both South Yorkshire Police and South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue money by sharing building running costs, enabling funding to be targeted at frontline services.

Last year the Government announced new proposals to transform the way the police, fire and rescue and ambulance services work together. It wants to encourage collaboration by introducing a new statutory duty on all three emergency services to look at opportunities to work with one another to better improve efficiency and effectiveness.

Fire service funded stop motion film helping to make high risk adults safer

A Doncaster community scheme has used fire service funding to create a stop-motion animation video to make the lives of vulnerable adults safer.

‘Breaking Beats’ partnered with South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue to deliver a safety campaign with residents of Quarryfields- a social housing scheme for people with learning difficulties in Balby, Doncaster.

The 18 week scheme allowed adults with learning difficulties to improve their knowledge fire safety through stop-motion animation. Service users created a video that highlighted fire prevention advice, and were involved in all aspects of the stop motion process, from set building and manipulation of characters to editing and narration.

Breaking Beats aims to work with disabled people by looking at developing important life skills such as confidence, teamwork and self-esteem, helping disabled people learn new skills and trying to give them a higher quality of life.

The scheme was awarded nearly £7500 under the South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Authority’s funding scheme, Stronger Safer Communities Reserve.

SYFR Area Manager Steve Helps, said: “This has been a fantastic project and exactly the sort of venture the Stronger Safer Communities Reserve is in place to support. It has allowed us to engage with and deliver a safety message to a group of people that we may not have been able to reach through our current channels. The participants in this scheme have thoroughly enjoyed themselves and have been offered a wealth of opportunities through a variety of activities. We are proud to be able to facilitate projects like these which have such a huge impact on our communities.”

The Stronger Safer 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. Groups were able to bid for as little as £5,000 or as much as £150,000 to support projects which reduce injuries, save lives and make South Yorkshire safer.

Fire service employee wins European award

South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue (SYFR) Emergency Planning Officer has received a top European Award.

Russ Parramore attended the Business Continuity Institute (BCI) European Awards event which took place in Dublin, where he was the winner of the European Resilience and Continuity Professional (Public Sector) 2016 award.

Russ joined SYFR as Emergency Planning Officer in August 2010. Over the next six years Russ took the BCI Certificate, became an Associate Member of the BCI and a Certified Lead Auditor for the BC International Standard. He has attended and hosted meetings and workshops for the BCI North East Region and spoken at the BCI World Conference for the last 2 years.

Claire Platts, Policy and Technical Support Advisor at SYFR Fire Safety Central Support, was one of eight finalists in the category of European Resilience and Continuity Professional Newcomer 2016.

On winning the award, Russ said: “I feel privileged to have won this award but it would not have been possible without the support of South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue. With an open approach to change, we have allowed the key principles of Business Continuity to be embedded into the organisation’s day to day operations.”

Barnsley young people ‘pass out’ after fire service course to tackle anti-social behaviour

A group of young people in Barnsley have taken part in a ‘passing out’ event, after completing a five day course aimed at reducing anti-social behaviour in the town.

The 11 youngsters from Netherwood ALC and Kirk Balk Academy, aged 13-16, took part in the Achieving Respect and Confidence (ARC) project, a joint initiative between South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue, South Yorkshire Police and other partner agencies.  The project was funded by Barnsley South Area Council.

The ‘passing out’ event took place at Barnsley fire station and saw the young people carrying out displays in the station drill yard to start off the presentation. The event was attended by the youngster’s family and friends as well as local dignitaries.

The project was aimed at highlighting the consequences of anti-social behaviour and to provide an intensive multi-agency work experience course, self-discipline, team spirit, fire safety awareness, life skills and values which will improve the life chances of the young people involved who have either offended, are at risk of offending or have been victims of crime.

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue’s Arson Reduction Officer Simon Brookes said:  “The course was a great success for everyone involved, which was down to the hard work of the students and instructors. This was a joint initiative with partner agencies to encourage these young people to think about their behaviour and through discipline and teamwork, make positive choices towards improving their life chances.”