South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue

South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue
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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.

Long serving South Yorkshire firefighters honoured

More than 20 long serving firefighters, 999 operators and support staff have been honoured at a special ceremony in Sheffield.

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue staged the event at Sheffield City Hall to recognise staff members who have clocked up more than 20 years serving local people.

Chief Fire Officer James Courtney and Lord Lieutenant of South Yorkshire Andrew Coombe presented the fire service Long Service & Good Conduct Medal to recipients in front of their family and friends. The medal was instituted by Her Majesty the Queen by Royal Warrant in 1954. It is awarded to employees who complete 20 years of meritorious service.

A special award was also presented to communications electrician Francis Delez who, with an incredible 51 years’ service behind him, is the fire service’s longest serving employee.

Group manager Trevor Bernard was given the honour of master of ceremonies, before he retires from the service next month.

Speaking at the event, Chief Fire Officer James Courtney, said: “We aspire to make South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue a great place to work, which includes recognising the efforts and achievements of our staff. As Chief Fire Officer, I therefore feel extremely proud to see so many members of our organisation recognised for the outstanding service they have given over the last twenty years or more.

“The role of a firefighter and the role of fire service has changed considerably in that time. Our responsibilities now go far beyond simply tackling fires. But one thing that will always remain the same is the pride which we all have in doing a job that can make such a positive difference in the communities we serve.”

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.

Importance of having the right smoke alarms for people who are deaf or hard of hearing highlighted during awareness week

We are supporting Deaf Awareness Week by highlighting the importance of having the right smoke alarms for people who are Deaf or hard of hearing.

It’s essential that people who are deaf or hard of hearing have the right smoke alarms in their homes and ensure they can contact 999 in an emergency.  Some people may need additional equipment to make them aware the smoke alarm has been activated.  SYFR offers free Home Safety Checks (HSC’s) to people who people who are deaf or hard of hearing; during our visit Community Safety staff will assess the need for a specialist alarm and offer advice about keeping safe at home.

SYFR has introduced a Text line for deaf and hard of hearing communities to book a HSC.

To book a HSC please text 07776 225 696

  • Start your text with ‘HSC’
  • Your name
  • Your full address

If you have concerns that a friend or relative may not be able to hear their smoke alarms, please call: 01114 253 2314 or visit to book a visit.

SYFR also urge people who are unable to make a voice call to 999 to register their mobile phones with the emergency SMS service. This allows them to text an emergency call to any of the UK’s emergency services.

To do this they should text ‘register’ to 999 and then follow the instructions received. Or for further information visit

Once registered the person can make an emergency call by sending a text to 999.

Have you signed up for police alerts?

SYP Alerts is a messaging system developed by South Yorkshire Police, which allows you to receive updates from local neighbourhood police teams.

There are now over 9,000 people signed-up to receive alerts in South Yorkshire and the force is driving an initiative to reach 10k by the end of May.

Being signed-up to SYP Alerts means that you can receive messages by text, email or voice alert about policing matters specifically in your community. You can even choose what type of things you would like to receive messages about by personalising your account once you have signed-up.

If you live in South Yorkshire, you can register quickly and easily at

Fire service hosts second ‘memory cafe’ as part of dementia support mission

A fire station based ‘memory cafe’ which aims to support the growing numbers of people who live with dementia has been launched in Barnsley

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue’s Cudworth fire station hosts the monthly memory cafe, with support from local dementia support services.

The events, which are held on the third Friday of every month, provide an opportunity for people living with dementia and their carers to meet in a safe, managed environment and to take part in activities to promote mental and physical wellbeing, such as chair based exercises.

The group has become the second fire service backed memory cafe to be launched in South Yorkshire, joining Woodlands Memory Cafe which has been operational at Adwick fire station for more than two years.

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

Area Manager Steve Helps, said: “We have already proven in recent years how the fire service is well placed to play a much wider role in terms of tackling some of the big health challenges our country faces in the future. This latest project 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.”

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue is also a member of the Yorkshire & Humber Dementia Alliance, which is committed to tackling the growing issue of dementia within communities.

Hundreds of its staff have also signed up to become Dementia Friends- a Government backed initiative which teaches people a little bit more about what it’s like to live with dementia, and then turns that understanding into action.

The next session of the memory cafe takes place on Friday 18 May from 10.30am to 12.30am at Cudworth fire station, Tumbling Lane, Barnsley, S71 5RZ. It is open to anyone living with dementia and their carers, or any older people feeling isolated and wanting to make new friends.