South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue

South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue
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Firefighters support paramedic trainees in new 999 partnership

Emergency service bosses have hailed a new partnership which sees trainee paramedics train alongside firefighters.

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue regularly welcomes Sheffield Hallam University paramedic students to training drills in a bid to expose students to realistic scenarios and build understanding between 999 responders.

Larger scale training exercises have also been set up at fire stations across South Yorkshire to help rehearse responses to incidents where firefighters and paramedics are likely to be present- including road traffic collisions, rescues from height and water incidents.

Station Manager Justin Robertson, said: “Since establishing this partnership two years ago we’ve held dozens of exercises and the learning for both firefighters and paramedics has been incredible. There’s already a great deal of respect between all the emergency services, but anything we can do to help build a better understanding of our respective roles at incidents will ultimately lead to better outcomes for the public we are here to help.”

Paramedic Senior Lecturer James Stubley, said: “The partnership with South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue has allowed our students to be exposed to a greater level of reality, extending our simulation scenarios. Collaboration with emergency service colleagues has allowed our students to gain valuable experience prior to graduating and pursuing their paramedic careers, being better informed of scene safety and capabilities of other services at these more complex incidents. This joint working at the early stage of their careers can only lead to more successful joint working and ultimately improved prehospital patient care.”

The Policing & Crime Act 2016 placed a new, statutory duty on all three emergency services to look at opportunities to work with one another better to improve efficiency and effectiveness.

In South Yorkshire, the fire and police services share a Joint Community Safety Department, shared fleet management and vehicle workshops and have a joint fire and police station in Maltby. The ambulance service also has access to welfare facilities at several fire stations across the country.

All three emergency services also work together on dozens of other opportunities for joint working throughout the year- from training to staff network events.


Fire and health link up sees staff share Sheffield HQ

Fire and health staff in South Yorkshire now share the same building following a major new collaboration agreement.

Staff from NHS South Yorkshire moved into South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue’s headquarters on Eyre Street, Sheffield earlier this month.

Both organisations say the move is further evidence of public services working together to save money and deliver better outcomes for local people.

Chief Fire Officer Chris Kirby, said: “We’re really pleased to welcome our health partners into our service headquarters and look forward to the opportunities this may generate in the future.

“The use of our HQ had changed post-pandemic and as we looked to realign our office space to meet the changing needs of our corporate teams, it made sense to look for an appropriate partner to share our building with.”

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue has occupied its current headquarters on Eyre Street since 2008, having previously been based at sites on Wellington Street and Division Street in the city. Part of the HQ building is already let to Age UK Sheffield.

Gavin Boyle, Chief Executive of NHS South Yorkshire, said: “It’s really exciting to be partnering with South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue and bringing public services together. We work closely with South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue through the local resilience forum and we share many of the same aims in improving the lives and wellbeing for our communities.

“The move will also allow us to better connect with Age UK Sheffield and other partners in Sheffield, such as Sheffield City Council, and we’ll soon be making similar moves in Barnsley and Rotherham that will bring similar benefits.”

Check your battery plea by fire service after battery fire destroys Sheffield house

Firefighters are calling on e-bike users to check their batteries after a house fire almost ended in tragedy.

South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue attended a fire at a house on Ecclesall Road in Sheffield on Sunday morning which was caused by an e-bike battery.

Five fire engines were called at 11.30am on Sunday 28 April and found the ground floor to be alight on arrival. Three hose reels and one main jet were used to extinguish the fire.

Five people managed to evacuate but three people were taken to hospital after sustaining injuries after jumping out of the first floor window.

The fire was caused by a failure of a lithium ion battery in an e-bike which was on charge alongside with six other e-bikes within the living room.

The ferocity at which lithium ion batteries, used to power e-bikes and e-scooters, burn and explode caused the fire to engulf all three floors of the house.

Fires involving e-bikes and e-scooters are a growing risk for South Yorkshire as 15 fires involving lithium ion batteries were recorded in 2023, almost double the number that occurred in 2022.

In March this year, a fire involving an e-bike and e-scooter caused significant damage to a house on Tawny Street, Barnsley whilst in May last year two men were lucky to escape with their lives after a fire involving multiple lithium ion batteries in a house in Sharrow Street, Sheffield.

That is why the service has today shared this story to launch its Charge Happy campaign aimed at increasing awareness of the fire risk posed by lithium ion batteries.

Ade Parkin, Group Manager at South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue said: “The people involved in these incidents are lucky to have escaped without serious injury.

“We know that e bikes and e scooters are growing in popularity and can be really beneficial in opening up cycling to people of all fitness levels, not to mention the obvious environmental benefits they bring in terms of reduced carbon emissions compared to other means of transport.

“That is why it is so important to only buy bikes from reputable supplier that show clearly that they meet UK/EU safety laws and only use the charger supplied with the battery.

“We’d also encourage owners of e bikes to think carefully about where you charge your vehicle and not block any escape routes.”

Safety tips for e-bike and e-scooter users

  • Never block your escape route with anything, including e-bikes and e-scooters. Store them somewhere away from a main through route. Our advice is to store these items in a safe external location if possible, such as a garage or a shed.
  • Always use the correct charger, otherwise the risk of fire increases, and buy an official one from a reputable seller.
  • Do not attempt to modify or tamper with your battery. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Converting pedal bikes into e-bikes using DIY kits bought online can be very dangerous. They can pose a higher risk of fire. Get a professional or competent person to carry out the conversion and make sure to buy a battery from a reputable seller and that it is not second-hand.
  • Check your battery and charger meets UK safety standards.  We have particular concern where batteries have been purchased from online marketplaces and when they’ve been sourced on the internet, which may not meet the correct safety standards.  Consumers buying any product can check that the item displays a UKCA or CE mark that ensures that the products meet UK and EU safety, health or environmental requirements. If buying online, buy from a UK supplier.

Watch out for signs that the battery or charger aren’t working as they should – e.g. if the battery is hot to the touch or has changed shape.

New Assistant Chief Fire Officer for South Yorkshire

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Authority (SYFRA) has appointed a new Assistant Chief Fire Officer.

Simon Dunker was appointed following a competitive selection process which included a written application, leadership team interview, interview by staff group and trade union representatives and presentation and panel interview with members of the Fire Authority.

Sheffield-born Simon joined South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue (SYFR) as a firefighter in 1998. He is currently Area Manager responsible for service delivery, community safety and emergency response. He has previously led the service’s Joint Community Safety Department with South Yorkshire Police and its resilience, planning and contingencies section.

Fire Authority Chair Cllr Charlie Hogarth, said: “This was a really competitive process, with applicants from right across the country. But the whole panel was greatly impressed by Simon’s commitment to service improvement and his obvious passion for South Yorkshire, its fire service and its communities. We are confident this appointment will help SYFR to continually improve its service to the public.”

Simon said: “I am really pleased to be appointed to this role. I have always felt extremely proud to serve this fantastic county and I look forward to continuing to improve the service and support its people in my new role of Assistant Chief Fire Officer.”

South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue and Yorkshire Water back NFCC Be Water Aware campaign

South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue is backing this year’s Be Water Aware campaign by the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC), by urging people not to enter its reservoirs.

Running from 22nd – 28th April, the campaign, which is also backed by Yorkshire Water, aims to raise awareness about the risk of accidental drowning and encourage considerate behaviour around bodies of water.

The latest figures indicate there were 226 accidental drowning deaths in 2022 across the UK with six taking place in Yorkshire (three in West Yorkshire, two in South Yorkshire, and one in North Yorkshire). 60% of all accidental drownings in the UK occurred inland, at reservoirs, lakes and river.

The NFCC campaign outlines that many people underestimate the risk of entering the water: Yorkshire Water see people entering its 130 reservoirs daily, despite warnings about the danger that reservoirs can pose.

With the effects of cold-water shock and unseen hazards like operating machinery and hidden undercurrents, even the strongest swimmers can get into difficulties.

Ade Parkin, Group Manager in South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue’s Community Safety Department, said: “Open water can be incredibly dangerous if it is not treated with respect. Attending water rescue incidents can be incredibly traumatic for our crews and members of the public.

“It can be tempting to cool off but do you really want it to be the last thing you do?”

Alastair Harvey, lead countryside and woodland advisor at Yorkshire Water, said: “With the summer approaching, we’re expecting to see an increase in numbers of people wanting to swim. We know how dangerous it can be to enter open bodies of water, like our reservoirs, and would urge everyone to take note of warnings at our sites.”

Out of all 2022 accidental drownings, 40% of people had no intention of ever entering the water – slips, trips and falls were commonly the cause of these incidents.

“Water safety goes beyond choosing not to swim or paddle to cool off – it’s also about remaining vigilant around the water, particularly if you are looking after children. We are once again backing the NFCC campaign to raise awareness of water safety behaviours and measures.”

“If people see others in difficulty in the water, they should contact the emergency services on 999 as they are trained to deal with such events.”

Get more water safety advice

Open Days and Car Washes 2024

We have a number of station open days, events and car washes planned this year.

Below is a list of all the current stations holding an event.

Open Days

  • Rotherham Station (Fitzwilliam Road, Eastwood, Rotherham, S65 1ST) – Saturday 1 June 2024, 10am – 4pm
  • Edlington Station (Edlington Lane, Warmsworth, Doncaster, DN12 1DA) – Saturday 29 June 2024, 11am – 3pm
  • Parkway Station (Reynolds Road, Sheffield, S9 4EP) – Saturday 20 July 2024, 11am – 4pm
  • Central Station (Eyre Street, Sheffield, S1 3FG) – Sunday 28 July 2024, 11am – 4pm

Car Washes

  • Dearne Station (Manvers Way Rotherham South Yorkshire S63 5DN) – Saturday 1 June 2024, 10am – 4pm
  • Rossington Station (West End Lane, Rossington, Doncaster, DN 11 0PQ) – Saturday 8 June 2024, 10am – 3pm
  • Doncaster Station (Leicester Avenue, Doncaster, DN2 6DR) – Sunday 9 June 2024 – 10am – 3pm

All charity car washes are in aid of The Fire Fighters Charity.

SYFR 50th year celebrations continue with time capsule burial

Capturing a moment in time is the aim of South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue which has buried a time capsule as part of its 50th year celebrations.

The Service’s training centre in Handsworth was chosen as the spot to bury the capsule to mark the refurbishment of parts of the building including the canteen and reception area which also includes a mural created by local artist Luke Horton.

Included within the time capsule are a set of documents that capture a sense of life in 2024, including film listings, the cost of basic groceries and the latest issue of the Service’s staff newsletter. It also includes information about the Service, including information about how many staff it employs and the number of fire engines that are currently operational.

The plan is for the capsule to be opened in 50 years-time – when the service will mark a century of saving lives in South Yorkshire.

Chief Fire Officer, Chris Kirby said: “2024 is a big year for South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue as we mark our 50th year, so it feels appropriate to preserve this moment in time for future generations by burying this time capsule today.

“I’d also like to thank our estates team and everyone who has played a part in revitalising our training centre. One of our key aspirations as a service is to be a great place to work and ensuring our facilities are the best they can be is a key part of that, both for our own staff and for our partner organisations who regularly use our training centre.”

Fire Authority Chair Cllr Charlie Hogarth, said: “I’m delighted to be able to witness the burial of this time capsule and also see the excellent improvements that have been made to the Service’s training centre over the past few months.”

The Training and Development Centre is where all South Yorkshire wholetime and on-call firefighter trainees complete their initial training course.

The time capsule, which was buried on Tuesday 27 February, is one of a number of events and activities the service is carrying out in 2024 to mark 50 years since its creation, including open days, fundraisers, staff celebrations and a few surprises along the way.

Professional firefighting in South Yorkshire dates back much longer than 50 years.

But it was at midnight of 31 March 1974 that the City of Sheffield Fire Brigade, Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Fire Brigade, Rotherham Metropolitan Fire Brigade, Barnsley Metropolitan Fire Brigade, and the parts of the former West Riding Fire Brigade that lay with the new South Yorkshire boundary, became what was then known as South Yorkshire County Fire Service.

Andy Strelczenie named Deputy Chief Fire Officer

Andy Strelczenie has been named South Yorkshire’s Deputy Chief Fire Officer, following a rigorous selection process.

Andy, who is currently the service’s Assistant Chief Fire Officer, was promoted following multiple recruitment stages and an interview by the Fire Authority’s appointments committee.

Andy has worked within the fire and rescue service for 27 years, originally at Hereford and Worcester Fire & Rescue Service before transferring to South Yorkshire where he has overseen emergency response, service improvement, business fire safety and inspection planning, amongst other roles.

Fire Authority Chair Cllr Charlie Hogarth, said: “The Fire Authority’s appointments panel found Andy to be an extremely impressive candidate and we were excited by his vision for the service. We were unanimous in our decision to appoint him to the position of Deputy Chief Fire Officer and are excited to continue working closely with him in his new role.”

Andy Strelczenie, said: “I look forward to working with people across the service to continually improve the work we do for local people. I very much look forward to using my skills and experience to foster a positive workplace culture for all our staff.”

Andy will take up his new role in March, when the current Deputy Chief Fire Officer Tony Carlin retires.

Fire service marks new law anniversary with high-rise residential buildings plea

The fire service is calling on those responsible for South Yorkshire’s high-rise residential buildings to get in touch, a year after new regulations came into force.

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue says barely more than one in 10 owners or managers of the relevant buildings have supplied it with information they are now legally responsible for providing.

The law requires people responsible for buildings of 18m in height, or at least seven storeys, containing two or more domestic dwellings, to provide information to fire and rescue services including building plans, defective lifts and details of external wall systems.

The information is intended to help the fire service plan and provide an effective response hem plan and, if needed, provide an effective operational response.

Deputy Chief Fire Officer Tony Carlin, said: “These regulations were introduced to meet the majority of the recommendations made in the Phase 1 report of the Grenfell Tower Enquiry, which required a change in the law. Even though the regulations came into force more than a year ago now, we’re still yet to hear from a large number of building owners or managers for whom the law applies to.

“Ultimately, the regulations are there to ensure that if a fire does occur in high-rise premises, we can tackle the incident safely. We will be contacting owners and managers we’ve not yet heard from to ensure compliance.”

The Fire Safety Regulations (England) 2022 came into force on 23 January 2023.

Further information about the new regulations and what you need to do is available on the Government website which includes a series of fact sheets which provide more detailed information.

Responsible persons can share the required information here.

Doncaster teenager pens poem to mark 50th year of South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue

A Doncaster teenager has penned a poem for Askern Fire Station to show his appreciation for South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service as the service marks its 50th year.

The poem is the first in a series that Mason Miller (pictured right), 15, plans to write for each station across the county.

He had his first brush with the emergency services when he had an epileptic seizure when he was 18 months old and stopped breathing.

After receiving chest compressions he then had to be placed into a medically induced coma and has been regularly in and out of hospital since then due to his epilepsy.

He was also diagnosed with autism and attends a special educational needs school where he has been since 2017.

He said: “Since I was always in ambulances, I developed a love for the emergency services and would always have a toy ambulance or fire engine in my hand.

“By 2021 I had begun making little videos about the fire service and then in 2022 I decided to visit Doncaster Fire Station.”

This was a big step for him and helped him feel more independent.

“Seeing the fire engine turning out, sirens blaring, it unlocked something inside of me.

“I kept visiting as much as I could. I had so much support from the crews and they always made me feel welcome – it gave me the confidence to expand,” he added.

He has now visited all fire stations in South Yorkshire as well as stations in West and North Yorkshire and Lincolnshire.

He also joined Fire Cadets in September last year.

“I’m honestly so grateful for everyone and every crew as I feel like I wouldn’t be this far in my life if it wasn’t for them.

“I wanted to do the poems as I saw SYFR was turning 50 this year and I wanted to thank them for what they’ve done for me.

“It’s something I love and I thought they’d love it too!”

You can read the poem below:

In Askern town, where heroes reside,

Stands a station with courage and pride.

With Jupiter gleaming, ready to go,

They face the flames, a mighty show.

At Askern Fire Station, they’re always prepared,

To answer the call, no matter where.

With sirens blaring, lights shining bright,

They rush to the scene, From work or home, day and night.

Firefighters brave, with courage so strong,

They battle the blaze, all day long.

With pagers in hand ready to respond to fires,

Their dedication never tires.

From burning buildings to rescue missions,

They save lives with their brave decisions.

In times of danger, they’re always there,

To protect and serve, with respect  and care.

They train and train, to be the best,

To face any challenge, with no rest.

With teamwork and skill, they work as one,

To keep the community safe and sound.

Jupiters lights,  beacons of hope,

A mobile office where heroes learn to cope.

They risk their lives, without a doubt,

To help others, that’s what it’s about.

So let’s salute the firefighters true,

For all they do, for me and you.

Askern Fire Station, we’re grateful to you,

For keeping us safe, in all that you do.