South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue

South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue
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Fire station to be base for new Ambulance response point

Ambulance crews have started responding to 999 calls from a fire station in Doncaster where a new local ambulance response point has been located.

Following a year of planning and preparation between South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue and Yorkshire Ambulance Service, the construction of a multi-use Portakabin has been completed on site at Rossington fire station. The Portakabin, which is now fully operational, will act as a base for ambulance crews working in and around the Rossington area.

Located within the grounds of the fire station, it provides local ambulance crews with an additional base for mobilisation to incidents and facilities for staff to take rest breaks.

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Group Manager, Shayne Tottie said: “Providing Yorkshire Ambulance Service with this space to operate from is a great asset for the village of Rossington as well as surrounding areas. It will provide ambulance crews with access to welfare facilities whilst ensuring the best operational coverage possible.

“There are a number of similar set-ups in South Yorkshire, including the facilities available at Edlington and Adwick fire stations and this is just one of the many ways that we are continuing to support our partner services in the region.”

Jackie Cole, Head of Operations (South Yorkshire) at Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust, commented:  “The new facility in Rossington is the latest addition to our hub and spoke network in Doncaster and joins similar local ambulance response points at Bentley, Hatfield, Adwick and Edlington and our main hub in Clay Lane West.  We are pleased to have worked in partnership with South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue and are very grateful for their support to get everything up and running.”

The Policing & Crime Act 2017 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 and this is another success in achieving that duty.


South Yorkshire floods- important information for Doncaster residents

Doncaster Council have released further information for Doncaster residents. Please see their update below:

“There are six severe flood warnings remain in place for Fishlake, Barnby Dun, Kirk Sandall, Kirk Bramwith, Sounth Bramwith & Bentley Rise. This means there is a risk to life in these areas. The Environment Agency expect these warnings to stay in place for at least 24 hours.

For those of you who live in Fishlake – we have set up a dedicated rest centre in Stainforth today to offer advice, guidance and support, to find out more call our public information line on 01302 735688.

The Environment Agency advise that they do not expect flood waters to start to go down for at least the next 24 hours in Fishlake, we expect that it will be at least 48 hours until you can return to your homes, if not longer.

Residents who are unable to stay with family or friends can still access the rest centre which will be operational for as long as is needed.

Fishlake residents have been advised to evacuate, if you are still in Fishlake call 01302 735688 so we can organise evacuation immediately by South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue. We can only offer dedicated support to people who are not in an area where there is a threat to life.

Bentley Rise residents (inc. Yarbrough Terrace, Hunt Lane, Frank Road, Riviera Mount, Riviera Parade & Willow Bridge) our communities staff are on the ground providing information, advice & guidance. We continue to work to Environment Agency guidance that this is a severe risk area.

Residents from other evacuated areas are advised to call our dedicated public information line for further updates on when they may be able to return home 01302 735688.”

@MyDoncaster on Twitter for more.


Joint service initiative tackles gun and knife crime

Over 42,000 South Yorkshire school children have received an educational awareness presentation on the consequences of gun and knife crime

South Yorkshire Police and South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue have delivered a gun and knife crime programme to over 42,000 secondary school children across South Yorkshire, as part of their Joint Community Safety Department.

The ‘Guns and Knives Take Lives’ programme, was specially developed by both organisations to raise awareness of and educate young people on the dangers of guns and knives, and supports the work of Operation Fortify, the county wide approach to tackling serious and organised crime across South Yorkshire.

To deliver this programme, members of the department visit local secondary schools to provide a presentation highlighting the hard-hitting reality of the dangers and potentially devastating consequences of carry guns and knives.

During the 50 minute presentation, Information is delivered on gun and knife law, recent statistics, the emotional impact, consequences and real life testimonials, along with details of Operation Sceptre – a national knife crime awareness operation.

Following the success of the programme, which has been delivered to 60 schools in Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield since its launch in May 2017, plans are now in place to roll out the programme to the remaining schools across South Yorkshire, along with delivery to new Year 7 groups.

Steve Helps, Head of the Joint Community Safety Department, has commented on the importance of the programme, “Gun and Knife crime has increased in recent years and it is extremely important that we are able to work proactively within our communities to raise awareness, provide support and educate young people on the consequences and impact of guns and knives.

“The responses we have received so far illustrates the positive impact this is having on our communities and I’m looking forwards to continuing to roll out the programme to the remaining South Yorkshire schools in the coming weeks.”

Chief Superintendent Una Jennings, Head of Operation Fortify for South Yorkshire Police, added “Our commitment to tackling serious and organised crime in South Yorkshire goes far beyond bringing offenders to justice. Guns and Knives Take Lives allows us to reach out early so that the young and vulnerable understand their choices, and the far-reaching impacts of their decisions.

“The consequences and risks of carrying weapons are incredibly serious and it’s absolutely vital that young people understand the devastation they can cause.”

The Guns and Knives Takes Lives programme complements, and forms an element of the work of, the Joint Community Safety Department to provide specialist early intervention services to protect vulnerable people, reduce demand and keep local communities safe.

As well as delivering this tailored intervention in schools, the Joint Community Safety Department also offers bespoke events at the Lifewise Centre in Rotherham and other early intervention services designed for the needs of local communities.

To find out more about the Joint Community Safety Department and the Lifewise Centre, you can visit the website here.


Smaller fire engine arrives on South Yorkshire’s roads

A new, smaller fire engine will soon be responding to 999 calls for the very first time.

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue has spent more than a year working with contractors at Angloco Limited to develop a lighter, more agile fire appliance to attend incidents across the county. The appliance has been designed to keep the same functionality as a traditional fire engine, but to be easier to manoeuvre than the current larger appliances.

The smaller appliance will be able to respond to a wide range of incidents from grass and rubbish fires to large scale building fires and road traffic collisions. The engine will be staffed in the same way as the other fire engines already used by the service.

The appliance will carry all of the necessary equipment required to attend an incident, including two 22mm high pressure hose reels as well as a 10.5m triple extension ladder. Just like the larger appliances in use, there will also be four sets of breathing apparatus stowed in the vehicle.

It is estimated that the new smaller appliance is saving the service around £120,000 in running costs over its lifetime and is roughly £20,000 cheaper than the larger fire appliances.

Before going ‘on the run’, the vehicle will undergo a period of testing and evaluation on station with crews to identify any minor changes which need to be made. Training requirements will also be identified for the firefighters who will be driving the appliance.

Assistant Chief Fire Officer, Tony Carlin said: “This next generation appliance has been designed using the expertise and knowledge of a number of firefighters and officers and we are very excited to be welcoming it into our service.

“We want to provide our staff with the best available equipment to be able to carry out their work and these new vehicles will give us a much more dynamic emergency response fleet. Not only this, but these vehicles cost the service less to buy and run, making the money of the people we serve go further.”

The fire engine will be initially attending emergency calls in Sheffield and Doncaster, where it will spend three months at each station. After this six month period, the service will collate any feedback from firefighters to make any required improvements before placing an order for several more.


House fires drop in South Yorkshire amid small arsons rise

House fires and false alarms dropped in South Yorkshire last year, a report to the fire service’s governing Fire Authority will say.

There were 72 fewer property fires, 59 less accidental house fires and 92 less automated fire alarms in 2018/19 compared to the previous year.

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue also carried out more than 12,000 home safety checks, whereby fire service staff visit a person’s home to offer safety advice and fit smoke alarms where needed.

But there was a slight increase in fire deaths and serious injuries. With many of those dying aged over 60, the service recently launched its ‘Find The Time’ campaign which calls on those with older relatives or neighbours to take some simple steps to keep their loved ones safe.

There was also a big spike in small deliberate fires, like grass and rubbish fires, following one of the hottest summers in years. It’s prompted the service to ramp up its community work ahead of the warmer weather, including the delivery of a new joint anti-social behaviour schools education package alongside South Yorkshire Police.

Area Manager Steve Helps, said: “We’re pleased that our work to make people safer has contributed to a big drop in house fires. Much of it is down to the targeted approach of our firefighters and community safety teams in prioritising their work at those most at risk of fire.

“But we know there’s more to do, which is why we continue to call on partners to help us to help some of the most vulnerable people in our communities, by becoming one of our referral partners.”

The figures are included in the service’s annual corporate performance report, which will be presented to the Fire Authority at its meeting on 24 June


Police and fire launch initiative to tackle anti-social behaviour

Efforts to curb anti-social behaviour in South Yorkshire will be boosted by the launch of a new schools education package to be jointly delivered by the police and fire services.

The ‘Equinox’ package has been developed by South Yorkshire Police and South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue’s joint community safety department and aims to provide young people with key safety messages relating to anti-social behaviour during the light night period.

Four new neighbourhood fire community safety officers will be delivering the package, which lasts around 30 minutes and is free of charge, to year 9 pupils across the county.

The presentation covers a range of unacceptable anti-social behaviour activities which may cause harm to an individual, the community or the environment and students will be informed of the potential consequences of such behaviour. This includes; arson, hoax calls, off road motor-biking and vandalism.

Head of the joint community safety department, Steve Helps said: “Engaging with young people in this way is one of the best ways of building lasting, positive relationships which have long term benefits for the communities we serve.”

“Anti-social behaviour can put a big strain on local communities, so having packages like this available to schools will help to educate and inspire young people to make the correct life choices.”

The package will be offered to schools around South Yorkshire during the spring term as part of Operation Equinox, a joint police and fire initiative which aims to reduce anti-social behaviour during the spring and summer months.

Any schools requiring further information about the “Equinox” package or to book a session, please contact one of the team’s neighbourhood fire community safety officers;

Charlie Fox- 07717513071

Helen Woodacre -07771972600

John Lamming- 07776225782

Joe McCreesh- 07741195041

The joint community safety department brings together staff from South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue and South Yorkshire Police to work together with the shared aim of keeping people safe. High profile activities the teams currently undertake include home safety checks, crime prevention visits and youth engagement activities such as the award-winning Princes Trust Team Programme, which has helped to transform the lives of more than 250 young people in two years.

The team also operates the Lifewise Centre which is an interactive safety centre in Hellaby, Rotherham. It opened in 2011 to deliver education packages to more than 20,000 local people every year, including nearly every Year 6 pupil in South Yorkshire.

The Policing & Crime Act 2017 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.


Launch of new Neighbourhood Fire Community Safety Officers

Earlier this month four new Neighbourhood Fire Community Safety Officers joined the Joint Community Safety Department to work collaboratively with partners and assist in delivering fire safety and crime prevention advice to our local communities.

The Neighbourhood Fire Community Safety Officers (NFCSO), who will work jointly across South Yorkshire Police and South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue, as part of the collaboration programme between the organisations, will spend time co-located in the neighbourhood hubs, addressing local issues and reducing demand.

The new roles, funded by the Fire Authority’s Stronger and Safer Community Reserves (SSCR), will see the officers working with our local authority partners over the next three years to enhance and embed the work of the Community Safety Department through early intervention and effective problem solving approaches.

The specifics of this work will include identifying opportunities to work directly with members of the community to highlight the dangers of fires, provide support to vulnerable members of the community and raising awareness of the different services provided by the Joint Community Safety Department.

The officers will also work closely with representatives from Barnsley, Doncaster, Sheffield and Rotherham Councils, partner agencies, local community groups, and colleagues in emergency response roles, to embed multi-agency working, improve the services provided to our communities and reduce anti-social behaviour across South Yorkshire.

Head of the Joint Community Safety Department, Steve Helps, comments on the introduction of the new roles, “Our NFCSOs will be instrumental in providing support to vulnerable members of our local communities and in offering our services to those individuals we consider to be most at need.

“These officers will help us to do even more to reduce demand and better protect the communities we serve, allowing us to become even more targeted in what we do and the people we engage with.”

Matt Gillatt, Community Safety Department station manager, has also commented on the positive impact the new roles will have, “By working directly in the neighbourhood hubs, the new officers with be able to work in partnership with police and fire colleagues to target intervention activities in areas with high levels of reported anti-social behaviour and raise awareness of the dangers of arson.

“It will also allow them to work more closely with local councillors to provide assistance to vulnerable members of our communities and create closer links between fire crews and neighbourhood police officers, in order to improve the services we provide.”

This work forms part of the wider successful collaborative programme between South Yorkshire Police and South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue, which launched in early 2017 to build on existing activities undertaken in collaboration between both organisations. The work within the programme has already led to the creation of a Joint Police and Fire Station in Maltby, Rotherham, the development of a Joint Community Safety Department and the appointment of a Head of Joint Estates and Facilities Management.


Firefighters tackle sign language training

A number of firefighters in South Yorkshire are now able to deliver vital safety advice to hard of hearing and deaf people thanks to students and tutors at Communication Specialist College Doncaster.

Crews in Doncaster have been learning basic British Sign Language (BSL) in order to improve their communication skills when attending incidents in their local communities.

Tutors tailored the sessions specifically to the needs of the fire service to include words and phrases that would be needed in the event of a fire.

To put their new skills to the test, crews also took part in a realistic fire exercise based in the residential facilities at the college. Students played a part in the scenario which saw firefighters having to communicate using BSL in order to direct students safely of out the building.

Station Manager Thomas Hirst said: “It can sometimes be harder for firefighters to communicate with people who are deaf or hard of hearing, particularly when in an emergency situation. Being able to communicate safety messages in a quick and concise manner when the time arises is vital, so learning some basic sign language skills in this way will be of huge benefit to crews.”

Fire Community Safety Officers have been visiting pupils at the college to deliver fire safety training sessions on what to do in the event of a fire and how to prevent one from occurring.

Stacey Betts, assistant principal at Communication Specialist College Doncaster, said: “We are really pleased to be working closely with the fire service and believe that this will be hugely beneficial to our students.

“We’ve helped to provide Deaf Awareness training to the team and they are helping our students become more aware of fire safety. This is a great example of how partnership working can benefit organisations.”

Fire safety information in British Sign Language can be accessed on South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue’s website here


Firefighter provides fire safety education on trip to South Sudan

A firefighter from South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue has just returned back to the UK after spending two weeks improving fire safety in migrant camps in South Sudan.

Clare Holmes, a watch manager on Rotherham blue watch, was part of a team of six volunteers who were approached by the ‘Women in the Fire Service’ network to visit the camp, after a request they’d received from an aid charity.

During the two week trip, the team provided ‘train the trainer’ courses for United Nations (UN) camp staff which included community fire safety advice and burn and scald prevention information. Clare and the team also carried out a fire safety assessment of the camp, which is occupied by roughly 120,000 people.

Many camps in South Sudan can hold thousands of people living in makeshift accommodation in close proximity to one another, with schools, hospitals and markets all adding to the risk of fire.  As well as this, all cooking takes place on open fires and fire service response is limited.

Clare said: “The greatest risk in camps like the one we visited in South Sudan is during the dry season which runs from November to March, so it was important to put into place fire safety measures as soon as possible.

“The community were very receptive to our visit and found the training and advice very beneficial. The site staff that we trained will now be able to pass on fire safety guidance to thousands of people living in the camps and hopefully reduce the risk of a fire starting.

“I hope that our work can make the lives of the people we visited safer for years to come.”

The trip to South Sudan was supported by Fire Aid, a charity which provides donations of fire and rescue equipment and training to those in need of such assistance.

The charity recently visited South Sudan in March 2018 and identified a number of substantial fire risks including a lack of awareness of fire safety. It was from this that Women in the Fire Service were asked to request if any of their members could volunteer for a second visit to the country.

It is hoped there will be a follow up visit in 2019.


Fire crews carry out hazardous material training exercise

South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue crews from the Barnsley District recently carried out an operational exercise at the Elsecar Heritage Centre in Elsecar.

The exercise was created to test the skills of crews when responding to an incident in which an unknown hazardous material is involved. Elsecar Heritage centre staff played a key role on the day by undertaking role play, allowing crews to deal with real-life casualties.

Delroy Galloway, station manager at Tankersley fire station, said: “Realistic training of this type allows crews to take part in training scenarios that prepare us for actual incidents in the future. This exercise was designed to improve operational effectiveness, firefighter safety and public safety and at times of heightened security.

“This training formed part of an ongoing aim to continually improve major emergency response procedures and i would like to thank everyone who took part.”

This is the second exercise South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue has undertaken at the site and other scenarios are being planned to allow crews to train in a realistic environment alongside personnel at the railway site.

Elsecar Heritage Railway runs steam hauled trains and diesel locomotives for members of the public on a regular basis.