South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue

South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue
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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.

Prince’s Trust help YMCA allotments blossom

A group of young people have renovated the YMCA allotments in Barnsley as part of their Prince’s Trust course.

The current cohort of young chose the YMCA Barnsley community allotments as their community project which they completed as part of the Prince’s Trust Team Programme.

The group worked hard in all weather conditions to clear paths, repair growing beds and refurbish a seating area before handing the allotments back to the YMCA at a special ceremony on Friday 27 October, an event which was also attended by the Chief Fire Officer.

Andrea Battye, YMCA Barnsley Youth Work Manager said: “We are very grateful and greatly appreciate the work of the young people from the Prince’s Trust who have shown impressive resilience and commitment in the midst of often very poor weather.

“They have achieved an impressive amount in a short period. The feel of the space and accessibility are much improved and will make a huge difference to our own young people and the other community groups that use this fabulous space.

“We also wish to thank everyone who donated to the appeal and supported the project and also South Yorkshire Fire Service who supported the young people in their work.”

Rebecca Dore, Prince’s Trust Team Leader Assistant said: “We are very proud of our young people and all they accomplished whilst working on YMCA allotments.

“From getting muddy and drenched in the rain to weeding and adding wood chippings, bricklaying, putting up solar lights and handing over the keys to YMCA – they have enjoyed every minute.

“We are huge advocates for young people’s mental health, so we were excited to work with YMCA who are renowned for their support of youth engagement and mental health.

“We would like to thank the YMCA for giving the young people the creative freedom, opportunity and space to learn new skills, to learn about the environment and have fun.

“I’d also like to thank The Range for their generous donations and Wickes for their discount. These companies have played a huge part in making the project possible for the young people and have made amazing contributions to the community.

“We also want to say a big thank you to Greggs and Dominos for donating food for the young people whilst they were working hard in the pouring rain.”

The Team programme is a 12 week development course that gives young people a chance to learn vital life skills and earn qualifications to help them into work.

The course, delivered by South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue in partnership with the Prince’s Trust and Barnsley College, runs from a new purpose-built Team Room at Barnsley Fire Station.

As well as the community project, the young people also complete a residential in the Peak District and work placements throughout the 12 weeks before a final presentation in Barnsley Town Hall in front of friends and family.

The next course is set to run in January and you can register your interest now!

Just email princestrust@syfire.gov.uk to find out more.

Calling all young artists! Show us your scary in poster design competition

South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue is calling out to all young artists to design a spooky or scary poster about being fire safe in the kitchen.

The competition is the first part of our “Kitchen Nightmares” campaign that will be running throughout the autumn. Children aged between 6-12 are invited to take part.

Our advice to help you avoid a kitchen nightmare is:

  • Keep electrical leads, cardboard and fabrics well away from the hob and keep ovens, hobs and grills clean from grease and crumbs
  • Keep an eye on cooking at all times and never leave it unattended
  • Switch off cooking appliances when you’ve finished cooking and gone to bed

Drop off your work at our Command Headquarters in Sheffield or you can post them to us!

Please ensure you have written your name, the name of your parent or guardian and their best contact number on the back of the submission. This is so we can get in touch with the winner and arrange for you to collect your prize.

Artwork can be accepted on paper, canvas or thin card and should be unframed. If you want to mount your work (card surround/frame) this will be accepted.

Looking for inspiration? Here’s our safety advice to help get you thinking

FAQs

What work can I submit?

  • Your work can be mixed media, drawing, painting
  • You might have created this work on your own or together at school or with friends.
  • Artwork can be accepted on paper, canvas or thin card and should be unframed. If you want to mount your work (card surround/frame) this will be accepted.
  • Maximum size A2.
  • One artwork per person.
  • Collaborative pieces from school/community groups are welcome.

How do I enter my artwork?

Enter by Wednesday October 25 by dropping off your entry at the reception at our CHQ building or post your artwork to: Corporate Communications, South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue, 197 Eyre Street, Sheffield S1 3FG

Please ensure you have written your name, the name of your parent or guardian and their best contact number on the back of the submission. This is so we can get in touch with the winner and arrange for you to collect your prize.

You could wrap your entry in bubble wrap, put it in an envelope and place it between two bits of card.

Whatever you decide ensure it protects your work.

If submitting a collaborative piece please remember to list of all the artists’ names so we can display them correctly.

What happens next?

All entries will be exhibited in the Winter Gardens between Friday 27 October and Thursday 2 November and the winner will receive a Lego Fire Station set.

Come down and see your artwork, bring your friends and family. The Winter Garden is open 8am-8pm (10-5pm Sundays).

How do I get my artwork back?

  • Return in a stamped self-addressed envelope I have included (I have included a stamp that covers the weight of the artwork).
  • Collect from our Command Headquarters building, 197 Eyre Street, Sheffield between Friday 3 November and Friday 10 November 8.30am – 4pm.

Please note: any work not collected by 4pm on Friday 10 November will be recycled.

Contact Us

Contact press@syfire.gov.uk if you have any questions or queries about the competition.

Life changing opportunity for young people in South Yorkshire

Young people across South Yorkshire are being given the opportunity to change their lives thanks to the county’s police and fire services.

South Yorkshire Police and South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue will once again be teaming up to deliver the ‘life-changing’ Prince’s Trust Team Programme course later this month (September 2023) and will also run in January and March next year.

This is a course for people who are between 16 and 25-years-old and not currently in work or full-time education.

Lasting 12 weeks in total, the programme gives young people the chance to meet new friends, gain personal confidence and develop a wide range of life-skills.

Importantly, it involves work placements that give the youngsters valuable experience and contacts – with lots of previous participants landing meaningful work afterwards.

Rhian Oxley,  currently team leader for the South Yorkshire Prince’s Trust Programme, said: “Over the years these courses have changed hundreds of young lives. There is so much to gain from it in terms of news skills, new friends and vital work experience.

“On top of all that – it’s a lot of fun!”

The Team Programme is full-time, 9:30am – 3:30pm, Monday – Friday at Barnsley Fire Station, and is completely free and will not affect any benefits.

Feel inspired? You can register your interest here

South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue urge businesses to make fire safety a priority

South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue will be offering small and medium sized businesses a range of advice during the National Fire Chiefs Council’s (NFCC’s) Business Safety Week, which runs from 11th – 17th September.

The week aims to help businesses understand their fire safety responsibilities so they remain safe, legal, and compliant. Many fires in the workplace are preventable and some businesses never recover after a fire. Helping businesses to manage their fire risks and hazards, and potentially to save lives and safeguard their businesses against financial and commercial loss is of key importance.

Simple measures to reduce risks of a fire starting and ensuring staff know how to respond in the right way can help to keep people safe and makes business sense. At this time of year many businesses will be preparing for the Christmas period and may also be impacted by the cost of living crisis. It’s important that businesses consider the risk of fire in any changes they make and ensure all staff are aware of fire safety in the workplace.

From 1st October new fire safety legislation comes into effect in England and Wales. This will mean that many businesses and building owners need to check if and how this affects them to ensure they are complying with the regulations. The main changes are:

  • All businesses will need to record a fire risk assessment and fire safety arrangements in full – regardless of the number of employees, and size or type of business.
  • There are increased requirements for cooperation and coordination between Responsible Persons in multi occupied buildings or those where the occupier and owner are not the same person.
  • In residential buildings with two or more domestic premises residents must be provided with information on the risks from fire and the fire safety measures provided to keep them safe.

The campaign week will highlight these changes and highlight the advice that name of FRS can provide to ensure they remain complaint with the law.

There’s plenty of advice and support for businesses from South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service so we encourage anyone that has questions or may not be sure about fire safety to contact us so we can help.

Gavin Tomlinson, NFCC’s Protection and Business Safety Committee Chair, said: “Fire and rescue services are committed to helping all types of businesses reduce the risk of fire in the workplace and be compliant with fire safety law. We don’t expect businesses to be experts that’s’ why we are here to provide help and advice. We encourage any business to work with their fire service to help prevent fires to help them remain productive, safe and legal.”

Four new fire engines for South Yorkshire’s firefighters in first part of big investment

Four new fire engines are responding to emergencies in South Yorkshire for the first time, in the first stage of a multi-million pound investment by the county’s fire and rescue service.

The £280,000 vehicles are greener, cleaner and more reliable than South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue’s existing fire engine fleet, which is nearing the end of its operational life.

The first four fire engines are to be based at Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Central (Sheffield) fire stations- with a further 24 fire vehicles on course to arrive over the next five years.

Deputy Chief Fire Officer Tony Carlin, said: “The new vehicles represent the very latest best practice for the fire and rescue sector nationally- demonstrating our commitment to providing South Yorkshire’s firefighters with the best equipment possible.

“Cleaner engines and better fuel efficiency support our sustainability objectives, whilst wipe down cabs illustrate how seriously we take the issue of fire contaminants potentially affecting our frontline crews.

“Importantly, we will be keeping hold of some of our older vehicles as spares, as these new fire engines come into services. This will increase the resilience of our 999 response, should we face periods of exceptional demand- as we did during the heatwave last July.”

The new fire engines have been built by Yorkshire-based Angloco, with an all-aluminium body, Scania chassis and 320 horsepower engines.

They are fitted with Euro emission standard engines and are more fuel efficient than the existing fleet- thereby reducing their environmental impact.

The cabs are wipe clean- reducing the risk of toxic contaminants to firefighters.

Godiva pumps draw water from hydrants and vehicles are fitted with 22mm hose reels with selectable flow branches- allowing firefighters to get more than 230 litres of water per minute onto a fire.

New battery powered cutting gear is carried on each appliance- with the equipment more powerful and faster to use.

The delivery of the fire engines was delayed by a few months because of global supply chain issues affecting the vehicle manufacturing sector, but the remaining vehicles will now be delivered in batches of four in the coming months and years.

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue has a fleet of 27 full-sized, frontline fire engines, spread across its 21 fire stations.

SYFR swimmers smash fundraising target

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue is celebrating after raising more than £1,400 from the Big SYFR Swim – smashing the £1,000 target.

Staff from across the organisation swam the equivalent of the perimeter of South Yorkshire (170 miles) to raise money for two incredible causes – The Fire Fighters Charity and The Royal Life Saving Society.

From frontline firefighters to corporate staff, each pledged to swim anything from 100 metres to several miles to support the challenge which ran from 22-29 May.

So far more than £1,400 has been raised but the final figure is expected to be over £1,700 once gift aid donations have been confirmed.

Chief Fire Officer Chris Kirby said: “Well done to everyone who took part in this swimming event and raised so much money for these two fantastic charities.

“Every life lost is one too many. That’s why we decided to support the Royal Life Saving Society and the work they do in helping people learn how to swim and enjoy the water safely.

The Royal Life Saving Society UK has a proud history of helping to reducing the number of lives lost to drowning.

Their mission is to be the leader in lifesaving and lifeguarding in the UK and Republic of Ireland, aiming to give everyone the potential to save lives and enjoy water, safely.

“I’m delighted that we are also supporting the Fire Fighters Charity who do such amazing work for firefighters and their families across the UK.”

The Fire Fighters Charity offers specialist, lifelong support for members of the UK fire services community, empowering individuals to live happier and healthier lives.

The charity supports serving fire service personnel and their families as well as those who are retired and provides them with information, advice and support whenever they need it.

Visit our website for more information about how to enjoy water, safely.

Men’s mental health group prepares for Yorkshire Three Peaks challenge

Firefighters from across the country are joining SYFR’s weekly mental health walking group, Walk and Talk 999, in walking the Yorkshire Three Peaks.

The Walk Leaders, Jim Bright, Matt Winslow and Nick Abbott, will be leading the trek on Saturday 10 September in support of World Suicide Prevention Day and to raise money for The Firefighters Charity and Calm Suicide Awareness Charity.

They will be supported by firefighters from the London Fire Brigade and Norwich.

Walk Leader and Group Manager Nick Abbott said: “We’re all very much looking forward to tackling this challenge and for such an important cause.

“We’re incredibly proud of this little community we have built together. We support each other on the good and the bad days and offer a place for men to offload, laugh, cry, joke and rant. We’ll need to be there for each other as we tackle this epic walking challenge!”

Kirsty Thorley, Health and Wellbeing Manager at SYFR said: “We know that across the country, men are struggling with their mental health. Statistics show us that males are 3 times more likely to die from suicide than females and that is why we whole heartedly support the Walk and Talk 999 initiative. It not only helps raise awareness of men’s mental health and boost the wellbeing of our staff but the walks also provide a safe space where people can be supported without judgement, whilst promoting physical activity and taking advantage of fresh air and a change of scenery.

Alex Bowers, Community Fundraiser for The Fire Fighters Charity said: “The Fire Fighters Charity offers specialist, lifelong support for members of the UK fire services community, empowering individuals to achieve mental, physical and social wellbeing throughout their lives.

“We couldn’t do this without the support of individuals, businesses and groups like Walk and Talk 999 taking on challenges and fundraising for us.  If you would like to support The Fire Fighters Charity please visit our website for more information.”

SYFR’s Walk and Talk 999 group is the latest which has been set up after a firefighter from London Fire Brigade, Dean Corney, set up a weekly men’s mental health walking group for firefighters, which helps them to talk about whatever may be troubling them.

Each session starts with a simple check-in circle where people share how they’re feeling on a scale of one to ten. They also share something positive that’s going on in their lives. Everything people say at the session is strictly confidential – and the group are asked not to interrupt or challenge when someone’s speaking.

The Walk and Talk 999 model has been endorsed by the likes of TV’s Dr Rangan Chatterjee and Dr Alex George and has been highlighted as a case study by the mental health charity Mind.

The walks are held every Tuesday at 10am at Graves Park, Sheffield and are open to all male Fire and Rescue and emergency services colleagues (both current and retired).

There is no need to book, just turn up to the meeting point at the Pavilion car park.

SYFR celebrate double win at Cutlers Awards

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue staff members are celebrating a double award win at the Cutlers’ Company Police and Fire Service annual awards in recognition of their exemplary service.

The Service’s Sprinkler Advocate, Roger Branson (pictured above), received the Individual Award in recognition for his expertise, dedication and relentless championing of sprinklers which has had a monumental impact in his service, community and sector.

His leading role in the retrofitting of sprinklers in a high-rise block of flats at Callow Mount in Sheffield 12 years ago is now hailed around the world as proof of the relatively low costs of installing sprinklers in tower blocks.

He has since overseen nearly £2 million of grant funding in South Yorkshire to install sprinklers in high-risk homes.

The Building Risk Review team received the Team Award for their incredible work carried out following the Grenfell Tower Inquiry.

The project required all high rise residential buildings within scope to be inspected and a specific data set be returned to the National Fire Chief’s Council no later than by the end of 2021.

In August 2020, South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue’s Business Fire Safety Department established a specific team of officers to set up a project group to deal with this task.

This project has generated a huge amount of work for the team – more than 200 buildings were inspected and 520 jobs issued to inspectors.

It was a full team effort, with some of the work issued out to officers within the Business Fire Safety (BFS) department and operational staff on modified duties.

Thanks to the efforts the project was completed well within the required timescale.

The awards were hosted by the Master Cutler, Mr James Tear, and Mistress Cutler, Mrs Jo Tear on Monday 18 July.