South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue

South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue
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Firefighter calls on others to support 40 mile high peak charity trek

A South Yorkshire firefighter is taking on a 40 mile charity hike in memory of a footballer friend who died by suicide four years ago.

Paul Wood, a Station Manager at South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue, will join others on the High Peak 40 Mile Challenge in September to mark what would have been friend Stuart Lumbert’s 40th birthday.

Paul hopes to inspire others to take on the mammoth walking challenge, which will raise money for Blythe House Hospice and Help For Heroes.

Paul said: “I was born in Sheffield, but moved to Buxton in 1994. When I first came to Buxton I played football with Stuart and his brother Andrew for a local football team in the Hope Valley League.

“Stuart would have been 40 this year and his brother, Andrew Lumbert, has got a group of friends and family together to complete the High Peak 40 Mile Challenge. The challenge itself had been going for a number of years but stopped after the 2016 event and has not gone ahead since then.

“Someone has taken over the organising of the event and it is happening again this year. I know mental health is a big issue – both for firefighters and the wider community- and something that many people are affected by directly and indirectly. We hope to raise awareness of this through our fundraising efforts, whilst raising lots of money for two really important causes at the same time.”

For more information about the event on Saturday 14 September visit highpeak40.co.uk or to sponsor Paul and his friends, visit their fundraising page here

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Caption: Paul Wood (left) in training with Andrew Lumbert, Stuart’s brother

Sheffield landlord sentenced after violating fire safety laws

A Sheffield man has been sentenced to six months in prison- suspended for 18 months- and 250 hours community service after admitting to violating fire safety laws.

Mr Zahir Ahmed, of Bannerdale Road, Sheffield appeared at Sheffield Crown Court on the 6 June 2024, having pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing on 9 May 2024 at Sheffield Magistrates Court to six charges of failing to comply with articles under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

Eleven people were trapped inside the building on Brookhill Road, Sheffield when fire broke at around 3.25am on 25 February 2022.

Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus located the people, staying with them until the blaze was extinguished and the property could be ventilated.

The single stair case in the property also collapsed during the incident, causing a firefighter to fall through the stairs.

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Business Fire Safety Inspecting Officers found no fire alarm or emergency lighting, poor standard of fire doors and no stair case ventilation, following a post-incident investigation.

His Honour Judge Robinson concluded there must be a custodial given the seriousness of the offences, the fact they relate to two premises, to multiple breaches of the regulations and that there was a real risk of serious harm to people.

Mr Ahmed was sentenced to six months in prison on each of the offences to run concurrently. This sentence is suspended for 18 months. He will be required to complete 250 hours of unpaid work for the benefit of the community. He is ordered to pay £10,000 of prosecution costs at £1000 per month.

Handing down the sentence, His Honour Judge Robinson, said: “Mr Ahmed was wilfully not caring about the safety of individuals. There had been a dreadful fire, which resulted in a firefighter falling through the stairs. It could have been catastrophic and was in my view, a near fatal fire.”

Deputy Chief Fire Officer Andy Strelczenie, said: “Landlords and other responsible persons are responsible for preventing fires in the first instance. Should a fire then occur in a building they are responsible for, other protection measures become absolutely critical.

This fire could have had a catastrophic outcome had it not been for the highly skilled professionalism of our firefighters. Due to the lack of fire safety systems and management within this premises, it was extremely fortuitous in this instance that people did not die.”

“This sentence is a reminder to all responsible persons that we can and will prosecute people when they fail to adhere to the laws which are there to keep people safe.”

In flats of this type, a suitable fire risk assessment is expected to have been carried out which would identify the necessary fire safety measures such as fire alarms, emergency lighting, evacuation strategy and appropriate protected escape routes, which should be managed by a responsible person. SYFR works closely with businesses and landlords to ensure they comply with fire safety regulations and inspectors are available to offer practical advice and assistance in this area.

For more information on the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 and keeping premises safe from fire visit the Business Safety section of the fire service website www.syfire.gov.uk

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.

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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.”

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

  • Lowedges Station (Lowedges Road Sheffield South Yorkshire S8 7JN) – Saturday 13 July 2024, 11am – 3pm
  • Parkway Station (Reynolds Road, Sheffield, S9 4EP) – Saturday 20 July 2024, 11am – 4pm (Very Limited parking available)
  • Central Station (Eyre Street, Sheffield, S1 3FG) – Sunday 28 July 2024, 11am – 4pm
  • Lifewise Centre (Kea Park Close, Hellaby Industrial Estate, Rotherham, S66 8LB)  – Thursday 1 August 2024. The Lifewise Centre will be opening its doors to the public, along with all the usual attractions there will also be vehicles and safety info from SY Police and YAS. Please note, there is no on-site parking, (due to its location), so please consider public transport or ‘park & walk’.
  • Adwick Station (Quarry Lane, Woodlands, Doncaster, DN6 7RT) – Sunday 4 August 2024, 10am – 3pm

Car Washes

  • Aston Station (Worksop Road, Aston, Rotherham, S26 2FZ) – Saturday 17 August 2024 (times to be confirmed)

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

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 film launches year of 50th celebrations

The county’s fire service has announced plans to mark its 50th anniversary, after publishing a poem and a video celebrating South Yorkshire’s culture and heritage.

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue has released ‘South Yorkshire, our love’ in recognition of its five decades serving its communities.

Watch the video here

The poem is voiced by Sheffield’s Lioness and world cup finalist Esme Morgan, with the music track performed by the South Yorkshire Police band- with the police also marking their 50th anniversary in 2024.

Chief Fire Officer Chris Kirby, said: “Everyone at South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue is incredibly proud of our county’s heritage, culture and its people. Everyone who joins us does so because they hold a burning desire to help others. We feel honoured to have been doing that for almost 50 years now.”

“We’ve got lots of plans to celebrate our half century throughout 2024- from open days and fundraisers, to staff celebrations and a few surprises along the way. We’re really excited to involve local people in our plans as the year goes on.”

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.

For more information and updates about the service’s 50th celebrations visit www.syfire.gov.uk, or find South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue on WhatsApp Channels.

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