South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue

South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue
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Fire engine blocked by parked cars

Firefighters are pleading with drivers not to block access to narrow streets by parking on both sides of the road after a fire engine was left unable to reach an emergency.

Fire crews were called out to Roebuck Road in Sheffield during the evening of Saturday 28 January to reports of a laundry fire at a nursing home.

The crew from Rivelin station however was unable to reach the incident due to parked cars blocking their way.

Instead, a fire engine from Central station had to attend via another route, but lost valuable minutes in reaching the incident.  Luckily no one was injured in the fire.

We are urging residents to think about their parking as they could be putting the lives of their families, friends and neighbours at risk.

Area Manager Tony Carlin, Head of Emergency Response said; “Bad parking is a real problem for firefighters. Fire engines require a gap of almost 3 meters to get through. We appreciate that people like to park as close to their property as possible, but please think could a fire engine or other emergency vehicle get through the gap.  With every second counting when attending a fire or road crash it is vital that they can get down streets quickly and safely.”

Celebrate safely this Chinese New Year

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue wises everyone taking part in Chinese New Year festivities a happy and safe celebration.

Chinese New Year (28 January 2017) is the most important celebration in the Chinese calendar.  For many it’s a time to celebrate the end of an old year and the beginning of a new one.

With more people at home – cooking while entertaining or relaxing with family or friends, the risk of fire increases.  People are more likely to be distracted during this time of year and therefore more vulnerable to fire.

Safety tips:

  • Most fires start in the kitchen – never leave cooking unattended. When cooking deep-fried food, never fill the pan more than one-third full of oil. Never throw water over the pan.
  • Keep candles out of reach of children and animals – children should be supervised at all times near flames. Keep flames from candles at a safe distance from curtains, furniture and decorations.
  • Treat fireworks with caution – only buy fireworks marked with British Safety Standard 7114 and always read the instructions.
  • We would encourage you not to use flying lanterns -but if you do use them, please always read the manufacturers instructions before use.
  • Avoid overloading electrical sockets – try to remember, one plug – one socket. If you must have more plugs connected always use a fused adaptor.

Victor-y for polar bear helped by firefighters

A health check-up for the country’s oldest and most popular polar bear has been carried out with military precision.

Victor, a visitors’ favourite at the award-winning Yorkshire Wildlife Park, was in the care of a 30-strong team for a procedure that took more than a month to plan.

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue helped lift the 18-year-old, who weighs in at 530kg, into position for a team of specialist vets and dentists to conduct a battery of tests during the appointment.

Victor was anaesthetised for two hours but was back on his feet within half an hour in a successful operation to ensure he was in tip-top condition.

“At YWP we have very high animal welfare standards. We could see that one of Victor’s canine teeth looked a slightly different colour to the rest of his teeth so we wanted to investigate and it was an opportunity to give him a full MOT.  To bring all the specialists together took a month to plan. We are delighted that it all went very well, thanks to the efforts of a dedicated team,” said Simon Marsh, Animals Collections Manager at the park, at Branton, near Doncaster.

“Victor was very relaxed and was quickly back to his old self after the two-hour procedure.”

“He has made a full recovery from the experience and initial findings are that he is very well for an 18-year-old bear. We are waiting on the test results from the samples we took from him but we are all happy that Victor is a happy and healthy polar bear.”

The operation began a month ago with the YWP Animal Team, Portland House Veterinary Group (based in Retford), IZVG (International Zoo Veterinary Group based in Keighley) and Zoodent, a specialist animal dentist (based in London) , drawing up a strategy for the first time a polar bear had been anaesthetized at the 100-acre park.

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue whose firefighters are trained in using specialist animal rescue equipment was called in for extensive planning on how to move Victor for the vet team to carry out their checks.

The day started at 8.30 am with the veterinary team setting up their kit and the fire service assembling lifting gear.

“Timing was critical as we only had a small window to get Victor moved and in position to allow the vets to get him connected to the anaesthetic machine,” added Mr Marsh.

“Also with over 30 people involved and working in the relatively small area of Victor’s den, we had to make sure people move in and out at the precise time they were needed.”

Kim Wilkins, YWP’s Carnivore Team Leader and Andrew Greenwood, from IZVG, administered the anaesthetic injection to Victor who had been gradually familiarised with the technique so he was relaxed.

“For Victor to be relaxed and trusting enough for us to inject him took months of animal training. Veterinary procedures are out of the ordinary for animals and by keeping Victor calm, it made it safer for him whilst under the anaesthetic” said Ms Wilkins.

Park rangers and the fire service team placed Victor onto a cargo net and lifted him into place.

Specialist dentist Peter Kertesz, of Zoodent, and the veterinary team carried out extensive tests that were completed in under two hours.

“Although we had prepared as much as we could we had no idea how it would go, and if it was even going to be possible, but with excellent team work we quickly and smoothly managed to move Victor,” said Mr Marsh.

“Once he was in positon, the Fire Service moved out and the dentist and vets moved back in to carry out a comprehensive health check, looking at his 42 teeth, joints, feet and claws. We took x-rays, blood samples and swabs for a battery of tests to make sure Victor is in tip top condition.”

“As soon as the vets and dentist had finished their procedures, the Fire Service moved back in and helped the Rangers move Victor back and we could start his recovery. He was back on his feet within half an hour. He was under the anaesthetic for no more than 2 hours and the whole event from start to finish lasted 5 hours”.

“It was handled very professionally and efficiently and YWP is thankful for the expertise and care of the team and would particularly thank South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue for their help.”

Fire Station Manager, Dave Scully said: “This was certainly an unprecedented request for South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue.

“Whilst we wouldn’t routinely use our services in this way, we recognised Yorkshire Wildlife Park’s need for support during this complex operation due to the size of the animal. It meant Victor was able to receive the necessary medical treatment whilst allowing our crews the opportunity to test their skills using specialist animal rescue equipment. A happy ending for all involved!”

The team:

5 Vets
1 Vet Nurse
1 Zoo Dentist
1 Zoo Dental Nurse
11 Firefighters
11 YWP Rangers and Staff

Victor is now happily back out in Project Polar at the Park with the other polar bears, Pixel, Nissan and Nobby.


Recruiting now for life changing Prince’s Trust course

Fire and police in South Yorkshire are teaming up to deliver two Princes Trust courses to be jointly run by both 999 services.

The two emergency services are calling on young people to sign up for the Princes Trust Team Programme, with the two courses running in January and February 2017.

Team Programme is a 12 week personal development course for unemployed 16 to 25 year olds, offering work experience, qualifications, practical skills, community projects and a residential week.

Individuals will gain new skills and qualifications, mix with new people and make new friends, get help with job-hunting and CV writing and most importantly a big boost to their confidence and a real sense of achievement.

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Team Leader John Daley said; “We are really excited by the prospect of the joint course and what we will be able to deliver to the young people taking part. The course will include team building exercises, work placements, CV writing and loads more, which will give them a real sense of purpose and achievement.”

South Yorkshire Police Deputy Team Leader Paul Hamshaw said; “This is a fantastic opportunity for young people who are out of education or employment to come and learn new skills, meet new friends, take part in an action packed residential trip and gain work experience, all completely free.

“This is a unique programme, during which you can gain an insight into the police and fire services. If you’re not completely sure if this is for you, give us a call and we can talk to you about what is expected – you won’t be disappointed with the programme.”

Devon Hazeldine, member of a previous SYFR Team Programme  and now working  as a volunteer and mentor on the Prince’s Trust Programme said; “This course has enabled me to build my confidence and gain new experiences. I have really enjoyed my time and would say to anybody who wants to learn about themselves, their community and get ahead in life the Prince’s Trust Team programme is worth getting on.”

To be part of the Team Programme or for further details contact Rhian Oxley on 07919 565122 or

Charity car wash & open day at Central fire station

Central fire station in Sheffield will be throwing open its doors for a family open day on Saturday 26 November.

There will be a range of activities and demonstrations planned throughout the day, including:

  • Charity car wash
  • Chip pan demonstration
  • Road traffic collision demonstration
  • Tours of the fire station and fire engines

And much much more

The event will be open from 10am at Central Fire Station, Eyre Street, Sheffield, S1 3FG

Please come along and join us on the day.

Watch Manager Dave Newton said, “The fire station is a large part of the community so we are inviting people to come along and find out a little more about how things work here at the station. There will be plenty of activities for all the family to enjoy a really good day out. Our firefighters will be holding a charity car wash on the day, so why not bring your car along for a quick spruce up.”

Award win for Fire Service Prince’s Trust Team Programme

Eleven young people on a fire service team programme have won a regional award for their community project.

The young people were winners in the Community Impact category at the Yorkshire & Humber Prince’s Trust Celebrate Success Awards 2016 and are now hoping to be shortlisted for the national awards in Spring 2017.

The team were part of the Prince’s Trust Team Programme run by South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue.  A 12 week personal development course for unemployed 16 – 25 year olds, offering work experience, qualifications, practical skills, community projects and a residential week.

The community project which helped win them the award involved cleaning up and painting three unloved bridges in the Goldthorpe area with the support of the local people behind them.

SYFR Team Leader Rhian Oxley said, “I am so proud of this group and what they have achieved.  From a small idea proposed by four members of the team into incorporating a whole village into believing they could make a change.  I wish them luck as they progress to the next stage and hope they are shortlisted for the national awards.”

SYFR Area Manager Steve Helps said: “This is a real achievement for these young people.  The Prince’s Trust Team Programme is a fantastic scheme which South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue are proud to be associated with and the role we have played in helping these young people aspire to a better future.”

To be part of the next Team Programme please contact John Daley on 07769 887249 or


Retailer Boyes first to sign up to new business fire safety partnership scheme

A major UK retailer has become the first business to sign-up to a new fire service partnership scheme in South Yorkshire.

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue (SYFR) will work with department store chain Boyes as part of the initiative, which will see fire service experts providing the company with safety advice the company can adopt across its sites nationwide.

Partnerships like this, also available to other organisations, are known as Primary Authority Schemes (PAS) and allow the fire service and businesses to come together to improve the quality and consistency of safety and prevention measures.

The schemes also help to cut red tape for larger businesses, by streamlining their compliance with fire safety laws.

SYFR Business Fire Safety Manager Amy Jenkinson, said: “Boyes is a well known local business with strong Yorkshire roots. It has since expanded its operations and now runs 59  department stores throughout the north of England so we are pleased to be working with them to ensure that fire safety compliance is effective and consistent across the company.

“Primary Authority Schemes are a brilliant tool for helping us to work more closely with companies who are proactive about delivering on their fire safety duties and we hope to sign agreements with further businesses to work with them in this way.”

Boyes opened its first shop in Scarborough in 1881 and operates 59 stores across the UK and is due to open its 60th store at the end of November at Firth Park in Sheffield.

Boyes Safety Manager, Vivienne Sheader said: “The safety of our customers and staff is very important to us. We are delighted to have established this relationship which was first suggested to us following a successful routine fire audit that was carried out by SYFR in our Doncaster store.

“Our business is growing every year and to have a single point of reference that is recognised by every local fire authority enables us to apply consistent fire safety standards across all of our buildings.”

Primary Authority Schemes are statutory schemes, established by the Regulatory Enforcement and Sanctions Act 2008 (the RES Act). It allows an eligible business to form a legally recognised partnership with a single local authority in relation to regulatory compliance. This local authority is then known as its ‘primary authority’.

Primary authorities play a valuable role in leading and shaping the regulation of businesses that partner with them. In doing so, they deliver benefits for the regulatory system as a whole, for the businesses they partner with, and for those that the regulations are designed to protect – consumers, workers and the environment. Primary authorities, including fire and rescue services, are able to charge for this service on a cost recovery basis.

For more information contact or visit

Fire Kills campaign urges us all to test the smoke alarms in our homes now and every month

South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue (SYFR), as part of the Fire Kills Campaign, is urging people to test their smoke alarms after research showed that only 28% of all households who own one test them on a regular basis.

Head of Prevention and Protection Steve Helps of SYFR said: “You’re at least seven times more likely to die in a fire if you don’t have any working smoke alarms.  However, only 28% of the people who own an alarm say they take the time to test it at least monthly.”

There were 229 fire-related deaths in the home last year. The Fire Kills campaign hopes that by encouraging everyone to test their smoke alarms more deaths could be prevented.

Steve Helps added, “I’d encourage people in South Yorkshire to make sure you test your smoke alarms today and get into the habit of testing them each month as they can save you and your family’s life.  In the event of a fire, working smoke alarms will give you the valuable time to get out, stay out and call 999.”

The campaign is running for one month across outdoor, print, digital, social media and radio to raise awareness during the winter months when there is an increase in fire-related incidents and deaths.

To help keep you and your loved ones safe, SYFR offers these simple steps:

  • Test your smoke alarms now or when you get home
  • Make sure you fit smoke alarms on every level of your home and test them monthly, even if they’re wired into the mains.
  • Whatever happens, never remove the batteries in your smoke alarms unless you are replacing them. Some require new batteries every year.
  • Plan and practise an escape route and make sure that everyone in your home knows it.
  • In the event of a fire, get out, stay out and call 999.
  • Test others smoke alarms who are unable to test their own

For more information visit

Successful start for new joint emergency services team in Sheffield

A joint fire and police team set up to reduce demand on 999 responders in Sheffield has already visited hundreds of homes in the city, three months after it first launched.

The Local Intervention and Falls Episodes (LIFE) team, also supported by Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust, is half way through a six month pilot which sees staff visit homes to reduce fire risk in properties, improve security and help people who have fallen.

So far the team has carried out 101 crime prevention checks and 191 home safety visits, which include the fitting of free smoke alarms.

The team also responds to help people at high volume, lower priority incidents, including helping 26 people who have had a fall, are not seriously injured, but are unable to get up on their own.

The team has also helped find two missing people and visited vulnerable people who have either been victims of crime or are at risk of anti-social behaviour.

Some of this work traditionally takes police officers and paramedics off the road for many hours.

SYFR Head of Prevention and Protection Steve Helps, said: “This is a very encouraging start for a brand new team, which proves emergency services are working together locally to help make people safer and healthier.

“We know that there are huge links between the people who need the help of the police and health services, and those who are at risk of fire. So collaborative working such as this undoubtedly benefits our public safety work.”

Chief Inspector Jenny Lax from South Yorkshire Police, said: “The team have made a promising start and are working really well together to reduce the vulnerability of people in our communities and improve their quality of life”

The team operates using two specialist vehicles and consists of four staff – two South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue employees and two South Yorkshire Police community support officers (PCSOs).

The scheme has been funded by South Yorkshire Fire Authority for six months and researchers from the University of Huddersfield have been commissioned to evaluate its effectiveness. If successful, it could be extended and taken to other parts of South Yorkshire.

Last year the Government announced new proposals to transform the way the police, fire and rescue and ambulance services work together. It wants to encourage collaboration by introducing 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, fire crews already attend hundreds of ‘medical break-ins’ every year, where they gain access to properties where people are thought to be in need of urgent medical attention, but where ambulance service paramedics cannot get to them. This work used to be carried out by the police.

Work has also now started on a joint police and fire station in Maltby, whilst five ambulance stand-by points will also be created at five other fire service premises across the county.

‘Go to an organised display’ safety plea as bonfire night approaches

The fire service is repeating its annual safety call as thousands of people in South Yorkshire prepare to mark bonfire night.

Though the fireworks period is traditionally one of South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue’s busiest, call outs to small, deliberate fires on November 5 are now down to a quarter of what they were ten years ago.

Fire service managers hope that by continuing to work with partners to educate youngsters and reduce call outs the public will remain safe.

In the run up to bonfire night, fire service staff have been issuing safety advice and leaflets to residents about firework safety, as well as reminding retailers not to sell fireworks to under 18s.

Officers have also been assisting with the removal of waste which could be used to light illegal bonfires and have been working closely with local trading standards to cut out illegal fireworks sales.

Our Community Safety teams have been visiting schools across the county talking to children about the dangers of fireworks and the consequences of anti social behaviour.

Steve Helps, head of prevention and protection, said: “The best way to enjoy bonfire night is to attend an organised display. The bonfires are bigger, the fireworks are better and they are a lot safer.

“If you are intent on holding your own display, the advice is simple. Only buy British Standard marked fireworks, follow the instructions on the box and site any bonfires well away from buildings.”

The fire service’s top three tips for staying safe this bonfire night are:

1. Attend organised displays – they’re much safer than holding your own
2. Only buy fireworks from reputable retailers and never from people on the street
3. Light bonfires well away from sheds, fences, bushes and trees