South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue

South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue
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South Yorkshire backing for national smoke alarm testing drive

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue is urging residents to regularly test their smoke alarms and those of people they care for to prevent fire deaths, as a new look Fire Kills advertising campaign is being launched by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG).

The Government Fire Kills advertising campaign will run for one month from January across radio, print, digital, outdoor and social media as there is an increase in fire-related emergencies and deaths over the winter months, compared to the rest of the year.

There were more than 160 deaths from accidental fires in the home last year. By simply testing smoke alarms, many more lives could be saved.

Ads will feature friendly smoke alarms, which will tell the public to make time for their home’s ‘unsung heroes’ by testing their alarms once a month.

A working smoke alarm can buy you valuable time to get out, stay out and call 999. But just half of all householders who own a smoke alarm say that they test it’s working on a regular basis.

Our Head of Community Safety Trevor Bernard said:

“You’re four times more likely to die in a fire without a working smoke alarm, but only half of the people who own an alarm say they take the time to check it regularly. “I’d encourage people in South Yorkshire to make sure you test your smoke alarms this month and get into the habit of testing them each month as they can save you and your family’s life.”

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue have recorded 10 fatal deaths from accidental and household fires over the last 12 months.

Help keep yourself and your loved ones safe from fire by following these simple steps:

  • Make sure you fit smoke alarms on every level of your home and test them monthly.
  • Make testing your smoke alarm part of your household routine in 3 easy steps:
    1. Test it by pressing the button once a month
    2. Change the batteries once a year if your alarm has removable batteries
    3. Clean the alarms casing twice a year to ensure dust isn’t blocking the sensor
  • Whatever happens, never remove the batteries in your smoke alarms unless you are replacing it.
  • Make sure that everyone in your home knows what to do in a fire and knows your escape route.
  • For more information visit the Fire Kills campaign’s Facebook page at facebook.com/firekills A working smoke alarm can buy you valuable time should the worst happen to get out, stay out and call 999.

Fire service responds to expected £5 million funding cut

The fire service says the latest round of government funding reductions means it expects to lose another £5 million from its annual budget over the next four years.

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue has already lost more than £8 million since 2010 and has so far managed to minimize the impact of those cuts on its core emergency response service by reductions in support staff, managers and non-pay budgets.

The service has also introduced alternative ways of staffing fire stations, which has reduced costs whilst maintaining a similar level of fire cover.

But Chief Fire Officer James Courtney says the next round of cuts, announced before Christmas, mean the fire service’s ability to respond to national emergencies such as flooding and terrorism could be threatened.

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue twice sent firefighters and specialist vehicles to support the national response to severe flooding in December, helping communities in Lancashire and Cumbria.

Mr Courtney said: “We already provide excellent value for money to the people of South Yorkshire with one of the leanest fire services in the country, considering the size of the area we have to cover and the risks associated with a large, urban population.

“Unfortunately, we are not being afforded the same financial protection as the police or ambulance services. I am concerned about the ways this may affect our service in the long term, including our ability to respond to national emergencies such as flooding and terrorism related incidents.

“We have already committed to protecting frontline services as far as possible, but continued sizeable cuts to our funding mean we will have to look at further ways to save money, including possible reductions in the number of immediately available fire engines, which can only have a negative effect on our ability to respond to emergencies.”

The Government announced yesterday that fire and rescue services will come under Home Office control in 2016 with the Home Secretary previously stating that she wants to follow through reforms in areas such as procurement, IT infrastructure and building management.

“We are already exploring significant collaboration opportunities with the police in a number of areas, from fleet management and sharing premises to the new joint police and fire station in Maltby, which will open later this year. We are also assisting the ambulance service in a number of areas operationally, from gaining access to properties at emergencies to jointly responding to some types of medical incidents.

“We will continue to pursue opportunities for further and more efficient working with all of our emergency service partners, but still believe the fire service has some unique skills and specialisms which must be protected,” said James.

The Chief Fire Officer has previously lobbied Government on the issue of funding and recently wrote to South Yorkshire MPs calling on them to back an Early Day Motion, which called for a halt on further fire service cuts nationally.

Firefighters raise cash for charity

South Yorkshire firefighters have taken part in two gruelling challenges to raise money for charity.

A group of firefighters were on The Moor in Sheffield attempting to row the distance to Lapland, approximately 2188km. While a group of eight new firefighter recruits were putting their life saving skills to the test by taking part in a six hour CPR challenge at Meadowhall.

The High Sheriff of South Yorkshire, Mr John Holt and his Under Sheriff Mr Rob Chitoriski attended the rowing challenge and both took their turns at rowing.

Both events were a great success and between them raised a fantastic £2,500 for The Fire Fighters Charity, which supports injured firefighters and their families through emotional and physical trauma.

Group Manager Stewart Nicholson said; “These challenges were a real struggle for both groups, but the support and donations from members of the public made it all worthwhile. They all did a brilliant job and have raised an amazing amount of money for The Fire Fighters Charity. Well done to all involved.”

South Yorkshire firefighters to join Lancashire in flood relief

South Yorkshire firefighters have been asked to take part in the flood relief in Lancashire.

A group of 13 firefighters are travelling to the flood hit area, taking the High Volume Pump (HVP) to assist emergency services battling the flooding.

HVPs are capable of moving huge volumes of water, and South Yorkshire’s is capable of pumping 8,000 litres of water a minute. Once they arrive in Lancashire they will then be deployed to where they are needed most.

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue’s firefighters, most of whom are normally based at Aston Park  and Tankersley fire stations, are expected to remain in Lancashire for several days.

Head of Emergency Response Phil Shillito, said: “We are pleased to be able to offer practical and strategic support to our colleagues in Lancashire.”

“The High Volume Pump is an extremely powerful piece of kit and is ideally suited to helping to deal with the quantities of water we are talking about in Lancashire right now.

“To be part of such a massive relief effort is extremely rewarding for those involved and I would like to thank them on behalf of the people that they are assisting.”

Senior officers agreed to make their resources available following a request from the National Co-ordinating Centre, after ensuring they were satisfied with the fire and rescue provision which remains available for local people in South Yorkshire.

The fire service’s tradition of sharing national assets benefited communities in Doncaster in 2007, when more than 30 HVPs from all over the country helped to pump out flooded areas around Bentley and Toll Bar.

Fire staff back South Yorkshire food banks with bumper donation

Generous fire service staff are backing food banks in South Yorkshire this Christmas, by making bumper festive donations.

Food has been collected across South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue premises, including its Sheffield headquarters, and is being delivered to food banks across the county, including those in Rotherham and Doncaster.

The service says that partnering with food banks allows it to give vital fire safety information to people who need it the most.

Food bank visitors are encouraged to refer themselves for a home safety check, whereby fire service staff visit a person’s home, explain to them how to make it safer and fit smoke alarms for free if needed. Dozens have signed up so far.

Fire safety officers also hold regular drop in sessions, giving face-to-face safety and fire prevention advice to service users and their families.

Area Manager Steve Helps, said: “House fires have reduced massively in the last decade, but sadly the people who are most likely to suffer a fire are also often the hardest to reach with fire safety information. That’s why it’s important that we work closely with partners, like local food banks, so that we can continue reduce deaths and injuries in accidental house fires.”

Firefighters praised for festive help given to high risk Sheffield resident

Firefighters have been praised for going above the call of duty to help a vulnerable resident in Sheffield this Christmas.

Central Blue watch firefighters attended a flat on Edgedale Road, Sheffield after neighbours expressed concern for the man’s safety.

After gaining access to the flat, firefighters checked on the wellbeing of the man, who lived alone, and identified a number of issues which were likely to put him at a greater risk of fire.

They returned the next day with a full roast dinner, cleared away 15 bags of rubbish which had accumulated in the man’s house and carried out a full home safety check, including the fitting of three free smoke alarms.

The resident has now been referred to the fire service’s High Risk Coordinators for further intervention work.

Group Manager Tony Carlin, said: “Everyone knows the fire service does a fantastic job attending emergency incidents, but our wider contribution to the health and wellbeing of local communities is both little known and growing.

“On this occasion, firefighters not only put in place meaningful interventions to make this man safer, they actually assisted him in ways which went above and beyond the call of duty. That’s testament to the fantastic skills and dedication of all our staff.”

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue  attends around 1,400 ‘special service’ incidents each year, including freeing people from road traffic collisions, water rescues, flooding and lift releases. The fire service also now assists other agencies, like the ambulance service, to gain access to properties at certain types of emergency.

That’s on top of the thousands of house, property and smaller fires it also attends each year.

Drinkers targeted in fire service Christmas drive

Alcohol or drugs are responsible for double the number of house fires in the run up to Christmas than at any other time of the year, new fire service data reveals.

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue (SYFR) tackles around a dozen accidental house fires in December where alcohol or drugs were thought to be a factor in the blaze. The average number of drugs or alcohol related fires in other months of the year is only six.

That’s why drinkers are one of the groups being targeted by the fire service as it seeks to drive down fires this winter, traditionally one of the SYFR’s busiest times of the year.

With cooking making up the majority of alcohol related fires, fire safety officers are urging people to think twice before switching on the cooker after a drink.

Spencer Rowland, Station Manager in Community Safety, said: “The busy Christmas party period is already upon us and we’re not here to stop people having a good time. But people must recognise that by cooking when you’ve been out drinking, you are automatically putting yourself at a much greater risk of fire.

“Seasonal drink drive campaigns have made getting behind the wheel of a car after a drink completely unacceptable and we think the same stigma should be attached to cooking in the home. We’ve attended far too many serious incidents where people have been under the influence of alcohol and fallen asleep with food on the hob or in the cooker, or where drink or drugs have made them uncoordinated and more likely to have an accident.”

To stay safe this Christmas, the public are reminded to:

  • Never cook when under the influence of alcohol
  • Never use a chip pan- oven chips or thermostat controlled fryers are much safer
  • Never leave cooking unattended and switch kitchen appliances off after use

Firefighters to take part in charity challenges

Firefighters will be taking part in two separate charity challenges on Tuesday 22 December.

All monies raised on the day will go to The Fire Fighters Charity, which supports injured firefighters and their families through emotional and physical trauma.

Firefighters row to Lapland for Charity

A group of South Yorkshire firefighters are set to take part in a gruelling rowing challenge to Lapland to raise money for charity.

The firefighters will start rowing at 10am on The Moor in Sheffield and will attempt to row the distance to Lapland, 2188km approximately.

The High Sheriff of South Yorkshire, Mr John Holt and his Under-sheriff Mr Rob Chitoriski will be there supporting the firefighters and will also take their turn with the rowing.

Firefighter recruits take on CPR challenge

A group of firefighter recruits will be putting their life saving skills to the test when they take part in a CPR challenge to raise money for charity

The eight recruits from South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue will be performing CPR on first aid manikins, for approximately six hours (from 9am) on Tuesday 22 December in Meadowhall, Sheffield, near to the Argos entrance.

Watch Manager Steve Jeffries said; “This challenge we have set the recruits with be a struggle, but with the support from members of the public, I’m confident they will complete it”

“Shoppers are invited to come and cheer them on, Instructors will also be on hand to give basic life support and fire safety advice.”

Food bank link up making people safer

The fire service has teamed up with food banks in Rotherham in a ground breaking partnership to reduce blazes.

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue says that working with Rotherham food bank allows them to give vital fire safety information to people who need it the most.

Food bank visitors are encouraged to refer themselves for a home safety check, whereby fire service staff visit a person’s home, explain to them how to make it safer and fit smoke alarms for free if needed. Dozens have signed up so far.

Fire safety officers also hold regular drop in sessions, giving face-to-face safety and fire prevention advice to service users and their families.

Rotherham food bank is part of the Trussell Trust’s network of more than 400 such facilities across the UK.

Fire service staff are also supporting the group’s work by collecting food and donating it to several food banks across South Yorkshire.

Area Manager Steve Helps, said: “House fires have reduced massively in the last decade, but sadly the people who are most likely to suffer a fire are also often the hardest to reach with fire safety information. That’s why it’s important that we work closely with partners, like Rotherham food bank, so that if we can continue reduce deaths and injuries in accidental house fires.”