South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue

South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue
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“Neigh problem” say crews after firefighters praised for horse rescue

Firefighters have been reunited with a horse they rescued after it became trapped in its horse box by its legs.

Central white watch returned to meet the horse, called Nimrod, and its owner after a distressing incident back in January.

Nimrod had panicked and jumped over the jockey door in his horse box into a very small space with his back legs jammed over the top of a steel bar. His owner Colleen Eccles was unable to free him so a friend at the stables called the fire service to assist.

Firefighters were able to slowly remove the bar and rescue him from his ordeal. The crew have now been back to visit Nimrod to see how he is getting on, with Colleen using the visit as a chance to thank the crew for everything they did to save her beloved horse.

Crew Manager Jo Hoare said, “It was a challenging rescue as Nimrod is a large horse and was very scared and in pain from the position he was in. The crew worked together to release the bar. Luckily it was a happy ending and it’s been great to come back and see Nimrod in more normal circumstances.”

Owner Colleen Eccles said. “I can’t thank the firefighters enough, their brave and decisive efforts saved the life of my beautiful horse. They were amazing, despite the size and upset nature of Nimrod they safely cut him out of the terrible position he had got himself into.”

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue attends dozens of animal rescues every year. These fall under the 1,500 ‘special service’ incidents South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue attends each year, including freeing people from road traffic collisions, water rescues, flooding and lift releases. That’s on top of the thousands of house, property and smaller fires it also attends each year.

Next generation of GPs pitch ideas for closer working between fire and health service

The next generation of health practitioners have pitched ideas for how the fire service and doctors can work better together to improve wellbeing in South Yorkshire.

Dozens of University of Sheffield medical students were provided a placement opportunity with South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue to give them a practical insight into potential ties between the fire service and health bodies.

The Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health students then presented their ideas for how the fire service could help to reduce demand on health services in South Yorkshire in a ‘Dragon’s Den’ style competition.

The winning group came up with innovative ways in which the fire service can help to prevent falls, with one in three people aged over 65 in the UK experiencing a fall each year.

The group’s ideas included training fire service staff to identify fall hazards, setting up a referral pathway between the fire service and GPs and developing a mobile application which details practical steps people can take around the home to reduce their risk of falls.

Assistant Chief Fire Officer Martin Blunden, said: “We already carry out tens of thousands of home safety visits across South Yorkshire every year. Often, it is the unique skills and reputation of our staff which are the reason why the fire service is successful in interacting with high risk individuals, where other agencies may be less successful. So it makes sense that we use this contact to better support wider health outcomes in our communities.

“We were impressed by the enthusiasm of all the students in researching their ideas for how the fire and rescue service can contribute to local health outcomes, and were particularly impressed with the innovative approaches taken by the winning team.”

Nationally, fire and rescue services, NHS England, Public Health England, the Local Government Association and other partners, including Age UK, have been working together to explore how they can work better together to demand on health and social care systems and improve the quality of life of vulnerable people.

Current collaborations in South Yorkshire include a range of health related programmes and projects, from co-responding with Yorkshire Ambulance Service, through to several preventative activities with third sector organisations, like Alzheimer’s Society and Royal National Institute for the Blind.

Fire safety advice for young carers

Young carers in Sheffield have received vital safety advice from the fire service.

A South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue safety team delivered training at a specially arranged event at the National Emergency Services Museum.

Nine young carers from Sheffield attended the session, as part of a wider awareness event put on by Sheffield Young Carers. All the attendees were involved in looking after a family member with a physical or mental health issues, a disability or problems with substance misuse. This often includes helping with household chores, administering medication and caring for younger siblings.

Community safety co-ordinator Andy Hall, said: “These young people do an incredible job caring for loved ones, sometimes experiencing some quite complex health issues. They often exhibit a maturity beyond their years, taking on extra responsibility around the home.

“From a fire safety perspective, it’s therefore vital that we give them all the support we can to ensure they have all the knowledge they need to help prevent a fire in their home.”

Sheffield Young Carers is an independent charity that has existed in Sheffield since 1997, dedicated to supporting children and young people aged 8-25 who live in the city and provide care for one or more family members.

For more information about preventing fires click here

Thorne boxing club’s knock out success

A fire station based boxing club is proving a big hit with youngsters in Doncaster, in one of the first partnerships of its kind anywhere in the country.

The knock out success of Thorne and Moorends Boxing Club sees dozens of young people including boys and girls from eight years old upwards bob and weave at Thorne fire station twice a week.

The Doncaster Council backed initiative is also helping to build links with the local gypsy traveller community.

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue (SYFR) says the scheme supports its youth engagement work in the area, ultimately helping to drive down anti-social behaviour and reduce fires.

Station Manager Delroy Galloway said: “Allowing one of our fire stations to be used as a venue for a boxing club is win-win. For the club, we can provide a venue for young people to take part in physical activity in a safe and structured environment. For us, we can build lasting, positive relationships with youngsters in the communities we are here to serve.”

Thorne and Moorends Boxing Club meets on Tuesdays (5pm to 7pm) and Saturdays (11am to 12pm) at Thorne fire station, Union Road and costs a pound to take part. For more information find Thorne and Moorends Boxing Club on Facebook.

Health walks promote physical activity at fire station memory cafe

Older people in Doncaster are boosting their health thanks to a fire station based walking scheme.

Adwick fire station at Quarry Lane, Woodlands hosts a monthly ‘memory cafe’ as part of a partnership launched last year between South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue and the Alzheimer’s Society.

The events, held once each month on a Thursday afternoon, provide an opportunity for people living with dementia and their carers to meet in a safe, managed environment and to take part in activities to promote mental and physical wellbeing.

Now, fire service staff have helped participants on a guided ‘health walk’- a 30 minute stroll in the vicinity of the fire station as a way of boosting physical activity amongst older people.

Officers believe the project benefits the fire service by providing a vital link with one of its key target groups in terms of vulnerability to fire. They think the partnership also highlights the growing role the fire service can play in promoting health and wellbeing in the communities it serves.

Area Manager Steve Helps, said: “We believe the fire service can play a much wider role in terms of tackling some of the big health challenges our country faces in the future. The memory cafe and the associated health walks are the perfect illustration of that aspiration, where fire service resources are helping to improve the lives of one of the most vulnerable groups in society.”

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue is also a member of the Yorkshire & Humber Dementia Alliance, which is committed to tackling the growing issue of dementia within our communities.

Hundreds of its staff have also signed up to become Dementia Friends- a Government backed initiative which teaches people a more about what it’s like to live with dementia, and then turns that understanding into action.

Parkway fire station officially opened

A brave South Yorkshire teenager has helped to officially open a new multi-million pound fire station in Sheffield.

Joe Bowers, who suffered life changing burns as a baby following a house fire, joined Sheffield South East MP Clive Betts in formally unveiling the new Parkway fire station.

The £4 million facility improves South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue’s service to Sheffield’s major industrial sites, new housing developments in the area and road traffic collisions on Sheffield Parkway.

It houses a full time fire engine and an aerial appliance and also features a community room with audio visual facilities, for use by local residents for meetings and events. The station started receiving its first 999 calls in July 2015.

Red watch firefighters performed a breathing apparatus demonstration in front guests, who included teachers and pupils from nearby Pipworth Community Primary School. Other invitees included Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police David Crompton, members of South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Authority and staff from contractors BAM Construction Ltd.

Speaking at the event Chief Fire Officer James Courtney, said: “The financial pressures the fire and rescue service faces are both well documented and unprecedented. But this fantastic new facility is the best possible physical reminder of the fact that despite the challenges we face we remain absolutely committed to supporting our future.

“The site was carefully chosen to improve our emergency response service to the city’s major industrial sites as well as new housing developments nearby and incidents on Sheffield Parkway. But this project has also been about providing our firefighters with a workplace which is befitting of their skills and the vital role they play in our communities.”

Joe Bowers was rescued from a house fire in 2001 when he was just 18 months old and suffered life changing burns and spent months recovering in hospital. Overcoming everything from facial reconstruction to muscle transplants with admirable strength and incredible determination, he was last year awarded Youth of Courage at the Spirit of Fire Awards in London.

National museum’s safety displays showcased at official unveiling of fire service funded revamp

The nation’s premier museum celebrating the work of the emergency services will deliver interactive safety information to thousands of visitors thanks to a fire service funded facilities overhaul.

The National Emergency Services museum has launched its new fire and road safety educational facilities with museum goers now benefiting from updated fire safety messages delivered by new computer and audio equipment.

The unveiling this week was attended by representatives from all the emergency services along with members of the South Yorkshire Fire Authority.

The museum gained national status in January 2014 and is embarking on a major re-development.

The National Emergency Services Museum in Sheffield was awarded nearly £20,000 to help upgrade its educational display, under the South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Authority’s funding scheme, the Stronger Safer Communities Reserve.

Chair of the Fire Authority, Cllr Jim Andrews said: “The museum has undergone a fantastic refurbishment and upgrade of its educational displays which reflect the most up to date and relevant safety information, which will ultimately help to reduce deaths and injuries from fires and on the roads.”

Matt Wakefield at the National Emergency Services Museum, said: “It’s great to receive support of this nature as it allows the museum to grow, develop and continue to promote life safety through hands-on learning with history.”

Firefighter recruits pass out in style

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue’s latest group of new recruits has successfully graduated following 13 weeks of intensive training.

The group of eight firefighters have completed their training at the Training and Development Centre (TDC) in Handsworth and will now join the fire crews at their respective stations at Parkway and Rotherham.

The passing out parade at TDC was attended by their family and friends along with local dignitaries.

During the parade, the newly qualified firefighters showcased their skills and techniques by rescuing casualties from a mock road traffic collision, before being presented with their certificates.

The much anticipated award for Top Trainee went to Firefighter Kim Wilkinson who was presented with the silver axe.

Head of Emergency Response Phil Shillito said: “The recruits have gone through rigorous training to incorporate the demands of the modern firefighter role as we continue to provide the best possible 999 service to the public. They have worked really hard and their achievements today are well deserved.

“The financial pressures the fire and rescue service faces are both well documented and unprecedented. But by recruiting these individuals we have also shown that despite the challenges we face we remain committed to supporting our future.
“We wish them all the best for their future career.”

Successful start for South Yorkshire’s first Emergency First Responder scheme

Firefighters at Stocksbridge station have responded to more than 50 medical emergencies, two months after the launch of South Yorkshire’s first Emergency First Responder (EFR) scheme.

The scheme is a joint initiative between South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue (SYFR) and Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust (YAS) which sees firefighters called out to certain life-threatening incidents at the same time as an ambulance.

Medical emergencies attended since the scheme went live on 1 November 2015 include several cardiac arrests and incidents stating chest pains and breathing difficulties. At other incidents, firefighters have provided support and made the patient comfortable until the ambulance service arrived on scene.

Training for firefighters taking part in the pilot included basic life support, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and oxygen therapy. They are equipped with a kit which includes oxygen and an automated external defibrillator to help patients in a medical emergency such as a heart attack, collapse or breathing difficulties.

An EFR is despatched at the same time as an ambulance and does not replace the usual emergency medical response from YAS. However, their location within the local community could mean they are nearer to the scene in those first critical minutes of a medical emergency, delivering life-saving care until an ambulance arrives.

They also support and complement other volunteer community first responder schemes within South Yorkshire, ensuring the level of medical provision to local communities is supplemented.

Emergency First Responders are only available for dispatch when staffing levels at their fire station allow and the scheme does not impact fire cover.

On-call firefighters at Rossington and Dearne fire stations have become the latest in South Yorkshire to attend EFR calls.

Head of Emergency Response at SYFR Phil Shillito said: “Two months after this scheme went live, our firefighters are already showing the incredible value they can add to their communities and the role we can play as a fire service in enhancing the work of our emergency service partners and volunteer community first responders.

“Our role as a fire service will always be to protect our communities and reach and save those who are in danger as quickly as possible. So I think it’s only natural for us to look for other ways to extend our skills and support the work of other local bodies, like the ambulance service.”

YAS Head of Community Resilience Paul Stevens said: “The demand placed upon blue light emergency services increases every year and our approaches to providing the best response and best patient outcomes are continually evolving. This is an innovative and alternative way of working with our partners which will lead to more lives being saved.”

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 A working smoke alarm can buy you valuable time should the worst happen to get out, stay out and call 999.