South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue

South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue
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Fire service training exercise to test response to major incidents in South Yorkshire

Emergency services from across the region will test procedures for dealing with multiple ‘major incidents’ in South Yorkshire.

‘Exercise Keep Valley’ will simulate the decontamination of people who have been covered in poisonous chemicals as part of a suspected terrorist attack.

The main activity will take place at Doncaster’s Keepmoat Stadium- but another major incident simulated elsewhere in the county will test how fire services respond to more than one large scale event.

The exercise will involve staff and vehicles from all four fire and rescue services in Yorkshire & Humber, plus other partner agencies, to test the arrangements those organisations already have in place for supporting each other across traditional county borders.

The ‘incident’ will include the deployment of the fire service’s Detection, Identification and Monitoring  and Mass Decontamination vehicles which carries showers-tents and emergency clothing.

A small area around the Keepmoat Stadium will be closed to the public so the specialist equipment can be deployed.

SYFR Group Manager Andy Hayter said: “Although it is extremely unlikely that an incident such as this would occur in South Yorkshire, recent international events have once again highlighted the importance of public organisations testing their emergency response procedures to assure the safety of the communities we serve.

“Routine exercises like this one enable the emergency services and other organisations to practice their responses and, for fire services in particular, to test their ability to deploy to large scale incidents beyond their usual borders.”

Planning permission for shared police and fire station in Maltby

Planners have approved proposals for a joint police and fire station in Maltby.

Maltby fire station will close and Maltby police station will be modified to accommodate fire service vehicles and staff, under the plans approved by Rotherham Council.

The project won Government Transformation Funding of £560,000 last year and will help save both South Yorkshire Police and South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue money by sharing building running costs, enabling funding to be targeted at frontline services.

The move will shift fire service resources around a mile closer to the east side of Rotherham, which traditionally accounts for a greater volume of emergency incidents compared to lower risk areas to the east of Maltby.

It will also improve services by making it easier for police and firefighters to share knowledge, skills and expertise when tackling common issues, like anti-social behaviour and road traffic collisions. In a similar way, it will also help both organisations to reach the most vulnerable members of the community.

SYFR Director of Finance & Resources Beverley Sandy, said: “This move makes perfect sense for us, for the police and for the taxpayer. Instead of having two public buildings, and all the running costs associated with them, we will be able to combine our resources into one facility to provide a more efficient frontline service.

“By working alongside each other under one roof, the move will also benefit both organisations by improving how we work together to solve problems we both face, which can only help to improve the quality of the service we offer to local people.”

Dr Alan Billings, South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner said: “We are constantly looking for ways in which to work in collaboration with partners and implement efficiency savings. I welcome this move to bring both emergency services together to serve the community of Maltby.”

Kier has been appointed as the main contractor for the project and the final specification will be submitted to the Fire Authority in January, with a view to the new facility opening in later in 2016.

Maltby fire station on High Street is currently home to one full time fire engine. Work to begin making the necessary changes to Maltby police station on Byford Road is expected to begin in the New Year, with a view to the new facility opening in summer 2016.

Fire Service volunteer wins community award

Community Achievement Awards winners announced

Rotherham salutes volunteer and community groups at moving ceremony

The wide-reaching impact of Rotherham’s Voluntary and Community Sector was recognised at Friday’s twelfth annual Community Achievement Awards, where individual and group winners in three categories were announced in an emotional ceremony compered by Michael Kilby-Scott from Rother FM.

Julia Bodorova collected the award for Young Volunteer, sponsored by Morthyng Group Ltd and open to under 25’s. Julia volunteers for RMAARI and has been instrumental in the development of the girls’ football team as well as volunteering for youth club sessions, Ministry of Food cooking lessons and interpreting and translating for participants. Other Young Volunteer finalists were Toni Paxford who volunteers for Rotherham Youth Cabinet, dedicating her time to campaigns such as mental health, Votes at 16 and the Living Wage. The third finalist was Emily Taylor who is a Community First Responder, attending life threatening emergencies in her local area. Carole Haywood, Manager of the Rotherham Partnership and Chris MacCormac, Chief Executive, Morthyng Group Ltd presented the awards.

The 2015 Volunteer award, which was sponsored by Barnsley and Rotherham Chamber of Commerce, was scooped by Phil Bowers, a Community Safety Volunteer with South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue carrying out home safety checks and fitting fire alarms in Rotherham. Other volunteers shortlisted for the final nominations included Brian Button the Chair of Active Independence who provides support to disabled people, older people, their carers and families. Cath McCartan was the other finalist. Cath is a volunteer and steering group member for the Big Local in Thurcroft, a partnership of local residents making Thurcroft a better place to live. The awards were presented by Andrew Mosley, Editor at Rotherham Advertiser and Paul Jagger, President at Barnsley and Rotherham Chamber of Commerce.

In the Project category, sponsored by Irwin Mitchell, the winner was Tassibee, which provides support to isolated and socially excluded Asian women. Other finalists in the category were Environmentalist Litter Pickers who are a group of children keeping the Abbey Reach estate in Maltby litter free and Rotherham Dementia Action Alliance who aim to create dementia friendly work and public space. The awards were presented by Carole Haywood, Manager of the Rotherham Partnership and Alison Gregory and Katy Bailey from Irwin Mitchell Solicitors.

This year a Special Recognition Award, sponsored by Age UK Rotherham, was also presented to Edna Bateman who volunteers at Rotherham Hospice Charity shop. At 99 years young Edna has volunteered for the last 18 years, liking to keep busy and active. The award was presented by the Mayor, Cllr Maggi Clark and Lesley Dabell, Chief Executive at Age UK Rotherham.

The evening was rounded off with a selection of songs from the Rotherham Teachers’ Student Academy. The talented youngsters entertaining the audience were Charlotte Hucknall, Isabel Canning and Matt Roddis.

Organised by Voluntary Action Rotherham on behalf of Rotherham Partnership, the Community Achievement Awards were staged at the Carlton Park Hotel.

Notes

Voluntary Action Rotherham is a registered Charity and provides advice and support services to voluntary and community sector groups and organisations across Rotherham.

The Community Achievement Awards are held annually to celebrate the work of individuals and projects in the voluntary and community sector that have made a significant difference to the communities of Rotherham.

Organised by Voluntary Action Rotherham on behalf of the Rotherham Partnership, the Awards first took place in 2003 and have celebrated the achievements of Rotherhams Voluntary and community sector.

Fire service issues Black Friday fake goods warning

Fire officers are issuing Black Friday safety tips to shoppers, to stop them getting duped by dodgy goods online.

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue (SYFR) is pointing to figures from Electrical Safety First, which show more than one million people bought fake goods in the UK last year.

The majority of those goods were bought online, with shoppers regularly misled by images stolen from official sites, fake safety marks or near to authentic pricing.

Counterfeit electrical products are particularly risky as they often contain faulty parts that can overheat and catch fire or deliver a fatal electric shock.

SYFR Area Manager Steve Helps, said: “Thousands of people will be using tempting black Friday deals to hunt for a tech bargain online, but we know that these often pose a serious risk of fire. Fake goods aren’t always easy to spot, but it’s well worth taking the time to consider the authenticity of a purchase.

“Electrical equipment causes a third of all the house fires we attend and in the UK last year electrical fires killed 50 people and injured 3,000 more.”

How to spot fake electrical products online

  1. If the price is (almost) right, it’s probably fake
    Some counterfeits are for sale just below the recommended retail value, hoodwinking shoppers that are too savvy to fall for the ‘too good to be true’ deals. Make sure you do your homework if you decide to buy products below high street retail prices.
  2. Don’t just take the seller’s word for it – or the reviewers
    Beware of a product with solely glowing reviews, especially if the reviewers aren’t verified. Some sites cross-reference user reviews with their buyer database and label those people as “verified purchasers”.
  3. Know where you’re buying from
    Make sure you know where the supplier is based, a ‘co.uk’ URL doesn’t guarantee the website is UK based. If there is no address supplied, or there is just a PO Box, be wary; many counterfeit electrical goods are manufactured overseas, where they will not be safety tested and are produced as quickly and cheaply as possible.
  4. Beware of words qualifying an item’s authenticity
    If the seller claims the product is ‘genuine’, ‘real’ or ‘authentic’ double check the source. Most reputable retailers don’t need to sell their products like this.
  5. Spot the lock to pay safely
    Look for websites that allow you to pay safely – these have a padlock symbol at the bottom of the screen when you are filling in your payment details. If you can’t see it, do not enter your payment details.

For more home fire safety advice visit www.syfire.gov.uk/safety-advice

Charity launches road safety push for people with learning difficulties and autism

A Rotherham based charity is working with the fire service to keep people with learning disabilities and autism safe on the roads.

Speakup Self Advocacy is using Road Safety Week (23 to 29 November) to kickstart its work to support people being safe on their bikes and when out walking during the darker, winter months.

Speakup’s two year initiative will create online films, Easyread books and training to help people with learning disabilities and autism be safer when out and about, including on the bus, train, tram and in a taxi.

It’s all part of a project funded through South Yorkshire Fire Authority’s Safer Stronger Communities Reserve fund. The funding, now in its second year, is the only fire service backed grant scheme of its kind anywhere in the country.

Speakup has been working with Government departments and national organisations for 28 years to develop information and training, which is suitable for people with learning disabilities and/or autism.

Speakup’s Geoff Doncaster, said: “People with learning disabilities and autism often miss out on road safety information as they struggle with printed text and find it hard to understand the other information which we all take for granted. It is hoped that by making accessible information on film and through Easyread books, people can be safer when out and about.”

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue’s Lesley Hayhurst, said: “There’s a definite gap currently in the quality of information public services offer to people with autism and learning difficulties. By working with an organisation which specializes in delivering education and information to these vulnerable groups, this project gives us a real opportunity to change that, particularly in regards to road safety.”

The first film is now available on Speakup’s website

Fire service recognised for reservists support

The fire service was one of three Sheffield organisations to be recognised as being among the country’s leading employers for their support of the Reserve Forces, having been honoured at a special awards ceremony last week as part of the government’s Employer Recognition Scheme.

Receiving a certificate signed by the Secretary of State for Defence and the Chief of the Defence Staff, Sheffield City Council, South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue and Chesterfield Special Cylinders received the Silver Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) award. The three organisations were among only 14 from across the Yorkshire region, out of 500 candidates, which have been successful in winning the award.

SYFR Area Manager Steve Helps, said: “Reservists are an integral part of the UK Armed Forces and are trained to a high standard. It’s right that as an organisation we support reservists with their training and deployment and it’s pleasing that we have been picked out in our region as leading the way in this respect.”

The launch of the Employer Recognition Scheme was a commitment made in the July 2013 White Paper entitled ‘Reserves in the Future Force 2020: Valuable and Valued’, and takes into account the views of a wide range of companies and industry bodies who championed the value in publicly recognising employers supportive to Reservists.

Reservists in the Yorkshire and Humber areas serve in the Royal Naval Reserve, the Royal Marines, the Army Reserve and the Royal Auxiliary Air Force and can be mobilised wherever needed to work alongside Britain’s regular Armed Forces. Reservists are an integral part of the UK Armed Forces and are trained to a high standard.

Boxing club wins fire service funding

Youngsters in the Manor area of Sheffield are fighting fit thanks to fire service funding for their local boxing club.

De Hood boxing club has been awarded funding for equipment and a boxing ring, which will enable the club to expand and take on more young members.

The boxing club began in 2013 with the aim of reducing antisocial behaviour in the area and to give the youngsters a purpose. Within only a few weeks of opening the antisocial behaviour figures had been halved.

With 100 current members, the club is wanting to expand and to increase its numbers to 150.

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue are to hold regular fire and road safety sessions for the youngsters at the club and will be seen as a role model by many of them.

The project won £7,700 which will provide this well needed equipment which De Hood needs to progress.

The funding comes from the South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Authority’s funding scheme, the Stronger Safer Communities Reserve.

The fund saw dozens of registered charities, community organisations and partner agencies come forward and apply for grants from the £2 million fund, which had been set aside from the Authority’s reserves.

Station Manager Steve Wood, at South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue said, “This new and exciting project will give the young people on the Manor an opportunity to let off steam in this very popular sport. We look forward to visiting the club and offering advice and encouragement, which in turn will benefit the whole community and help to reduce antisocial behaviour in the area.”

De Hood Boxing Club organiser Mark Wilkinson said, “We are really pleased that our project has won this funding. Our aim is to become one of the main community hubs for children and young people in the Manor area of Sheffield. The project will work in partnership with South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue and South Yorkshire Police to bring down antisocial behaviour, and for the youngsters something to be proud of in their local community.”

Smoking still a main cause of accidental fires

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue is highlighting the dangers of smoking, after recent figures show these are still a main cause of accidental dwelling fires.

Smoking related fires have remained at a similar level for the past few years. While accidental house fires are reducing, fires caused from cigarettes or other smoking materials still amount to around 60 incidents per year, the same as six years ago.

Firefighters are appealing to smokers to take extra care and to keep the risk of fire low, by following some basic fire safety advice:

Never smoke in bed – it’s very easy to fall asleep and allow your cigarette to set light to your bedclothes or furnishings
Don’t smoke if you’re drowsy – especially if you’re sitting in a comfortable chair or if you’ve been drinking or taking prescription drugs. Again, it’s easy to fall asleep
Don’t leave a lighted cigarette, pipe or cigar unattended – they can easily overbalance and land on the carpet or other flammable material
Make totally sure that your butts aren’t still smouldering – wet them and empty your ashtray into a metal bin outside the house
Keep lighters, matches and smoking materials out of the reach of children – you can also buy child-resistant lighters and containers for matches

Trevor Bernard, Head of Community Safety at South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue, said: “Smoking remains one of the biggest causes of accidental house fires, but nearly all of these can be avoided by following some basic some simple rules. For example, never smoke in bed, never leave a lit cigarette unattended, always ensure that cigarettes are put out properly and keep lighters and matches out of the reach of children.”

For more information on ways to help you stop smoking visit www.nhs.uk/smokefree.

Smoking related accidental fires for South Yorkshire:

2009/10 – 71
2010/11 – 62
2011/12 – 65
2012/13 – 40
2013/14 – 61
2014/15 – 51
2015/16 (to the end of the 2nd quarter) – 30

Free alarms for private landlords

Free smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are being given to landlords in a bid to help them comply with new safety laws.

Since October 1, all private landlords must fit smoke alarms on each floor of their rental properties and install carbon monoxide alarms in rooms containing solid fuel burners and heaters – or face a £5,000 fine.

We have been given a limited number of free alarms by the government to hand out to eligible landlords.

The alarms will be available for landlords to pick up between 10:30am – 2pm Monday to Friday from:-

Rotherham Stores
Chesterton Road,
Eastwood Trading Estate,
Rotherham
S65 1ST

Station Manager Spencer Rowland said; “The private rented sector provides homes for some of the county’s most vulnerable groups and there is no doubt that these regulations will make privately rented accommodation safer and save lives.

“Tenants can also play a part in taking responsibility for their own safety by reminding their landlords about the new legislation it there are no smoke or carbon monoxide alarms in their home.”

It must be stressed that these alarms are only available for private landlords with a maximum of 10 properties.

Firefighter returns from Moldovan training mission

A South Yorkshire firefighter has returned from Moldova after helping to train the country’s fire crews in road traffic collision (RTC) rescue.

Steve North, based at South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue’s Handsworth training centre, was part of a World Rescue Organisation (WRO) team spending five days working with firefighters in the Easter European country.

Steve, one of the UK’s leading specialists in RTC rescue, is Extrication Deputy Head for the United Kingdom Rescue Organisation (UKRO) and has previously visited Ghana to teach rescue techniques to firefighters.

The 53 year-old, who was also part of a South Yorkshire team named World Extrication Champions in 2004, has been a firefighter for 25 years. He started his career at London Fire Brigade before transferring to South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue in 2000.

In 2012 there were 2,712 recorded road traffic collisions in the Republic of Moldova, causing 441 deaths. This makes the country’s fatality rate for RTCs more than 10 times that of the UK’s.

Factors contributing to this are the length of time for rescue assistance to reach incidents, a lack of necessary equipment to respond effectively to incidents, and gaps in knowledge of those responding to incidents.

Steve said: “The road death casualty rates in Moldova are unacceptably high and I think we have a duty in the developed world to share learning with firefighters there to help save lives.

“Things in Moldova have already improved thanks to previous training missions and some kit and equipment donations. The aim of this visit was to help the Moldovan fire service establish its own, national extrication challenge competition for its crews as a way of promoting skills and learning in the country in a sustainable way.”

The training trip was part of the International Development Programme (IDP) and saw Steve and the WRO team teaching extrication techniques to training staff. The team fly out to Moldova on 26 October.