South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue

South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue
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Fire service trains next generation of forensic investigators

The next generation of fire investigators is being put through its paces, thanks to a unique partnership between the fire service and two of the country’s most respected university forensic science degrees.

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue (SYFR) has taken on two forensic science students to offer practical experience on how to determine the cause of a fire.

Both students are on a one year work placement. Victoria Moss, aged 20, is studying Forensic Science at Nottingham Trent University, while Bobbie-Jay Slack, aged 20, is studying a degree in Forensic Science at Sheffield Hallam University.

They will both be shadowing a Fire Investigation Officer to examine scenes of fire and determine the most likely cause.

Fire Investigation Officer Andy Strelczenie, said: “This is a mutually beneficial partnership. Victoria and Bobbie will be valuable assets to us, as during their placements, they will be undertaking research and testing work on behalf of the fire service.

“This work will assist with determining why fires start, and importantly the conditions which lead to the ignition of a wide range of probable causes discovered at the scene of a fire.”

Victoria Moss said; “I am hoping to gain experience that will help me with my studies. I have already found myself using all the things I have learnt so far.  It’s given me even more passion for my subject and has confirmed in my mind that this is a career I would love to do everyday.”

Bobbie-Jay Slack said; “I am really happy to be working with South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue and to have this opportunity to be getting my hands dirty while investigating real scenes of fire.”

CO advice to be given to residents in National Grid link up

National Grid has teamed up with South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue to give lifesaving carbon monoxide (CO) advice to the area’s most vulnerable residents.

The partnership is part of an initiative National Grid is running with seven fire and rescue services across the country, including Leicestershire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Lancashire, and West Midlands. It follows a successful trial with Staffordshire Fire and Rescue, who delivered over 3,000 home safety checks, including advice on CO symptoms, prevention and how to ensure their homes are safe from the silent killer.

Head of community safety for South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue, Kevin Ronan, said: “Too many people die needlessly or become seriously ill because of carbon monoxide poisoning each year. As a fire service, our work in the community has already helped to massively reduce house fire deaths and injuries, so it’s only natural that we should look to extend that success by making people more aware of other safety issues like CO.”

It is hoped that through the fire service’s regular home safety checks, more and more people will become aware of the dangers of CO poisoning, take further action to make their homes safer and share their knowledge with others.

Head of operations for National Grid James Harrison said: “We are seeing great results so far which means the chance of people being harmed or killed by CO is falling.”

Known as the ‘silent killer’, carbon monoxide poisoning kills over 50 people a year, with 4,000 people attending hospital with carbon monoxide symptoms. An odourless, colourless gas, carbon monoxide is not easily detected and symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning can be confused with flu.

Mr Harrison added: “The partnership with South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue means more and more people are getting the CO safety message. We are providing them with the information, knowledge and CO alarms and they are able to deliver these to far more people during their Home Safety checks.”

The results from the trial with Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service showed:

  • 68% increase in CO awareness
  • 81% of respondents would take all the recommended further action. This includes getting their gas appliances checked every year, passing on information to friends and family, buying a CO alarm and seeking medical advice if the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning occur
  • 99% indicated they would share their new knowledge of CO dangers with family and friends

Carbon monoxide is often known as the silent killer because you can’t see it or smell it but carbon monoxide poisoning can be avoided by taking simple steps. Ensure your gas appliances are fitted, maintained and serviced annually by a Gas Safe registered engineer and as a back-up, fit an audible carbon monoxide detector. They can be bought for as little as £15 and could save your life.

Following the success of the Staffordshire trial, National Grid teamed up with six further fire and rescue services and shared the trial findings with the other gas distribution networks.  The other networks have now also started to team up with services in their areas to provide CO awareness.

Business people meet fire crews in Barnsley

Tankersley firefighters joined forces with our Technical Fire Safety team for an event targetting businesses in Barnsley.

Barnsley & Rotherham Chamber of Commerce’s ‘Chamber means business’ event saw hundreds of South Yorkshire business people congregate at Wentworth Woodhouse.

We spoke to businesses face-to-face about issues such as sprinklers and their obligations under fire safety legislation.

We attend more than 500 fires in commercial buildings each year.

Read more business safety advice here

Fire Authority business safety project launched

South Yorkshire is the launch pad this month for a major initiative designed to improve fire safety for small and medium enterprises.

Barnsley & Rotherham Chamber of Commerce has launched the Business Fire Safety Project to reduce the impact of fires on business stability and development.

This project received funding from South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Authority’s Stronger Safer Communities Reserve to assist local businesses to become more engaged in fire safety awareness.

Fire Authority Chairman Councillor Jim Andrews said: “The fire service in South Yorkshire has already helped to make our communities safer than they have been at any time in our history, but it’s important those successes are replicated in a commercial context. By supporting partners like Barnsley & Rotherham Chamber, we think the Authority can make a big contribution to helping to protect businesses from fire which will in turn help to support a thriving local economy.”

Andrew Denniff, Chief Executive of the Chamber of Commerce, said: “We will be working closely with the fire service, local authorities and partners in South Yorkshire and will support businesses to become more informed and controlled in dealing with fire safety issues, helping businesses to help themselves. We’re targeting a range of businesses across South Yorkshire to continue to reduce the risk of fires in commercial and industrial settings.”

The key initiative of the project is to establish robust fire safety cultures within businesses that aim to protect employees and ensure business continuity. The project has established a specialist business support service, dedicated to increasing the uptake of fire safety advice by delivering presentations, providing guidance and business toolkits. The project will also support the adoption of in house Fire Safety Ambassadors to more effectively manage fire risks in smaller businesses who have less awareness of fire safety issues.

“Any drive to encourage more businesses to adopt improved safety practices can only serve to protect employees, business continuity and future growth,” said Andrew.

He goes on to point out that many businesses may not have fire safety at the top of their business priority list, and some are not familiar with the requirements of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. In order to foster good fire safety cultures within businesses, it is important for them to understand the Order to ensure they are compliant.

“We hope our initiative will assist the South Yorkshire Fire Authority to continue reducing fires and the risk of fires at business premises.”

Any businesses looking for advice, guidance or support surrounding fire safety can contact Barnsley & Rotherham Chamber on 01709 386200 to discuss how the project can assist.

Firefighters to hold charity car wash

Firefighters across South Yorkshire will be washing cars over the coming weeks as part of a national charity event.

The event is aimed at raising money for The Fire Fighter’s Charity, which supports injured firefighters and their families.

Car wash events will be held at the following stations:

• Barnsley Station, Broadway, Barnsley, South Yorkshire S70 6RA – Sunday 13th – 11am onwards

• Aston Park Station, Worksop Road, Aston, Rotherham, South Yorkshire S26 2FZ – Saturday 12th 10:30am onwards

• Dearne Station, Manvers Way, Rotherham, South Yorkshire S63 5DN – Saturday 12th – 10am to 2pm

• Maltby Station, High Street, Rotherham, South Yorkshire S66 8LA – Sunday 20th from 11am onwards

• Birley Moor Station, Moor Valley, Sheffield, South Yorkshire S20 5FA – Saturday 12th – 10am to 4pm

• Central Station, Eyre Street, Sheffield, South Yorkshire S1 3FG (for sat nav use S1 3HU) – Saturday 12th – 11am onwards

• Elm Lane Station, Elm Lane, Sheffield, South Yorkshire S5 7TU – Saturday (12th) morning till 1pm

• Lowedges Station, Lowedges Road, Sheffield, South Yorkshire S8 7JN – Saturday 12th – 11am onwards

As well as washing cars, firefighters will also be on hand to offer road and fire safety advice, along with promoting their free Home Safety Checks.

Station Manager Steve Adams said: “Not only will members of the public drive away with nice clean cars, but our firefighters will also be offering safety advice, whilst raising money for a very worthy cause.”

Robot Wars visit fire station

A Sheffield fire station had some unusual guests recently when robots from the popular Robot Wars television programme paid a visit.

It was all in aid of an event hosted by South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue, as part of a Get Started with Robotics programme being delivered in partnership with youth charity The Prince’s Trust.

Get Started is a personal development programme, for 16-25 year olds. It uses inspiring themes to engage with young people who are not in education or employment to take their first step to increase their confidence, skills and employability.

As well as teaching young people new specialist skills, the programme also widens and develops their personal and social skills.

The group of thirteen young people built their own robots and pitched them against each other in various challenges. At the end of the week long course the young people attended the demonstration by the famous robots, which were supplied by Roaming Robots, in the yard at Central fire station.

Station Manager Trevor Bernard said; “We were really happy to accommodate the robot display. As one of The Prince’s Trust partners we were really excited to see the Robot Wars in action.”

Kimberley Hendon, Get Started – Programme Executive, The Prince’s Trust said; “Throughout every programme we incorporate a real and meaningful group task, which challenges the young people and helps to develop their personal and social skills. By the end of the week, our aim is give young people a renewed sense of motivation and direction, to inspire them to move forward with their lives. We then continue to provide them with ongoing support for three to nine months to help engage them in education, employment or training.”

Robots - Princes Trust 031

Businesses urged to train seasonal staff in fire safety

Businesses should train their staff now to help businesses avoid a serious fire this Christmas, the fire service has warned.

Retailers, bars and hotels are amongst the businesses expected to start taking on thousands of temporary staff to cope with an increase in trade in the run up to the winter, seasonal peak.

Fire officers say that fire safety knowledge should be a key part of their initial training, with December considered a peak month for fire risks, including extra stock and winter shutdown periods

The warning comes during UK Business Safety Week (7 to 13 September). The awareness week, coordinated nationally by the Chief Fire Officer’s Association (CFOA), seeks to get businesses to engage with local fires services to help manage their fire risk, get advice on completing fire risk assessments and ensure business continuity.

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue (SYFR) has tackled more than 500 fires in non-domestic properties over the last three years.

Top safety tips for businesses include:

Keep fire escapes clear– make sure extra stock is stored away from fire escapes, ensuring staff and customers can get out safely in the event of a fire
Check alarm systems– regular checks and maintenance help to eliminate automatic false alarms and ensure the alarm is working if required
Complete a fire risk assessment– not only will it help to reduce the risk of suffering a fire in the first place, it will help make sure you comply with fire safety laws
Sprinklers– consider installing sprinklers, but make sure you leave a good distance between your stock and sprinkler heads

SYFR Technical fire safety manager, Amy Jenkinson, said: “A fire in a business can put staff and customers’ lives at risk, damage stock and premises and make it impossible for a company to carry out its day-to-day work, impacting not only on the business itself, but on its employees, suppliers and customers.”

“We know that many businesses will be starting to take on temporary employees now. All we ask is that they deliver training in some basic fire safety procedures, like keeping fire escapes clear and making sure alarm systems are working properly. This can help businesses avoid serious incident and help ensure they comply with the law.”

For more information contact or visit

Edlington fire station seeks new cadets

Edlington fire station is looking to recruit new members to its fire cadet team.

The cadets train at the station once a week, learning firefighting skills and techniques from specially qualified instructors.

Cadets also enrol on to the Routes 4 U education package, which covers the employability skills needed to work within the health and emergency services. Youngsters work towards a recognised qualification at the end of a 12 month course.

Fire Cadets also play a key role at community events, and attend team-building days throughout the year.

Recruits can be aged 13 to 17. The cadets meet every Wednesday from 6.00pm to 8.30pm.

Edlington Fire Cadet Branch Manager Daryl Aitken said: “We’re looking for enthusiastic and motivated youngsters who are eager to work with our fire cadet instructors to learn new skills, and support the fire service’s work in the local community. This is a fantastic opportunity to gain first-hand experience of fire station life and to work closely with local firefighters.”

For more information, contact email

Fire Service volunteers jump for charity

Two brave South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue (SYFR) volunteers will be taking part in a charity skydive in aid of Rotherham Hospice.

Rob Hall (21) and Chelsea Hall (20) have been volunteering at SYFR for the past two years, working with the Fire Cadets at Rotherham station. They wanted to raise money for Rotherham Hospice after the charity supported Chelsea and her family through her grandmother’s illness.

Rotherham Hospice is committed to providing the highest standard of end of life care for patients and families affected by terminal illness over the age of 18.

Joining them on the day (Sunday 27 September) and also taking part in the skydive is Rob Lee a Mechanic at SYFR. In total they are aiming to raise £2,000.

Rob Hall said, “I’ve always wanted to take part in a skydive and thought it would be a brilliant idea to do it for charity. Although I am nervous, I am really looking forward it as well. The Rotherham Hospice is a fantastic organisation which offers end of life care for patients and their families.”

Sue Butler, Volunteering Co-ordinator at South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue said; “This is going to be a real challenge for them. It’s all for a really good cause though and I am so proud of them all.”

To donate, please visit their JustGiving page

If you are interested in volunteering for South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue call 0114 253 2413.

Firefighters test Rotherham United’s safety procedures

The fire service has practiced its response to an incident at Rotherham’s AESSEAL New York stadium, testing how the football club would deal with a blaze at the ground.

Rotherham United FC welcomed various emergency services to their stadium to carry out a live training exercise, involving tackling a fire in the ground and providing first aid to casualties.

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue, Yorkshire Ambulance Service and South Yorkshire Police worked with stewards to test the football club’s procedures to ensure the maximum safety of spectators should an incident like this ever occur during a game.

Station Manager Matt Gillatt said: “We know that these types of incidents are rare, but it’s imperative that the football club practice their emergency plans to make sure fans are as safe as possible.

“It also gives the different emergency services that would be called out to a situation like this a chance to refine their skills and learn more about the stadium.

“We perform a lot of realistic exercises like this so we can be certain that any response from the fire service and all of our partners would be as strong as possible. Going through plans on paper is one thing, but often the only way of really testing our decision making ability is to re-enact the incident in a live environment.

“I’m pleased to say the training was a great success and that the fans of Rotherham United FC should be reassured by the club taking their safety so seriously.”

A Rotherham United FC spokesperson said: “Rotherham United would like to thank all the parties who attended from the emergency services and Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council who contributed to the exercise.

“Close liaison helps us to deliver a safe environment for people to attend football matches safe in the knowledge that we have robust procedures in place to deal with varying challenges, many of which will hopefully never occur.”