South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue

South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue
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Plans submitted for joint Maltby police and fire base

We have submitted a planning application to enable firefighters to share Maltby police station with South Yorkshire Police.

The proposal, which would see the existing Maltby fire station close, won Government Transformation Funding of £560,000 last year. The move would save both the Police and the Fire Service money by sharing building running costs, enabling funding to be targeted at frontline services.

The move would also 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.

If the plans are approved by Rotherham Council, it is hoped to begin work in early 2016 converting the Police station to be suitable for fire service use, with the move to take place in the summer of 2016.

ARC of success for Rotherham youth project

Young people in Rotherham have passed out with flying colours, after completing a rigorous fire station course aimed at reducing anti-social behaviour in the borough.

The youngsters, aged 13-17, took part in a Achieving Respect and Confidence (ARC) course, a joint initiative between South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue, Rotherham Council and other partner agencies including South Yorkshire Police.

The project’s aim is to highlight the consequences of anti-social behaviour and provide an intensive multi-agency work experience course, instilling discipline, team spirit, fire safety awareness, life skills and values which will improve the life chances of the young people involved.

The course is aimed at young people who have offended, are at risk of offending or have been victims of crime.

Activities included a self-defence class and fire drills run by firefighters at Rotherham fire station, which hosted the week long course and the young people were supported by staff from Integrated Youth Support Services to enable them to attend and complete. Youngsters were also visited by serving prisoners, to talk to them about the potential consequences of crime and anti-social behaviour.

The passing out parade which marked the end of the project was held in front of the youngster’s family members and dignitaries including the Mayor of Rotherham, John Foden.

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue’s youth engagement officer Keith Watts, said: “The input from the other agencies has been critical in encouraging these young people to think about their behaviour and through discipline and teamwork, make positive choices towards improving their life chances.

“We’ve been running courses like this successfully for several years now and their effectiveness is borne out through a steady reduction in the number of anti-social behaviour related fires our crews are having to attend.”

Second round of funding opens

The second round of funding for South Yorkshire Fire Authority’s Stronger Safer Communities Reserve opened on 7 April and closes on 1 May.

Partner agencies, registered charities and community organisations are invited to submit an expression of interest to deliver new and innovative community safety projects up to two years in length.

The maximum amount of funding available for each project is £150,000 and the minimum amount is £5,000.

We are looking for more projects that add value to existing partnership work and increase collaboration around shared issues such as wellbeing, troubled families, education, diversion and prevention.

You may find the following documents useful:

2013-17 Operational Plan

Community Fire Risk Model

Diversity in the Community handbook

Click the links below for further information on the fund and how to apply.

Information pack

Application form

Publicity Advice

Please download the application form and return to either:

or by post to:

Rhona Bywater
South Yorkshire and Fire Rescue Authority
18 Regent Street
S70 2HG

Timeline update:

Please note that because of a large number of bids to Round 2 , the timeline for assessment and approval is now as follows:

w/c 7 July –    assessment Board evaluation & selection

Mon 27 July – assessment Board recommendations to Fire Authority meeting.

New Deputy Chief starts role

We have appointed a new Deputy Chief Fire Officer following an extensive recruitment process.

John Roberts, who is SYFR’s current Assistant Chief Fire Officer, will step up to the new role on 1 April 2015, when the current Deputy, Mark Shaw, will retire.

Mr Roberts, aged 39, initially joined SYFR in October 2009, becoming Assistant Chief in January 2013, after beginning his career at Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service in 1997.

Fire Authority Chair, Cllr Jim Andrews, said: “I would like to congratulate John on his appointment. We had some excellent applicants for this role from up and down the country. The panel was particularly impressed with John’s achievements in South Yorkshire in recent years, and his vision for the future of our Service.”

Chief Fire Officer, James Courtney, added: “John has been an excellent addition to South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue since he joined us in 2009. I look forward to continuing to work closely with him in enhancing the services we provide to the South Yorkshire public.”

Fire Sprinkler Week plea for businesses

The fire service says sprinkler systems are key to preventing businesses going bust after a major fire, as it marks a national awareness week.

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue has tackled more than 500 fires in non-domestic properties over the last three years. The most serious of these incidents can take fire engines several hours to tackle, as well as potentially putting the company involved out of business.

But fire safety officers say sprinklers are the most effective way to ensure that fires are suppressed or even extinguished before the fire service can arrive.

Sprinklers save lives and reduce injuries, protect firefighters who attend incidents and reduce the amount of damage to both property and the environment from fire.

Currently, only commercial premises greater than 20,000m2 must have sprinkler systems installed. The fire service, through the Chief Fire Officers Association, is currently campaigning for this threshold to be lowered.

Technical fire safety manager Amy Jenkinson, said: “A sprinkler system can quickly suppress a fire before it gets out of control. When you consider the huge costs associated with a commercial premise fire such as rebuilding, relocation, loss of equipment, stock and trading, it seems like an obvious move to install a sprinkler system, but many businesses still don’t.”

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue has already helped pioneer a drive for sprinklers to be installed in residential properties. In 2011, sprinklers were retro-fitted into a block of flats in Gleadless after a grant from the British Automatic Fire Sprinkler Association. It was the first scheme of its kind in the country.

It is also working with Sheffield City Council on a scheme to fit domestic sprinkler systems in hundreds of social housing properties across the city.

Fire Sprinkler Week (16 to 20 March), coordinated nationally by the Chief Fire Officer’s Association (CFOA), seeks to raise awareness of the benefits of sprinklers to businesses and educational establishments.

The theme of the 2015 week is business continuity, focusing on the support that fitting automatic fire sprinkler systems can provide to business and to educational continuity.

Fire officers back minister’s smoke alarms in rented homes announcement

South Yorkshire fire officers have welcomed the announcement that the government plans to introduce vital life-saving legislation on smoke alarms in rented properties ahead of the General Election.

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue called for new laws requiring smoke alarms to be fitted in all privately rented homes, following the death of a young child in Conisbrough.

Libby-Jayne Hornsby, aged two, died after a fire at a rented property on Don Street, Conisbrough, Doncaster in October 2013. Fire investigators found no evidence of working smoke alarms inside the property, an inquest heard last year.

Campaigning on this issue, which will also require privately rented homes to be fitted with carbon monoxide detectors, has been led nationally by the Chief Fire Officers Association (CFOA).

Fire Minister Penny Mordaunt MP, speaking at the Local Government Association conference in Gateshead, said:

“Fire and rescue authorities will be very pleased that tenants in the private sector are to be given the protection from fire that they need. We will be working with them, and with the Chief Fire Officers Association, to make the transition for landlords as smooth as possible.”

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Area Manager Phil Shillito, said: “The lack of legislation requiring smoke alarms to be fitted in privately rented properties was highlighted at Libby’s inquest. Although we will never know for sure if smoke alarms would have made a difference at that incident, fire services nationally have been campaigning on this critical issue for some time, so it’s excellent that all that hard work has paid off.”

Preparations for the new powers requiring landlords to fit detectors in private rented homes have been completed, so the legislation will now be laid before parliament before the end of this parliamentary session.

The government’s own impact assessment suggested that over 200 lives could be saved nationally over the next 10 years by the introduction of this legislation. The draft new laws would be enacted by the Government as part of the Energy Act, which was given Royal Assent in December 2013.

Dramatic blaze rescue prompts top fire service bravery gong

Members of the public who helped rescue a man from a serious flat fire have been awarded the fire service’s highest honour.

When a fire broke out at a flat on Carr Road, Deepcar, Sheffield on 22 December 2013, two members of the public Zoe Evans and Mathew Evans were driving past and noticed blackened windows and smoke issuing from the flat.  The pair went to investigate and discovered the flat on fire with a man trapped inside and unable to find his keys to unlock the door.

Zoe quickly called 999 and alerted her stepfather Paul Bennett, who arrived moments later.  Paul and Mathew were able to kick the door down and lead the man to safety before extinguishing the blaze with buckets of water.

Now all three members of the public have been awarded the Chief Fire Officer’s Commendation – the highest fire service award for displaying outstanding bravery, quick thinking and placing their own safety at risk to carry out this life saving rescue.  They were presented with their certificate at a formal ceremony in front of fire crews, family and friends at South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue’s Rivelin fire station in Sheffield.

Mathew Evans said; “We got out of the car and went to have a look, we knocked on the door and realised it was a lot worse than we thought. There was that much smoke we just thought we had to do something.”

Paul Bennett said; “We opened the kitchen window and saw the chap inside. We went round the back and kicked in the door.  We just knew we had to get him out”.

Zoe Evans said; “I just remember seeing smoke and telling Mat there was a fire. I was scared for Mat and Paul – there was thick, black smoke.  But I’m glad they did it and today has been brilliant.”

Deputy Chief Fire Officer Mark Shaw, said: “Had it not been for the combined efforts of these three brave people, this fire could easily have resulted in a fatality.

“Our advice to the public in the event of a fire is to get out and stay out until we arrive on the scene.  However, we recognise that in exceptional circumstances such as this one, acts of bravery are appropriate and should be recognised as such.”