® 25th Edition
Staffs firefighter’s Fire disaster
inspiring story commemorated
United Awareness Publishing
One of the highlights of
the firefighting calendar is
firstname.lastname@example.org the Spirit of Fire Awards
which this year, as always,
Sales Manager highlighted the bravery and
email@example.com dedication of the UK fire
Customer Services services. There was also the
Carly Lonergan usual star-studded line-up
of celebrity guests including
Bruce Forsyth and Nick Owen amongst others who
All editorial, advertising and circulation
enquiries to: gave up their time to present the awards, in the
case of Bruce and Nick for the second year running.
The Burning Issue
United Awareness Publishing Limited
On page 49 you’ll find a review of the event plus
Goss Chambers, Goss Street photographs of those who received an award.
Chester, CH1 2BG
Tel: 01244 624 022 In this issue we’ll also be featuring another important
Fax: 01244 624 023
event which took place in Scotland for very different
Web: www.theburningissue.co.uk reasons. Strathclyde Fire Service were in attendance
at the ceremony to remember the 14 firefighters
Disclaimer and five salvagemen killed in the Cheapside Street
While we make every effort to ensure the Disaster which occurred in the city 50 years ago and
factual correctness of every article we cannot
be held responsible if factual errors occur. We turned out to be the biggest loss of life in the history
also would like to point to out that the views of the UK Fire Service.
held within each article are not those from
the Burning Issue but of the original author of
the article. The Burning Issue is published by Aside from these major events we’ll be looking at
United Awareness Publishing Limited and we
would like to make you aware that advertising the initiatives and activities of the fire service this
space with in the magazine is purchased from year, including Devon and Somerset FRS trying out
United Awareness Publishing Limited and not
the Fire Service. the latest swift water rescue techniques. We will also
be looking at what is and isn’t acceptable behaviour
for firefighters outside of working hours, and in our
headline feature taking a look at RAF firefighters'
work in Afghanistan.
Enjoy the read!
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Is your employer is watching? 18
Juvenile Fire Setting - A dangerous fascination with fire 38
Firefighter's inspirational story 10
RAF firefighters in Afghanistan 12
Jockey swaps horses for hoses 15
Crane accident survivor thanks firefighters 16
Devon & Somerset embrace swift water technology 20
Yorkshire's new recruits 22
Awards for fire heroes 24
10,000th visitor for safety centre 33
12 Innovative fire course launched 34
Tyne and Wear raise over 60s awareness 36
Toxic twins 40
Fire service backs Olympic dream 42
West Yorks safety record 44
Downing Street visit for awards nominees 46
Fired up by health scheme 47
The Spirit of Fire Awards 48
Fire disaster commemorated 50
Support wanted for children’s fire safety 53
News From The Fire Service Community
New joint hot desk Other serious deficiencies included a
failure to ensure escape routes were kept
clear and an inadequate fire separation in
general public should feel safe from fire
when they are out shopping. London Fire
Brigade will continue to take action when
Tesco pleaded guilty to five breaches of
the RRO and sentencing took place at
Wood Green Crown Court on 20 April
the building due to doors being wedged businesses, large or small, do not take 2010.
Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service’s Ilkeston Community Fire Station is providing space for a 'hot open. London Fire Commissioner Ron their fire safety responsibilities seriously.
desk' to be used by a new Safer Neighbourhood Policing Team. Dobson said: “Fire safety is a key part Failure to comply with the law can, as this
of good business management and the case has shown, result in a prosecution.”
The two emergency services already work
in close partnership and each watch
liaises with the local police team. Now this
partnership has moved a step further with
a new 'hot desk'. New community fire station opens in
Station Manager Matt Reavill said: “We
have a good relationship with the police
and being based under the same roof will
really help. If we know that fires are being 200 guests turned up to the official open day of Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service’s Chesterfield
set deliberately we can quickly inform
the police team. They can then increase Community Fire Station.
their patrols and we can work with their
officers going together into schools, talking The Duke of Devonshire officially opened
to students about the dangers of playing the building, welcoming the Lord Lieutenant
with fire, and if we find who is responsible, and High Sheriff, who had come to
working with the antisocial behaviour team support the event, together with many
to take further action. Above: Derbyshire Police Sergeant Doug Neeley and right Station Manager Matt Reavill. other dignitaries and Councillor Peter
Makin, chair of Derbyshire Fire Authority
Derbyshire Police Sergeant Doug Neeley the Safer Neighbourhood policing teams in who deal with antisocial behaviour and with other Fire Authority members. The
Left: The new
said: “The hot desk will be used by all of the area as well as our supporting officers specific problems in local schools.” Duke described the new building as a community fire station.
“magnificent asset” for the fire and rescue
Below: The Duke of
service. Devonshire left and right
Chief Fire Officer Brian
Retailer successfully prosecuted for It took 12 months to build the station, Tregunna.
which has photovoltaic panels on the roof
producing 26 kilowatts of electricity. This
fire safety breaches is fed back into the national grid which
reduces the bill for the fire and rescue
service. It also has solar thermal panels on
Retail giants, Tesco fined £95,000 and ordered to pay £24,321 in costs after pleading guilty to the roof which produce more than 50 per
cent of the building’s hot water needs.There
serious breaches of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. is a gas fuelled real fire training facility, the
first in Derbyshire.
London Fire Brigade prosecuted Tesco Firefighters discovered there had been a fire safety within the store and it was
The building has the capacity to host
following a fire and subsequent inspection fire in the staff kitchen but it had been inspected by the Brigade the day after
a range of modern rescue vehicles
of a supermarket at Colney Hatch in put out by staff using extinguishers and the fire. The inspector found a number
and equipment. It includes the area
Barnet. Firefighters were called to a fire at a fire blanket. However , there was still a of breaches of fire legislation which
headquarters and has facilities for
the premises on 14 October 2007. significant amount of smoke in the kitchen, included a failure to review the store's fire
community based activities including a
the corridor and staff locker rooms. Fire risk assessment. The RRO requires that
specially designed community meeting
When they arrived, they found the premises crews had to ask staff several times to the responsible person (in a workplace,
room. There is also office accommodation
was locked but managed to get the evacuate the premises. the employer) to carry out a suitable and
for Chesterfield’s local strategic
attention of a shop floor worker who was sufficient fire risk assessment and act on
restocking the store after closing hours. This incident led to concerns about its findings.
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South Yorkshire FRS warn boat workplace facilities.
Separate awards were presented to the
Speaking at the time, Chief Fire Officer
and Chief Executive Brian Tregunna
said: “I am absolutely delighted that we
also to improve the delivery of our services
to local people. I hope that this accolade
will help to spur us on to even greater
owners out-going CFO and the other members
of SLT by Sir Ken Knight, Chief Fire and
Rescue Adviser, at the awards event in
received such recognition. We have always
placed equality and diversity at the heart
of everything we do, both to make the
achievements in the future.”
London. workplace better for our employees and
Firefighters have been touring South Yorkshire waterways in a bid to curb boat fires.
South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue offered
boat enthusiasts free boat fire risk checks
and provided advice to avoid fatal blazes
on the water, as part of National Boat Fire
Staffs station project gets go ahead
The rebuild of a further 10 fire stations in Staffordshire has been given the green light.
Throughout June, firefighters from the
organisation’s Technical Rescue Unit
Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service has
(TRU) visited marinas including Sheffield’s
received approval for a second private
Victoria Quays, Doncaster’s Strawberry
finance initiative (PFI) project. CLG invited
Island and other local boat yards to offer
authorities to submit expressions of interest
fire safety advice to boaters.
for Round 6 of Fire PFI in July 2008. Stoke
on Trent and Staffordshire Fire and Rescue
SYFR’s head of community safety Steve
Authority was invited to submit a full outline
Makepeace, said: "Although boat fires on
business case which was approved by
inland waters are less common than fires
Treasury which means the £50 million
on land, when they do occur, they can
project can now go ahead.
have devastating consequences. Boats
Above: Firefighters, Pete Watts and Jez Lifsey fit free smoke alarms on boats moored at Victoria Quays, Sheffield.
are often in remote locations with difficult
The community fire stations to be rebuilt
access, which may result in firefighters
that in the event of any emergency we can Checking items such as battery terminals under this project are: Burton-upon-Trent,
taking longer to arrive at an incident and
get there as soon as possible." and fuse box connections routinely for Kinver, Lichfield, Leek, Stone, Chase
allowing a fire to totally destroy a boat and
damaged strands or signs of overheating Terrace, Rugeley, Codsall, Penkridge and
On a safety check, boaters are offered and taking care when doing repairs, and Ashley. Outline planning approval has been
advice on areas such as fitting a suitable keeping interiors well ventilated when received on all stations and the Service is in
As well as taking into account fire safety on
smoke alarms; Taking extreme care when using adhesives, paints and spirit based the process of holding consultation events at
the boat we would urge boaters to ensure
refueling or changing gas cylinders; products. all earmarked stations.
that they know their location at all times so
The news comes as the Service is mid-
way through construction of its first PFI
project which also involves the building of
Derbyshire FRS scoop prestigious ten community fire stations.
Chief Fire Officer Peter Dartford said:
Left: Chief Fire Officer Peter Dartford
(standing) and Chairman of the Fire
and Rescue Authority, Councillor Len
award “This is fantastic news for our organisation
and the communities we serve. To secure
funding for a second multi-million pound
said: “The Fire and Rescue Authority
fully endorses this second investment
of the European Union. Companies and
consortia interested in the design, build
Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service has won a prestigious national equality and diversity award rebuilding project is just unprecedented. programme which will make a huge and maintenance of the ten community
Our vision to have community fire stations difference to developing the Service’s fire stations within the scheme were then
for the work of its Strategic Leadership Team (SLT).
is becoming reality - once they are built capacity to deliver improved safety invited to a market briefing day.
almost two thirds of our fire stations will and contribute to the well being of our
SLT was selected as the winner of the Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service into Fire Officers Association; the various roles be modern, state of the art community communities into the 21st Century and A preferred bidder is expected to be
leadership team category in this year’s Fire becoming one of only six services to be of the Equality and Diversity ‘Champions’ facilities.” beyond.” appointed in Autumn 2011, with the
and Rescue Service Equality and Diversity formally recognised as ‘Moving towards and securing additional resources to Contract being awarded in Spring 2012.
Award Scheme for its achievements in a Excellence’; the out-going Chief Fire support various improvements, including Chairman of the Fire and Rescue To initiate the formal procurement process,
number of areas which included: leading Officer’s, national lead role for the Chief specialist posts, positive action and Authority, Councillor Len Bloomer a notice was placed in the Official Journal
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Fire Service Veteran’s Badges now Celebrating 30 years of service
available Firefighters and support staff from across the West Midlands come together to celebrate
reaching 30 years of loyal service to the organisation and serving the community.
Veteran’s badges for past and present Fire Service Personnel are now available to order from
Firefighters and support staff gathered at
the British Fire Services Association (BFSA). West Midlands Fire Service Headquarters
for the ceremony. Amid the celebrations,
The BFSA is the UK’s only supplier of these P and If you require more than one badge colleagues had the chance to share
eye-catching badges. For further details, please include the appropriate fee with your memories from the past and reflect on the
please contact the General Secretary on order. Please make cheque/postal order many changes that have occurred in the fire
BFSA8@aol.com or to request a boxed payable to BFSA 7 Clover House, Boston service over the years, as well as anticipating
badge please provide the following details: Road, Sleaford, Lincs. NG34 7HD or call what the future might hold.
name, address, phone number and email. 01526 830255 for further details.
Crew Commander John McNaughton, said:
Boxed Badges are priced at £5.50 Inc. P & “Working for the Fire Service and serving
the community has been a most rewarding
and interesting career and receiving this
award means a great deal to me.”
Triathlon win for Staffordshire Vij Randeniya, West Midlands Fire Service’s
Chief Fire Officer said: “The presentation
firefighter of the thirty-year service award is a great
achievement, marking three decades of loyal
and devoted service.” Each recipient was
Staffordshire firefighter Jacqui Slack has triumphed as the winning female for a second year also presented with a pocket-sized clock to
Above: Firefighters and support staff from the West Midlands FRS celebrate 30 years of service.
mark the occasion.
running in the National Emergency Services Triathlon Championships.
The event took place at the National Water
Sports Centre in Nottingham. Triathletes
from emergency services all over the country
took part in the race, which attracted over
150 competitors. The overall emergency
1,000th tenant receives fire safety
service winners were the Police.
The race involved a 500m swim, 20k cycle
advice in Somerset
and 5k run and Jacqui completed the The 1,000th tenant of North Somerset’s largest landlord has received fire safety advice in her
course in just one hour and four seconds. home, thanks to a partnership involving Avon Fire & Rescue Service and the private sector.
She regularly competes in triathlons
worldwide and as of last year was ranked
7th in Britain. She is currently taking a one Mary Amey, from Weston-super-Mare, discuss fire safety issues with tenants and had a fire in 2006 – it was not a very
year sabbatical from the Service to focus on was the latest tenant to receive a Home provide information and leaflets. The most nice experience. Knowing the damage fire
her triathlon training. She has spent the past Fire Safety Visit since the partnership at risk tenants are referred on to AF&RS can cause, I feel that I am more aware of
four months training in Australia with world was formed in September 2009. Through staff who revisit the home to provide more preventing fire in my home”
class athletes and whilst there competed in the partnership, staff from Quadron, specific help and advice. One of those
Above: Staffordshire firefighter Jacqui Slack in action.
the ITU World Cup Triathlon. which carries out maintenance for the receiving advice, Mrs Amey, who has lived Barrie Houghton, AF&RS Group Manager
housing association, have been trained at the Laburnum Court residence for the for North Somerset added: “I’m delighted
Speaking about winning the triathlon for a - so hopefully it had set me in good stead for Firefighters; Helen Hall, Andrew Cooke by firefighters from AF&RS to deliver fire last two and a half years, had already had that something that stemmed from such
second time she said said: “I’m thrilled to the rest of the season.” and Tom Sandy, Burslem Firefighter, David safety advice as part of their standard experience of a fire in her home. a simple idea, has already led to 1,000
win this race for a second year running. This Jones and Head of Communications, Philip inspections. residents being safer in their homes.”
is the first triathlon I’ve competed in, since Other competitors from Staffordshire Fire Gillingham. She said: “Me and my husband lived at
returning to the UK at the start of the month and Rescue Service included Stafford During the visits to local homes they Monica Wills House in Bedminster which
8 - The Burning Issue - Issue 25 www.theburningissue.co.uk www.theburningissue.co.uk The Burning Issue - Issue 25 - 9
Staffordshire firefighter Neal Evans had forgotten to take his door key on
a night out; an easy mistake to make, but his decision to take the difficult
route into the house and thus avoid waking his wife almost cost him his life.
Neal tells the Burning Issue the story of his remarkable recovery.
June 7th 2008, I went to my rugby clubs paramedics, and luckily they quickly arrived. huge part in getting me to where I am now.
annual dinner straight from work. Apparently I was transported to Stoke by helicopter, This is by no means exclusive, and I will
I had a good night. Austin Healey was the while Michelle phoned her brother to collect eternally grateful for the kindness that I
guest speaker, he was apparently superb! her, to follow me too Stoke. and my family have received from so many
The night continued at a local nightclub. individuals and groups (you know who you
About 2.30 a.m. I started out for home. I spent many days in life support, ten are!). So on the second anniversary of my
I must have left my front door key in my days in A&E, in total. I then transferred to accident; I am going to walk the length of
locker at work. Cannock Hospital where I remained for six the Staffordshire Way.
months. I cannot remember any of this,
The sensible thing would have been and don't remember anything for 3 months 92 miles through rural staffs, over three
to knock Michelle (My Wife) up, but I after the accident. In fact I don't have any days. Any sponsorship I receive will go to the
remember doing that before and promising recollection of the night; I only remember Fire Fighters Charity, and the Midlands Air-
not to do it again!!!! It was a warm night, so playing rugby for the Brigade in early May! Ambulance. I could have chosen more, but
being a firefighter I got the ladder out of the those two groups have had a particularly big
garage, and made my way up to my son’s At first I was paralysed down one side and part in my life recently! I want to ensure that
bedroom window. immobile, though that got slowly better, I they have enough funds to enable them to
still had to be helped to the toilet and was a carry on providing care for others.
It was a warm night thank god, and he had handful. I can only remember going to the
a habit of sleeping with a window open. toilet and bathing on my own, which is no My mum, Vera Evans, has been overseeing
What happened next I don't know. The bad thing! my training for the walk; she is a member
window was shut, and I probably made my of Staffordshire Long Distance Walkers
way back down. I didn't fall off the ladder! Gradually recollection has returned, though Association. One of their members is going
As some papers have reported! I must have it's not perfect, and I still have some to walk the whole way with me, and they
fallen from the first floor, landing on my difficulty when speaking and spelling, or with have been kind enough to allow me to
head. I suffered a double fracture of the Maths. At first I did not always recognise my accompany them on their walks. I have
skull, and a broken wrist. wife or kids, and had no recollection of my done some challenging 20+ mile walks,
father passing away six years prior, so things including 29m ‘Kipling Caper’ around the
I was spark out, in a heap, close to the have improved! Rudyard area and over the Roaches in April.
kitchen back door, and that’s where I stayed
till my wife came down to make her brew I am eternally grateful to my wife for her care Training continues, and I have walked
at 9.30am! I may not have been found, but and patience; my mum for all the tender about 35m of the Staffs Way in preparation,
fortunately she went out to put something in care she has given, and my family and and I will be doing more prior to when the
the recycling bin; Michelle screamed, and I friends, for everything they have done for walk begins!
imagine all hell broke loose. me. I am now back at work on light duties,
and my recovery is a credit to the care and If you would like to support Neal’s
An ambulance was called, but when they professionalism of many people who had a fundraising efforts visit www.justgiving.
arrived they elected to send me to A&E part in it, however small. com/neal-evans which will remain open for
in Stoke. Due to my condition and the contributions until October.
location of our house, an air-ambulance was I am determined to make a small thank
called. The kids were asked to meet the you to two groups who have played a
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Story of the brave RAF firefighters who received a commendation from
US Commander in Afghanistan after extinguishing a huge blaze at an
They may not be taking part in the was absolute carnage, the smoke was hit we just had to withdraw because the
conflict itself, but a US Major General was that dense that you could hardly see the conditions where unbelievable and we just
extremely grateful to RAF firefighters for American firefighters, who were actually in had to evacuate everyone that was in our
their role in helping to put out a major there dealing with it. We got our guys into area for safety.”
blaze at a US camp which threatened breathing apparatus and got them guys to
lives as well as equipment. The team of the front.” A total of 55 RAF and American personnel
RAF firefighters were presented with a attended the fire, tackling the blaze
Certificate of Commendation by Major Conditions were particularly difficult through the night for 16 hours. Operational
General Richard P. Mills, US Commanding as efforts to extinguish the fire were effectiveness was not affected as the
General of 1st Marine Division, for their hampered by strong winds and the terrain. crews were put onto a resting rotation.
help in extinguishing the fire at Camp At one point, a large sandstorm meant Akrotiri based Sergeant Simon Marsh,
Leatherneck. that firefighters had to withdraw for their 35, from Somerset, said: “We put the
own safety. main fire out and then moved from ISO
The fire started in the late afternoon on Sergeant Steve to ISO to put out the spot fires. To put
16 May in a mixed storage unit which also Pickston, 28, the fire out we used a lot of
held flammable gas cylinders making the from Oldham, Conditions were water, utilising KBR (local
firefighting task particularly difficult. The who is based at particularly contractor) water bowsers
RAF were called out by their American RAF Northolt said: “We were as there is no water hydrant
colleagues as the blaze rapidly spread to the off-duty crew at the time difficult as efforts system down there. It was
such an extent that within half an hour when we saw the smoke, so basically fighting the fire
the flames could be seen from over a mile we went into work. The fire
to extinguish ISO by ISO container being
away in Camp Bastion. was getting quite bad at the the fire were wary that there is a lot of
time due to the wind and risk there in the form of
Corporal James McInally, 40, based at then we had the sandstorm hampered by compressed cylinders and
RAF Kinloss but originally from Glasgow, about 20 minutes later strong winds and petrol, oil and lubricants.
was the first RAF firefighter to arrive at which was horrific. We tried
the camp. Describing the scene he said: to hit [the fire] from all three the terrain The fire eventually
We saw this large plume of smoke and sides initially trying to create destroyed an area
actually thought it was on Bastion 1. “It a fire break, however when the sandstorm the size of two >>
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football pitches and took 16 hours to put
out. All of the firefighters involved received
medical attention with a couple treated
for smoke inhalation and eye irritation. All
were subsequently released from hospital.
Talking about the commendation from
US Major General Richard Mills, Sergeant
Marsh added; “Having General Mills come
down was a nice touch and goes a long
way for morale. Some of us are at the end
of our tour so it is a nice thing to end on.”
The Commendation cited that: “due to
the firefighters of the 903 EAW’s fierce
determination, selfless service and
steadfast devotion to duty, this huge fire
cost 1st Marine Division only material
losses and was quickly extinguished
before lives were lost.”
On presentation of the certificate Major
General Mills said: This is just a tiny, tiny
token of appreciation but it is symbolic
perhaps of the bravery, courage, skill and
professionalism that each and every one
of you exhibited that evening. I think that
the highest thing that we can say is that
in a situation where we could have had a
catastrophic loss of life, because of the
horses for hoses
way you fought that fire, we lost nobody. I
can buy new things but I cannot buy new
He added; “Thank you for coming to
our aid. I give you my personal and
professional gratitude for your effort you
all put in putting out that fire. It was the Professional jockey Alan Daly has put on two stone in weight to fulfil his
biggest damn fire I’ve ever seen and I
really didn’t know how it was going to
burning desire to become a firefighter after hanging up his riding boots.
turn out with that sandstorm coming in.
I tell you what; it was a serious, serious, After 15 years in the saddle and 203 wins, Simon Dow. From there, Daly’s riding career recently finished a three-month induction
serious threat, every one of you was in a 34-year-old called Alan Daly has joined snowballed and it was not long before he programme at Esher fire station.
dire personal danger. A lot of people think Surrey Fire and Rescue Service. Daly, who was racing alongside top jockeys such as
that the coalition fight is out beyond the claimed a winner at Lingfield racecourse in Frankie Dettori and competing in races in A career as a jockey may not be the usual
wire and it is, but it is also the coalition his final race, said: “Every sportsman will America, Dubai, Australia and Kuwait. stepping stone to a career in the service but
forces inside the wire and the day to day have his day and I wanted to get out when Daly believes that that there are transferable
cooperation of all of our units here that Top and middle: Scenes of devastation following the blaze. Above left: Corporal Jim McInally. Above right: Sergeant the going was good. The 5ft 7in jockey, better known as Arthur to skills – if you look hard enough. Daly said:
allow us to conduct the fight and I think Simon Marsh. his ex-colleagues in the weighing room, said: “I can use some of the skills I learned as
that this is a great example of that.” I had a fantastic time racing and went “There is no doubt I will miss racing and I a jockey in my new role as a firefighter.
Division Officer David Legg, a civilian The investigation in to the cause of out with a bang but I am ready for a new feel privileged to have lived that dream but Obviously there is the fitness side of things
RAF firefighter Corporal McInally said: advisor who was on the scene within the fire is still ongoing. UK Forces are challenge. The more I looked into the fire I was fed up of starving myself and sitting but being able to communicate well with
“It was amazing that General Mills came five minutes to help liaise with the deployed to Afghanistan in support of the service, the more I liked it. Like jockeys, in the sauna for two to three hours a day to people is essential for both professions.
down, it was something that we weren’t Americans said: I am very proud of UN authorised, NATO led International firefighters always have to be at the top of lose weight. It is so nice to be able to enjoy Also, in a race you have got to think on your
expecting. I think everybody can say that the RAF firefighters who showed great Security Assistance Force (ISAF) mission their game and be super fit. The fire service food and eat more than one meal a day.” feet and that is the same for a firefighter.
their heart was in their mouth, especially determination. The effort of the firefighters and as part of the US-led Operation also gives you the option of climbing the
giving out the certificates. At the end of meant that the fire was kept separated Enduring Freedom (OEF). UK operations career ladder if you want to.” In November, Daly, whose first success Kay Hammond, Surrey County Council
the day we were just doing our job and for from the fuel farm. It was the largest fire in Afghanistan are being conducted under was aboard Lying Eyes at Warwick in Cabinet Member for Community Safety, said:
someone to come down and appreciate in very difficult conditions that I have seen the name Operation HERRICK. Daly had his big break in horse racing in April 1994, completed the foundation “By making sure we have the right people,
that…actually coming here and saying and probably the largest fire that most of 1995 when he won the Apprenticeship firefighter course at Surrey Fire and with the right skills in the right places we feel
thanks, it means a lot.” these lads will see in their career.” Derby at Epsom with Global Dancer for Rescue headquarters in Reigate and he confident we can make Surrey safer.”
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Crane accident survivor
When a crane collapsed in Liverpool city centre last year, the driver was given
a 15% chance of survival after he plummeted 200ft and was pulled from the
rubble by Merseyside firefighters.
The determination of Merseyside through the hole and a lot of debris and that he was conscious before he fell
firefighters to rescue a badly injured crane my first thought was we needed to stop through the hole from the roof.
driver meant that he was able to thank him falling any further. So we used a rope
them in person during his recovery from to tie around him and tied it round myself By the time he arrived at the hospital,
his injuries. and the rope was then tied around the wall surgeons gave Iain just a 15% chance of
to prevent any of us from falling. A team surviving and told his wife there was a
Last month, he showed how he is defying then managed to pull him out.” 20% chance of him dying on the operating
the odds, when he met some of his table. But he beat the odds, surviving
rescuers from Merseyside Fire and Rescue Firefighter Ruth Millman from Red Watch the 11 hours in surgery where rods and
Service. at Toxteth Fire Station said: “I was pushed fixators were attached to his spine. The
through a tiny window to where they road to recovery since then has been long
After surviving the accident Iain Gillham had found the and arduous but he has remained positive
is on the slow road to recovery, but driver. He throughout.
he is still in hospital after sustaining a was still stuck
fractured skull, two chest fractures, 11 with rubble It was wonderful He added: “For me to come
spine fractures, a brain haemorrhage a on him and we through this has little to do
collapsed lung and serious crush injuries were trying to move him to meet them. with me and more to do with
to his left shoulder and arm. from the rubble, which was the medical service, the fire
still unstable, to a more
I wanted to service that got me out, the
He is now paralysed below the waist, but secure floor which we did personally say emergency team from A&E
last month he was determined to go along using ropes. There was a and doctors and nurses who
to Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service’s doctor and paramedic in
thank you. I have all played a very great
Commendation event at the Maritime there with us, the driver was know how much part in saving my life. It’s
Museum where some of the crews who still coherent talking to me absolutely incredible and I
rescued him were presented with awards. and I was holding his hand they did and the can’t thank them enough for
He said: “It was wonderful to meet them. I reassuring him. I then had to what they have
wanted to personally say thank you. I know cut off his shirt and boots so
risks they took... done.”
how much they did and the risks they took that the medical team could
and I’m just so grateful to all of them.” assess his injuries.” Iain is continuing
to recover in the
Following the crane collapse, a careful Iain has no memory of the incident itself Spinal Injuries Unit at Southport but hopes
plan was put in place to bring him out of or anything of the immediate weeks that he will be allowed to go home in the
the rubble safely. Firefighter Andy Lenwey following. Details of what happened have next few months, although he is having
from Croxteth Fire Station said: “When been relayed to him by people he worked to find a new place to live that will be
I first arrived the driver was in a hole up with, friends and family. And last month suitable for his wheelchair.
to his midriff. There was water pouring he was surprised to learn from firefighters
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Guest writers air their views
Is your employer is watching? the Fire Authority required you to prove that
you were of good character and capable
of passing both physical and academic
and you have been employed for a period
of 12 months or more, you have a right
not to be unfairly dismissed. However,
must be even handed in their approach
to these matters. A dismissal will be
unlawful if it amounts to less favourable
examinations. In performing your role you your employer can fairly dismiss you if treatment of an employee on grounds
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy… but if you’re a firefighter, can play cost are required to maintain both that good they have a fair reason for doing so, acted of their sex, race, age, disability, sexual
character and a level of fitness to perform reasonably in doing so, and followed orientation or religion. So if a female
you your job? your job to the best of your ability. proper procedures. officer was dismissed for her conduct
away from work, but a male officer who
It is a common belief that when we are This applies to all aspects of your job Under the Employment Rights Act 1996 conducted himself in a similar way was
away from the workplace we are no longer including rescue and meeting with members there are several prescribed fair reasons not dismissed, she may have grounds for a
accountable to our employer for our actions. of the local community. These requirements for dismissal which include ‘conduct, sex discrimination claim.
This is a misconception. In a world where don’t automatically end when your shift ends capability or “some other substantial
many of us open our private lives to all via and you take off your uniform. reason”’. If your conduct outside work was Procedurally, any claim for unfair dismissal
our Facebook pages or Twitter accounts, deemed to be inappropriate, in conflict or discrimination must be submitted to
more and more employees including those It is worth considering how you could be with your role or damaged your reputation an Employment Tribunal within three
working in the public service are finding viewed by work managers and colleagues, in the community, it is likely that this months of the dismissal. Remedies can
themselves in hot water, or even being as well as the general public if you take part would be a fair reason for dismissal under include reinstatement, re-engagement or
dismissed for conduct which takes place in certain out-of-work activities. For example, the first two terms. compensation.
outside the workplace. visible attendance or membership of an
extreme political group may bring you into “Some other substantial reason” is a So, before taking up that new hobby,
There have been a number of high-profile conflict with the community you serve and catch all term which an employer can rely pledging your allegiance to a particular
dismissals reported in the media recently. impact on your ability to perform your job. upon to dismiss you, provided that they group or letting the world know how you
For example, when it was discovered can prove that your conduct detrimentally are feeling, you should always consider
that a lawyer was the author of an erotic You may be able to function for a time affects your role at work or their reputation your work commitments and whether
online novel which included photographs when using recreational drugs or excessive as your employer. For example, in the case your action might run the risk of causing
of herself in her underwear, she was given drinking at the weekend but how long will it of the literary lawyer, whilst she was still conflict with your employer. You could
the opportunity to stop writing the novel be before it affects your ability to maintain capable of performing her job and her consider running any such ideas past a
by her employers. When she refused, she fitness levels? conduct was not unlawful, her employer trusted family member or friend and ask
was dismissed on the grounds that she was concerned with the damage to her for their objective opinion. If you do take
was clearly identifiable in the photographs More commonly, employees are caught out reputation and subsequently that of the the plunge and come into dispute with
and this could damage her reputation and by asking their boss and colleagues to be law firm, if clients were able to identify her your employer always seek legal advice as
that of her law firm. ‘friends’ on Facebook or to follow them on in the photographs. soon as is practicably possible. On many
Twitter. Such mediums allow colleagues occasions matters can be resolved without
Other cases include a police officer whose (and bosses) to see what we get up to away An employer faced with such issues will the need for litigation, often with the
name appeared on the membership list the outside interests of the employees those Regulations and each Fire Authority from the work place and even how we feel consider the particular role performed by preservation of the working relationship
of the British concerned were incompatible with the became responsible for producing their about the workplace when we are letting off the employee in question, for example, and most importantly, your job.
National nature of their jobs. own disciplinary code. steam to our friends online. These should their seniority and visibility and how their
Party who therefore be approached with caution. conduct impacts on their role at work.
It is a common Whether you choose to visit fetish clubs A common reason cited by employers
because his membership of belief that when So how does this affect or choose to bare all in an erotic novel, In addition, problems can arise after work in such cases is that there has been an
is a solicitor in the
the organisation conflicted those working in the fire to avoid suffering the same fate as the at social events with work colleagues. irretrievable breakdown in the working
with the diverse community we are away from service? literary lawyer or the performing probation Common problems involve the sexual relationship, usually on the grounds of
at Russell Jones
that he served; a probation
the workplace officer, it is always wise to have a general harassment of a colleague or inappropriate trust and confidence.
& Walker. Jennifer
officer working with Until 2004, Fire Service understanding of the code of conduct that behaviour after consuming too much
is a specialist in
sex offenders who was we are no longer personnel were subject to applies in your workplace and to know alcohol any of which could bring you into Once the reason for dismissal is
employment law in the
dismissed for performing the code of conduct and what amounts to gross misconduct and conflict with your employer. established, provided that the employer
in fetish clubs and selling
accountable to procedures set out in the dismissal. Your first point of reference here can show the decision was reasonable and
sado-masochistic products our employer for Fire Services (Discipline) should be the Grey Book, which sets out fair in all the circumstances and proper
online; and a war crimes Regulations 1985. your terms and conditions including the So what are your rights? procedure was followed, the dismissal will
investigator who was a Nazi our actions. In 2004 the Fire Code of Conduct. be deemed to be fair.
memorabilia enthusiast and Service and Rescue If you find yourself in conflict with your
commentator. Clearly in all of these cases Act 2004 repealed When you were first appointed in your role, employer due to your out-of-work activities It is worth noting however that employers
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Devon & Somerset
embrace swift water
Devon & Somerset Fire and Rescue embrace the latest technology and
practices in swift water rescue and now have an excellent provision of
specialist water rescue teams across the Service area.
Watch Commander, Ben Weedon is the transportation of rescuers, casualties cars which have a volume of water flowing
responsible for training Devon and and their equipment in the rescue through them. The water flows through
Somerset firefighters in swift water rescue environment. easily, but a person would be pushed
and has been conducting the Service's against the strainer by the sheer force of
in-house training for over 18 months. Ben explained some of the many hazards the water and become pinned up against it,
associated with water that members of the sometimes under the surface. Sadly this is a
The training Ben delivers is validated public may fall victim to. "The most obvious common reason why people drown.
by Rescue 3 International, which was of course, is drowning, particularly when an
founded in 1979 after a California search area of water may look relatively safe, but Swift flowing rivers create a hydrologic
and rescue team lost one of its own team actually contains hidden undercurrents. This effect around rocks and foaming water
members during a water rescue. They are is often the case where there is fast-flowing occurs. This type of water is called white
the largest international rescue training water. A person may easily be overcome as water which is 40 – 60% air and creates
organisation, overseeing and validating the force of water can be quite immense. two hazards: firstly, white water is not solid
courses in 32 countries around the world The temperature of the water also plays a enough to swim or paddle in, and secondly,
as well as being considered the pioneers part, and very cold water causes thermal it is not light enough to breathe in. So
in water and rope rescue training. shock and hypothermia anyone caught in this type of water is placed
in a dangerous situation.
Ben said: “As a service we have decided Even people who have strong swimming
to adopt the Rescue 3 system for our swift skills and have experience of locating river Ben commented; “Many people walk pets
water rescue training, as it has already hazards and how to navigate around them, alongside a river or close to weirs and it is
proved a very successful system in would be affected by cold water shock.” often the case that a dog will go into the
many fire and rescue services and other Said Ben adding, “There was a recent study river and the owner will try to rescue it.
organisations around the country. of Olympic swimmers that tested how they Generally animals are very good at getting
react in cold water – within minutes they themselves out and then it’s the owner that
Personell are trained to operate in both became incapacitated. Cold water cools gets into difficulty and needs to be rescued.
moving and flood water conditions, make down the body 25 times faster than cold But, when an animal is caught in a retentive
a suitable scene assessments and, if safe air. Any physical activity like swimming part of the river, then it is highly likely that
to do so, conduct rescues. This form of or struggling for survival in the water only the owner will be too.”
rescue focuses on being proactive rather increases the body's heat loss. Survival time
than reactive in training as well as an is reduced to minutes. “ As the highly specialised field of swift water
emphasis on ways to keep the rescuers from rescue continues to evolve with techniques
becoming victims. Ben went on to explain some of the hazards and procedures being subject to constant
within swift moving water that may take improvement, Devon & Somerset Fire and
The training also involves rope work, which the public unawares. One of the hazards Rescue Service is committed to reflecting
combines a range of skills using a variety often encountered by those in distress these developments.
of rope and water techniques, ranging from include ‘strainers’, which are objects such as
rope rescue systems across waterways, to hedges, fences, gaps in rocks or submerged
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The Burning Issue - Issue 25 - 20 www.theburningissue.co.uk The Burning Issue - Issue 25 - 21
Fire Services in North and West Yorkshire have been busy welcoming a
number of graduates and full-time firefighters after some intensive training.
Young firefighters celebrate graduation Service, said: “The young people who responsible for overseeing their training
have graduated this week should be very said, "I'm delighted these six firefighters
More than 200 teenagers from schools proud of themselves for the hard work have graduated successfully from their
around West Yorkshire pass their Young and dedication they have shown. The training. This will now continue on the
Firefighters course with flying colours. course encourages teamwork, discipline job and over the next 2 years or so and
and the young they will be working hard to gain extra
The young people carried out a number people now have qualifications under the mentorship of
of fire drills before their family and course a host of practical experienced firefighters from
instructors at two formal graduation skills they will find The 12-week their respective fire stations
ceremonies at West Yorkshire Fire invaluable at school course has been and indeed other staff from
and Rescue Service Headquarters in and for the rest of their lives.” throughout North Yorkshire
Birkenshaw. The scenarios saw them extremely hard and the City of York.
rescuing casualties from a simulated The Young Firefighters
house fire and preventing the spread of a scheme began in West
work as you The role of the modern fire
simulated fire in a high rise block by using Yorkshire six years ago may imagine but service is to be proactive
jets of water. as a means of promoting as well as to respond to
fire safety awareness and thoroughly emergencies when they
The Young Firefighters from 18 schools engaging more with children worth it. happen and all the
completed an Edexcel BTEC Level Two and young people in our new firefighters will
qualification in the Fire and Rescue communities. There are now be actively involved
Service in the Community. The two-year 25 schools involved from around West in delivering all aspects
course includes practical and academic Yorkshire and approximately 500 students. of the services we provide. I feel sure they
lessons at their local fire station and in will have long and fruitful careers with us".
the classroom in 24 subject areas such as
breathing apparatus, pumping appliances, New firefighters take up posts to serve One of the graduates Firefighter Cooper
community safety, casualty extrication the community added “The 12-week course has been
carried out by the fire and rescue service extremely hard work as you may imagine
and general life skills. Six trainee firefighters have successfully but thoroughly worth it. We all have new
completed 12-weeks intensive training at skills, knowledge and understanding of the
Many of the Young Firefighters have North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service modern fire service and we are looking
played an active role in the community Training Centre and will soon take up forward to working with our new teams on
by promoting fire safety, taking part in their new fire fighting roles at fire stations the fire stations to help our communities.
educational assemblies and fundraising. throughout the County. We have had a lot of fun too however."
Martin Hoole, Youth Training Co-ordinator
for West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Station Manager Andy Blades of NYFRS
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Chief Fire Officer Vij Randeniya, Nabeel Chowdhary and
Safeside Centre Manager Pete Wilson.
Awards for 10,000th visitor
fire heroes for safety centre
West Midlands Fire Service’s Safeside Centre has welcomed its
Staffordshire firefighters have been rewarded for their heroics in mounting
a rescue operation for 100 animals.
West Midlands Fire Service’s interactive from across the West Midlands and beyond nationally. We’re obviously delighted to
RSPCA Certificates of Commendation were farmhands – who were trying to pull the throughout the afternoon and managed to education centre, Safeside at Eastside have been flocking to visit the centre to help welcome Nabeel as our 10,000th visitor and
presented to 21 Staffordshire Fire and sheep to safety – off the land. Some of the rescue more than 50 of the 100 stranded recently welcomed the 10,000th visitor educate children about the hazards that hope that he enjoyed his visit,” Pete added.
Rescue Service officers at Lichfield Fire sheep were already dead while many had sheep. The awards were presented by the through its doors. Pupils from Bordesley exist out there in the big wide world.”
Station. The awards recognise the efforts become trapped in barbed wire. They were RSPCA’s Regional Manager for Wales and Green Primary School were the visitors who Nabeel said: “I’ve really enjoyed my day
of crews in stuck on an island where the water level West, Steve Carter and the RSPCA’s Chief helped the Vauxhall Road centre clock up At present, Safeside only runs a programme at Safeside, and I’ve learnt a lot. I’d like to
saving sheep was rising fast. Inspector, Dave Hollinshead. the milestone. Pupil Nabeel Chowdhary for primary school children, placing them come back again. I’m happy, shocked and
from flash was the lucky 10,000th person through in small groups with visitor guides who lead surprised to be the 10,000th visitor.”
flooding in This was a major A joint operation was Steve Carter, RSPCA Regional Manager the door, and he was presented with a them around a number of interactive safety
rescue where mounted with the RSPCA for Wales and West said: "This was a certificate and a special Safeside fleece to scenarios and explaining how they can Safeside is also looking for new volunteer
Lane, Lichfield in September utilising specialist water major rescue where the dedication and mark the occasion. make safe choices. In the autumn, though, visitor guides, who help bring to life the
2008. the dedication equipment which included commitment shown by fire and rescue there are plans to begin rolling out new scenarios for the young people who visit the
several boats and inflatable personnel was highly commendable. Over Safeside is a fully operational, life-sized programmes for secondary school pupils centre. It’s a great opportunity to help young
Station Manager, Paul
and commitment pontoons. Using an inflatable 100 sheep were in immediate danger of village with houses, shops, a road, canal and parents/carers or children under two- people understand how to stay safe, while at
Richins, who was the officer shown by fire and walkway and rescue boat drowning and this joint operation illustrated and rail tracks with a real train, all under one years-old. the same time developing some transferable
in charge at the incident to get across to the island the high levels of co-operation and mutual roof. It cost £2.3m to build and was opened skills which employers value highly. If
said, “There were about rescue personnel we ferried the sheep, six or trust between both organisations. Working in April 2009 by his Royal Highness the When we’re operating at full capacity, you’d be interested in volunteering, please
100 sheep left in the seven at a time, back onto together provides an excellent service for Duke of Kent. we reckon that we’ll be able to get up to contact Janet Wilson, volunteers coordinator,
was highly on 0121 380 6429 or email safeside.
field which were in a very dry land.” preventing and alleviated animal suffering." 20,000 people through our doors each
distressed state, what crews commendable... Pete Wilson, Safeside centre manager, said: year. Safeside has made a very strong start firstname.lastname@example.org
did first was to kit people Paul added “Safeside has been a phenomenal success to life and is firmly recognised as a unique
out in dry suits and get the crews worked since opening its doors last year. Schools educational facility, both in the region and
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An innovative course has been officially launched at the University of
Wolverhampton in partnership with West Midlands Fire Service.
The new BSC (Hons) Fire and Rescue opportunities to work alongside West to undertake the basic firefighters
aims to prepare students for a challenging Midlands Fire Service staff.” programme with West Midlands Fire
career in the fire service through Service, subject to completing a
academic study and work placements. A Vij Randeniya, successful application and medical and
Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) West Midlands fitness assessments.
was signed at the University by the Vice Fire Service’s Chief In a modern
Chancellor, Professor Caroline Gipps and Fire Officer, said: The course can be studied
the Chief Fire Officer, Vijith Randeniya. “In a modern professional
professional fire full-time over three years,
fire service, it is vital that service, it is vital or part-time over four to six
The degree will include modules focused firefighters get the best years. The degree is offered
on crisis management, leadership, fire possible training and that firefighters by the University’s School
law, fire investigations and the chemistry qualifications available to
get the best of Law, Social Sciences
of combustion. Students will also become them, to meet the demands and Communications, in
community volunteers working with the fire of firefighting in the 21st possible training partnership with the School
service during their studies. century. of Health and Wellbeing,
and qualifications School of Engineering and
Dr Martin Wright is leading the course, People considering a available to the Built Environment,
which is due to start in September 2010. He career as a firefighter have the University of
said: “The new BSc (Hons) Fire and Rescue the opportunity to gain a them... Wolverhampton
course will further strengthen the University formal degree qualification Business School and
of Wolverhampton’s relationship with the in Fire and Rescue. The course the School of Applied
emergency services, building on the success represents another significant step in the Sciences.
of the BSc (Hons) Policing degree. development of professional firefighting in
the United Kingdom and I am delighted to The new degree follows the successful
“This new degree is an innovative but support its launch.” launch of a BSc (Hons) Policing in
highly challenging academic programme, partnership with West Midlands Police.
coupled with practical inputs and excellent Students will be offered opportunities
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Tyne and Wear raise
over 60s awareness
It takes years to build up memories - and just seconds for them to go up in
flames. That's the warning from Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service in a
new campaign which aims to make people over 60 safer from fire.
Statistics from Tyne and Wear Fire and unattended and making sure cigarettes are and rescue service is distributing posters
Rescue Service show that you are more safely extinguished and disposed of. to shops, post offices, hospitals and GP
than twice as likely to be killed or injured in surgeries to highlight the campaign.
an accidental house fire if you are over 60, Area Manager for Community Safety, John
with fires starting in the kitchen being the Baines, Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Special safety stickers to remind people
biggest cause of fires. Service, said: “Everyone has a right to be to switch off electrical appliances are also
safe in their own home. Fire costs lives and being distributed as part of the home safety
Called 'It takes families can be devastated when a loved check. The fire and rescue service is also
seconds', the one dies or their home is destroyed. Many working with partners like Age Concern and
new campaign of their possessions and other support agencies to make sure that
was rolled out
...you are more their memories cannot be as many people over 60 receive vital life
across Tyne and Wear in than twice as replaced. saving advice.
April. The campaign was
aimed at making around likely to be killed Everyone is at risk of having 5 ways to keep safer from fire
12,000 people over 60 safer or injured in an a fire in their home but older
from fire though a range of people are more vulnerable • Get smoke alarms fitted in your home
activities, including home accidental house than most which is why we're and test them weekly.
visits by community fire appealing to people over 60
safety officers who will be
fire if you are to let us help make • Plan your escape route in the event of a
offering free home safety over 60... them safer. They can fire.
checks. prevent tragedies
happening by • Switch off electrical appliances at night.
Home safety checks include providing fire adopting simple safety
safety advice, advising on the best escape measures. Home safety checks are free and • Never leave cooking unattended.
plan if a fire does break out, fitting smoke quick to carry out. It takes our Community
alarms and providing practical suggestions Fire Safety Officers just 20 minutes to Ensure that you fully extinguish any
on how to ensure fire safety is part your complete and it's time well worth spending cigarettes and tap your ash into an ashtray,
daily routine. This includes closing doors when you consider how quickly fire can take never a waste basket containing other
at bedtime to reduce the spread of fire, hold and devastate lives." rubbish.
ensuring electrical appliances are properly
switched off, never leaving cooking As well as visiting people over 60, the fire
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Informed Opinion On Fire Service Issues
Juvenile Fire Setting - a dangerous for youths who have engaged in firesetting
at home, or because they were angry or
upset, to do so alone, whereas, youths
well to the firesetting intervention and
continued to be involved in firesetting;
this appears to be as a result of
need to continue to work together but fire
safety and anti-arson work may need to
be targeted at the primary school level
fascination with fire who engaged in firesetting in a public
place or for fun, tended to do so with a
friend or a group of friends. Furthermore,
chronic social and personal issues and
unresolved frustrations. In addition, these
youths showed a lack of any fear of the
or earlier. Fire safety messages need to
come from a range of responsible adults
including parents/carers and teachers.
those pupils who received fire safety consequences of getting caught (e.g. no
Post graduate researcher Donna Lovell shares her findings from a study into the reasons and advice from a parent/carer were less likely fear of being detained in a secure unit), Furthermore, it appears from the current
motivations behind juvenile firesetting in the UK. to set fires than those pupils who had not thus these young people felt that being firesetting studies that the youths that have
received any fire safety guidance. detained would not deter them from being come to the attention of the authorities
involved in firesetting or in some cases as engaging in firesetting behaviour have
Just over three years ago I started on a In addition to the Young People and Fire other criminal acts. been doing so for some time, and are
project about juvenile firesetting behaviour, Survey, an in-depth study was conducted likely to be taking more risks than those
which was part of a unique collaboration on twelve families with one or more youths Many of the families I interviewed had youths who have simply not been caught.
between Avon Fire & Rescue Service, within the family engaging in firesetting multiple problems and their lives were very
Great Western Research, the University of behaviour, which included 17 male youths chaotic. There were cases were firesetting This research has been made possible
the West of England and the University of and one female. The ages of these youths behaviour stemmed from an undiagnosed by a number of individuals Avon Fire &
Gloucestershire. ranged from eight years old at the start of developmental disorder, and other cases Rescue Service, Great Western Research,
the study up to 17 years old. related to frustration from problems at Dr. Rachel Gillibrand (UWE), Dr. Dianne
The phenomenon of juvenile firesetting school and at home that were not getting Catherwood (UoG) and Dr. Rachel
is a complex behaviour that warrants While this study sample involved youths resolved. Interventions that incorporate Manning (UWE), University of the West
investigation not just into the behaviour and families with more complex difficulties fire safety advice and detailing the of England, University of Gloucestershire,
itself but also the context that the who were involved in more serious fire- consequences of firesetting can be very and to the CFOA South West Young
behaviour has occurred in. To address related behaviours, it is not uncommon for effective for many youths; however, there Persons Steering group, as well as the
some of the criticisms of past research the fire service to work with such families. are some youths who do not respond well schools, families and the youths who
and the general lack of research into I worked with these families from the start to interventions, these are often the result participated in the studies.
juvenile firesetting a series of studies of the intervention process up to a period of chronic social and personal issues and
were designed which utilised a variety of two years, in which I was able to record unresolved frustrations. For further information or details about the
of methods and drew on established any further firesetting behaviour during firesetting studies please contact Donna
psychological principles, to investigate this time. Preliminary findings suggest Interventions need to be tailored according Lovell at Donna2.email@example.com
the underlying factors and experiences of that the mothers in the sample display a to the various factors underlying the
young fire setters and their families in the higher rate of clinical depression than in firesetting behaviour, for example
Avon area. an average population, and are generally addressing the personal motive behind
Donna Lovell is
dissatisfied with life, parenting practices the fire and responding to the contextual
a post graduate
In addition, a Young People and Fire burning items like paper, grass or rubbish, but the majority of youths first reported are less consistent, less effective and more nature of the firesetting behaviour.
survey, which involved 321 secondary usually once or twice (experimental) and is engaging with fire in the latter primary punitive, and the mother/child relationship Depending on the nature and the
school pupils, was conducted in schools often referred to in the firesetting literature school years. Only seven of the pupils is less positive than in similar (non- background to the firesetting, intervention
in Avon, Dorset and Gloucestershire with as fireplay. surveyed (3.5%) had received a one-to- firesetting) study samples. workers would need to recognise when a
is based at The
the aims of exploring the prevalence of fire one firesetting intervention from a fire youth or the family need further support
University of the West
interest, fireplay and firesetting behaviour Almost a quarter of youths in the survey service, suggesting that the majority of The youths in the sample all had problems from outside agencies and could assist in
of England, Bristol.
in a general sample of adolescents. A sample were involved in more frequent and youths in the survey were not caught or or issues associated with school and often signposting onto the appropriate service.
mixed methods approach was used problematic firesetting behaviour, burning a the firesetting behaviour went unnoticed. issues with friendships. General themes
Her research has already been recognised
throughout the research including range of items and taking more risks. Fire across the families include problems with Reports of the study findings together
at the Gore Fire Research Excellence
questionnaires, psychological scales and activity was more prevalent in male pupils The main motives for engaging with fire family relationships, frustration/anger, with recommendations for future practice
Awards 2009 and has been presented
measures and a longitudinal family case than female pupils with 75% of male pupils were reported by the pupils as boredom inappropriate or lack of support (from will be complete by the end of the year.
to the Chief Fire Officer's Association.
study analysis. and 53% of female pupils engaging in fire and fun, with some pupils reporting a mix family and outside agencies), emotional, Overall the programme of the research as
Her PhD thesis was also presented at the
activity with almost a third (30%) of pupils of reasons or being upset or angry. There behavioural and/or developmental issues a whole suggest that juvenile firesetting is
British Psychological Society's Annual
The findings from the survey found that claiming they had set a fire in the last six appears to be a thrill seeking element to (youths) and environmental issues a community problem, with the majority of
Conference in Stratford-on-Avon this year.
the majority of young people (65%) in the months of the study date. firesetting for the majority of the pupils (for example firesetting may become youths experimenting with fire and burning
survey engaged with fire during childhood with an emotional element to firesetting normalised in particular neighbourhoods). things with varying degrees of risk. Often
and/or adolescence. This involvement may Some pupils reported experimenting reported by ten percent of the pupils low level fire involvement goes unnoticed
be exploratory in nature and often involved with fire from as young as two years old, surveyed. There also appears to be a trend A small number of youths did not respond or unrecorded. Local FRS and schools
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Modern technology and the increasing use of synthetic materials has
changed the way that fire burns, making it more toxic, much hotter and with
More and more of today’s firefighters are Rick Rochford a 26-year veteran of the three times hotter and faster than natural
dying from exposure to toxic chemicals Jacksonville Fire Rescue Department and materials, quick flashovers are able to
like hydrogen cyanide (HCN) and Carbon Anthony Toro a veteran firefighter involved increase the speed of HCN release.
Monoxide (CO). Open to firefighters in a HCN/CO exposure case led the Symptoms include headache, rapid and
around the world, a free Webinar Webinar. weak respirations, vomiting, excitability,
programme was hosted by specialist tachycardia, hypotension, convulsions
fire protection manufacturers Draeger Until recently, CO poisoning was thought and coma. Death can follow within hours,
aimed at raising awareness of the risks of to have been the primary cause of death even if only small amounts of cyanide have
exposure to these potentially lethal gases. in those overcome been ingested.
The Webinar “Unmasking the threat of by smoke but
HCN and CO poisoning – a firefighter’s mounting evidence Colourless, odourless and
perspective” took place in June this year now suggests that
As synthetic tasteless, CO is known
with registration via the company’s website HCN could have been materials can as the invisible killer. A
directly responsible for more
burn up to three fire will undoubtedly lead
The webinar was designed to be of those deaths. to CO emission and the
educational, and covered topics such as the times hotter and health effects will depend
toxic gases that are generated by fire and, The poisonous and often faster than natural very much on the level of
specifically, how different materials produce lethal effect of HCN lies in exposure and the age and
HCN and CO. As well as the effects on the release of the cyanide materials, quick fitness of the individual
health, it also looked at the anatomy of fire ion. Produced by the flashovers are able concerned. At low levels,
smoke, focusing on the toxicitiy of these two combustion of polyurethan inhalation of CO causes
potentially lethal substances. Case studies foams, natural fibers,
to increase the flu-like effects such as
included a first-hand account of toxic gas melamine and synthetic speed of HCN headache, dizziness, nausea
exposure at a Providence, Rhode Island polymers such as those and fatigue. Higher
restaurant. Delegates heard how proper found in insulation, cushions,
release. level exposures will
use of self-contained breathing apparatus carpets, bedding and building lead to a loss of
during overhaul helped firefighters cope materials, the symptoms of HCN poisoning power in the legs and
with the conditions inside. occur rapidly after inhalation. unconsciousness, with
high concentrations being immediately
Two experienced firefighters, Captain As synthetic materials can burn up to dangerous to life.
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Fire service backs
West Midlands Fire Service (WMFS) has come to the rescue of two talented
young fencers after their governing body withdrew funding, leaving them
with nowhere to train.
Thankfully Jamie and Rhys Melia, from the country, is a former British Under 20 Association. He has been selected to
Kings Norton have now found an alternative champion and was voted BBC Midlands coach the Great Britain Under 20 and
training venue with the help of West Young Sportsman of the Year in 2009. Under 17 women’s epee teams and the
Midlands Fire Service. He recently beat an American fencer British Paralympic Fencing team.
ranked in the top 20 in the world at a
On hearing of their plight, WMFS’ Academy, Senior World Rhys commented: “It’s going to prove
based in Dartmouth Road, Smethwick, Cup competition very useful for us to have a free venue to
stepped in to offer free use of their sportshall in Portugal but train in because as full time
to allow Jamie and Rhys to continue training without funding
...we need to athletes we need to be able
and keep them on track for their Olympic is unable to attend be able to train to train everyday if we can.
dream – if not in London in 2012, then in many more events at this So a big thank you to WMFS
Rio in 2016. level. He will be using his everyday if we for helping us out - if we
limited personal funds to had to go down the route of
can. So a big hiring a sports hall, then it
Group Commander Mark Taylor, from represent Wales at the
WMFS’ Academy, said: “When I heard about Senior Commonwealth thank you to costs us money we simply
the plight of these two young athletes, it Fencing Championships don’t have.
seemed a terrible shame that they were left, in Melbourne, Australia, in
WMFS for helping
through no fault of their own, with nowhere September and October. us out... Realistically, I’m
to practice. We decided to step in and help looking to get to
them keep their dreams on track. Jamie, aged 22, was ranked the 2016 Olympics,
7th in the UK last year but has suffered a although I’ve not given
Both are among the top performers in their serious back injury which has meant he up on the London Olympics in 2012. I
sport for their ages, and their passion for hasn’t been able to fence competitively. really hope I can get there, but there’s
their sport is clear to see because they’ve He is a former British Under 20 champion a lot of hard work to do before that will
set up their own club and work part-time and has represented Great Britain at the happen.”
teaching fencing to pupils in schools in World University Games in 2009.
south Birmingham. That’s unbelievable Jamie and Rhys are third generation
dedication, and they deserve some support While he has been injured, he has taken fencers who are following in the footsteps
from their local community to keep their to coaching, helping develop several of their parents, aunts, uncles and
Olympic ambitions alive.” national Under-14, Under-16 and Under- grandfather who have all fenced for Wales
18 champions in the West Midlands and in the past.
Rhys, aged 20, is currently ranked 5th in working with the British Disabled Fencing
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West Yorkshire FRS carried out a record 63,225 home fire safety checks in
The county’s fire and rescue service are preventable if people are offered timely Chair of West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue
has now completed 333,000 visits over advice and practical help.” Authority”
the past five years. “There’s no doubt
that our ambitious programme of home Mr. Pilling added that partnership working Statistics just released confirm that West
visits, smoke alarm installation and fire and information sharing was now the key Yorkshire has one of the most effective
prevention campaigns have had a radical to further success because that was the and efficient fire authorities in the country.
impact on our best way to identify and target those at In the last financial year, efforts to crack
communities. West greatest risk and in greatest need. down on unnecessary fires helped drive
Yorkshire is safer down the total number of incidents from
now than it’s ever Our brigade Councillor David Ridgway 36,667 in 2008/9 to 34,324. Calls to
been,” said Chief Fire said that although traditional fires involving people or property dipped
Officer Simon Pilling.
was one of the fire and rescue operations to 4,384 (12.8 per cent). Malicious calls
pioneers of still accounted for the vast which potentially distract firefighters from
“We used to see 3,040 bulk of the organisation’s genuine and life threatening emergencies
fire deaths every year. In community fire annual budget, the growing reduced from 1,165 to just 713.
2009/10 there were 11
safety but we’ve investment in fire safety and
accidental fire fatalities community relations work Sadly, there were 80 attacks reported
– that’s 11 too many yet to reach many would reach almost £12m. against staff on duty, but yet again this
but nevertheless a huge this year. represented a 37 per cent reduction on
difference.” Mr. Pilling
people who could 2008/9. Annual spending, per head of
said that by 2013 he was most benefit... “Our brigade population and for an authority ranked
determined that his staff was one of the as the top performer in the region by the
would have visited 450,000 homes – over pioneers of Audit Commission, was £39.52 compared
half the county total. community fire with £43.49 in South Yorkshire and as
safety but we’ve yet to reach many people much as £54.70 in London.
Every time we fight a fire it’s a sign of who could most benefit, including the
failure because the vast majority of fires elderly and housebound,” explained the
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Tania Le Marinel (on ladder) with Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service officers’ (l-r) Paul
Salters, Jeff Stephenson, Phil Waddell, Tom Richardson and Roy Lewis.
Fired up by
Downing Street visit health scheme
for awards nominees Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service secures NHS Better Health at Work
Award – an initiative helping thousands of employees towards improved
health and fitness in the North East.
Six members of Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service were invited to Downing
Employees at Tyne and Wear Fire and given our life saving role. We already invest encourage companies to get in better shape
Street after being shortlisted for a Spirit of Fire award. Rescue Service will benefit from access to a great deal in the health and welfare of our as the economy emerges from recession.
local health support services under the new employees so we’re delighted to participate To support achievement of the bronze
David Cameron was unable to host the last four in three categories – a first for community, especially recently. regional award. Specifically, the service will in this initiative as we believe it will continue award, the College has introduced a Fit for
reception due to his visit to Cumbria and Cumbria.” be developing a programme to help make to raise the profile and importance of being Life programme which includes a range
those affected by the shootings in the west The three nominees were Cockermouth fire crews' work safer, healthier and happier. an employer that contributes to the wellbeing of initiatives for staff, including free gym
of the county, but in his place Eric Pickles, Mr Pickles and Mr Neill spoke at length to Fire Station, for Station of the Year, John This will include working with the project of its staff.” membership, healthy food options, a walking
Secretary of State for Communities, and members of the service praising them, not Wall from Workington Locality for Charity award team to review physical and mental club and after-work salsa classes.
Bob Neill, the Fire Minister were there to only for the charity work they do, but the Supporter of the Year and the service was health policies and identifying individual Gateshead College is managing the Better
greet all those who had been shortlisted professionalism shown by all from Cumbria shortlisted for Brigade of the Year. officers to act as health advocates who will Health at Work Award on behalf of NHS The project co-ordination team will continue
for the awards. who have been involved with some very organise health related events and activities. South of Tyne and is the only non-NHS to work with nominated ‘health advocates’
difficult situations including the floods, Although CFRS didn’t pick up any of the organisation running the scheme in the at these organisations to identify the topical
Despite not picking up any of the three the Keswick school bus crash, and west top prizes, members of the Service had the Meanwhile the service’s senior officers at North East. It is given to companies issues affecting employees and ways to
awards they were shortlisted for, Cumbria's Cumbria shootings on Wednesday. opportunity to meet some of the celebrities Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service will committed to improving the workplace improve them.
Chief Fire Officer, Dominic Harrison, was at the event including Esther Rantzen, be able to use the programme to benchmark and health of their employees. Any size of
delighted with his teams' visit to London. At the ceremony, held at Wembley Stadium, Ken Livingstone, Simon Weston, Charley against others to measure workplace organisation can participate and employers The qualification provides an ideal way of
He said: “I am immensely proud of the the Cumbria contingent wore heart shaped Boorman and Jenny Powell. However it was health and wellbeing and the impact of can take advantage of free guidance and equipping key staff with basic health advice
work that members of Cumbria Fire and badges promoting tourism in Cumbria Bruce Forsyth who was full of praise for initiatives on workforces. Peter Trevithick, support to meet the award criteria. and methods of support which they can
Rescue Service (CFRS) do for the charity and the host, BBC News' Nicholas Owen, Cumbria and the work we do here and he area manager for HR and Learning and then use to inform and assist colleagues
and their communities, and although we also wore a badge while he praised the said he was proud to be associated with Development at Tyne and Wear Fire and The NHS is piloting the Award in the and customers.
didn’t pick up one of the top prizes it was members of the service for the tremendous those dedicated to their community. Rescue Service said: “The health of our staff North East to help address chronic poor
a fantastic achievement to be down to work they do for the charity and for the is a critical issue to our service, especially health afflicting local workforces and to
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of Fire Awards
One of the biggest nights of the year in the firefighting calendar took place in
June. The event was attended by some of the heroes of the past year and a
number of celebrity guests (including some familiar faces from 2009).
The cream of the UK’s Fire & Rescue the first firefighter in Europe to return to of their communities before your own. They
Services arrived in London in June and full duties with a prosthetic limb. He was should be tremendously proud of their
celebrated at a special Downing Street presented his award by comedy legends achievements.”
Reception, before heading off to Wembley Bruce Forsyth and Barry Cryer.
Stadium for The Spirit of Fire Awards 2010, The evening’s awards, now in their sixth
where members of the fire community were Rebecca Williamson, sister to the late year are funded by headline sponsors
awarded for their courageous acts at a star- firefighter Ewan Williamson was also Airwave Solutions, telent and E.A.D.S.
studded award ceremony. present to collect the award for Britain’s Celebrities who attended the evening
Bravest Firefighter on behalf of her brother ceremony include: Faulkland’s war hero;
The annual Spirit of Fire awards is Ewan who died whilst tackling a blaze in Simon Weston; Sky Sport’s presenter Alex
organised by The Fire Fighters Charity and Edinburgh back in July last year. Payne; CiTV’s Anna Williamson; comedy
commemorates the remarkable acts of legends Barry Cryer and Bruce Forsyth; TV
bravery that have taken place within the A special recognition award was also given adventurer - Charley Boorman; Eastenders’
UK’s Fire & Rescue Service over the past to representatives from the eight fire and – Cliff Parisi; Esther Rantzen; Graham Bell;
twelve months, as well as dedication to rescue services who formed part of the Jacqui Hames; Jenny Powell; politician -
fundraising for The Fire Fighters Charity. UK-International Search & Rescue Team Ken Livingstone; Money Expert - Martin
who travelled to Haiti in January performing Lewis; Matt Brown; Mike Golding; Mickey
Fire services, individual firefighters and a particularly lengthy and difficult Ambrose; paralympians Sascha Kindred
some particularly brave members of the operation, under extreme pressure, high and Nyree Lewis; Radio 2’s Stuart Maconie;
public were awarded at the ceremony in temperatures Tom O’ Connor and Vanessa Feltz.
front of a sell out audience. The awards and tragic
were again presented by BBC newsreader circumstances. Every year, thousands of
Nicholas Owen, a passionate supporter of Other categories
Each and every firefighters are injured whilst
the charity and the fire and rescue service, on the night include two one of the protecting the public. The
who seems to return year after year to do awards dedicated to the Fire Fighters Charity is here
an excellent job. Celebrities from the world general public – Child Public nominees this for firefighters during their
of sport and entertainment also showed Hero, sponsored by the year are shining times of need assisting
their support to the UK’s world class fire Department for Education thousands of individuals
service by handing out awards to the and supported by First News examples of every year, by providing
winners of each category Children’s Newspaper and pioneering treatment
Adult Public Hero, supported
society. and support services.
The ceremony began with classical singer, by Real People magazine. It costs over £9 million
songwriter Camilla Kerslake entertaining every year to keep the
the fire community audience and VIPS Chairman for The Fire Fighters Charity, Charity running, and with
before those nominated for an award took Keith MacGillivray said, “Each and every no government funding, is completely
centre stage. The pinnacle award for the one of the nominees this year are shining reliant upon donations from the general
evening is the award for Firefighter of the examples of society. They are selfless, public and fire community.
Year which was won by Simon Hawkins – valiant individuals who put the lives of those
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Glasgow Cathedral was full to capacity for a service to mark the 50th
anniversary of the Cheapside Street Disaster in March.
The families of the 14 firemen and five The Disaster was also commemorated Glasgow Fire Service was called to
salvagemen killed when a whisky bond by a ceremony at the Cheapside Street Cheapside Street at quarter past seven
exploded in Glasgow were joined by Memorial at the Necropolis overlooking in the evening. An employee of a
survivors of the disaster, serving personnel Glasgow Cathedral, and the unveiling of a neighbouring business had seen smoke
of Strathclyde Fire & Rescue and civic commemorative plaque, viewed by a large coming from a window in a bonded
heads including the Lord Provost of crowd at George Square in the centre of warehouse belonging to Arbuckle, Smith
Glasgow. Glasgow. and Company. The building contained
more than a million gallons of proof whisky
The ceremony to mark the biggest loss of Chief Officer in vats and barrels and over
life in the peacetime history of the UK Fire Sweeney gave a People living 31,000 gallons of rum.
Service marked the culmination of almost moving address at the in Glasgow at
two years of planning by Strathclyde FRS. Cathedral during which he Firemen entered the
Preparations began in July 2008 when described the Disaster: “To the time still warehouse and made a
Chief Officer Brian Sweeney hosted a many Glaswegians born after determined search for the
lunch for Cheapside veterans. Sadly, some Cheapside Street, the disaster
remember where seat of the fire - to no avail.
of those veterans had passed on by the may seem a remote piece of they were and Meanwhile in Warroch
time the gathering of over 700 people Glasgow’s history. To many of Street, at the rear of the
filed into the Cathedral for the memorial you who are among us here, what they were warehouse, firemen had
service. however, Cheapside Street is a doing when they spotted flames through a
part of your own personal and barred ground floor window.
Among the veterans were James Dunlop, family story. You may have lost learnt of the The firemen in Warroch
who was awarded the George Medal for a father, a brother, an uncle or Street set a ladder
his gallantry in ensuring that his colleague a friend in that tragedy.
disaster against the window
was brought safely down from his and were about to
turntable ladder while whisky barrels were People living in Glasgow at the time still train a hose on the
tumbling out of the bond and exploding remember where they were and what flames when, at 12
in flames beside the Dunlop’s TL. Others they were doing when they learnt of the minutes to eight, the Cheapside Street
in the gathering included ex-fireman disaster. They saw the impact of the disaster took place.
Raymond Ferrari and former salvageman disaster on their television screens or by
Joe Smith, who narrowly avoided losing watching the flames and the glare of the Suddenly, the 60 foot-high walls of the
their lives when they were hit by the blast blaze in the night sky from the safety of centre section of the warehouse blew out
from the explosion. their homes. onto Cheapside Street and Warroch >>
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Street. In Cheapside Street, Firemen
John Allan, Gordon Chapman and George
McIntyre were killed instantly by falling
rubble. The Central Fire Station’s brand
new turntable ladder was also destroyed.
In Warroch Street the death toll was
even higher. The collapse of the wall
onto that street claimed the lives of Sub
Officer James Calder, Sub Officer John
McPherson and Firemen Christopher
Boyle, Alexander Grassie, Edward
McMillan, Iain Mcmillan, William Watson,
William Crocket, Archibald Darroch, Daniel
Davidson and Alfred Dickinson.
The explosion was also a devastating blow
for Glasgow Salvage Corps which lost five
members in Warroch Street. They were
Deputy Chief Salvage Officer Edward
Murray, Leading Salvageman James
Mclellan and Salvagemen Gordon Mcmillan,
James Mungall and William Oliver.
Support wanted for
This death toll was the highest in the
peacetime history of the British Fire
Service. A tragedy that would shock the
country and would lead to messages of
condolence being sent by fire services
children’s fire safety
around the world. The scale of the event
was not, however, confined to the number
of people killed. Glasgow Fire Service
was faced with a massive blaze as whisky
barrels rolled out into the streets and
smashed, creating rivers of burning alcohol.
The firemen managed to contain
Fire Services urged to participate in National Fire Safety Awareness Campaign.
the blaze, preventing its spread to
neighbouring bonds. They were greatly The campaign is about helping to raise annual, high profile awareness week, to Service HQs or Watch Managers wish
assisted by the St Mungo, the new fire awareness of the dangers of fire and provide anyone who looks after children, to receive a specific numbers of packs
boat which fed thousands of gallons of educate children about fire safety. This with the tools they need to educate those in to support their activity, they can email
water to fire engines at the scene. The fire year The Fire Fighters Charity and the their care about fire safety and help drive firstname.lastname@example.org.
was brought under control at just after six Communities and Local Government Fire these numbers down. This year the topic is
in the morning. According to Firemaster Kills Campaign are continuing their quest Matches & Lighters: Tools not Toys which is The campaign is accompanied by a fun
Martin Chadwick this was thanks to ‘the to encourage primary schools to work with being supported by CFOA. and educational microsite lead by fictional
most tenacious and resourceful response their local Fire and Rescue Service during character Neenaw The Fire Engine, and
by all ranks.” this year’s National Schools’ Fire Safety The objective of the campaign is to teach includes individually designed zones
Week (4th-8th October 2010). children the key messages relating to the for both adults and children. Additional
A book, Tinderbox Heroes, which dangers of matches and lighters that are teachers’ resources, games, quizzes and
commemorates Cheapside Street and Between 2007 and 2008, 16 children easy to remember and can be passed on to advice for parents and carers can also be
other major post war Glasgow fires, under the age of 11 were killed in fires in friends and siblings, consecutively helping found on this dedicated website.
is available from Strathclyde Fire & the UK, and a further 1,300 were injured to prevent fires.
Rescue’s Retired Employees Association, in house fires. Fire statistics also show that To help further promote the event in
Headquarters, Bothwell Road, Hamilton, over 35,000 fires in 2008 were started by The campaign is primarily aimed at Key schools, The Fire Fighters Charity is
ML3 0EA, priced at £12.99. The book children under the age of 18, almost half of Stage 1 children (5-7 year olds) and all launching a national competition, in which
is written by Alan Forbes, public affairs which were caused by matches, lighters or teachers, parents or carers wishing to children are asked to complete the first
manager of Strathclyde Fire & Rescue, lighted candles. participate in the event can request a line of a poem, presenting their work in a
and James Smith, a former staff officer of free teachers’ resource pack which will creative format!
Strathclyde Fire Brigade. The Fire Fighters Charity and the include daily classroom activity worksheets,
Communities and Local Government Fire an event poster, homework sheet and For more information email firesafety@
Kills Campaign have therefore created this guidance notes. Should Fire & Rescue firefighterscharity.org.uk.
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Innovative Technology For The Fire Industry
BOTT and primetech join forces to and from operational headquarters and
command points – even in the most hostile
phones, as well as a Sky TV Dome,
completing the fully integrated video, voice
and data response system.
satellite communications systems and are
designed to meet the rigorous challenges
faced by fire crews, who are regularly
innovate fire safety To further support the flow of strategic
and key tactical information between the
Des Tidbury, CFRS Chief Fire Officer, said:
“I am delighted we have taken delivery of
deployed in difficult and dangerous
conditions in remote areas. Without doubt
these new vehicles will greatly assist our
incident scene and CFRS’s headquarters, these new hi-tech vehicles, which are a incident commanders to effectively manage
Bott, a manufacturer of workplace and in-vehicle storage solutions, has joined forces with Primetech also installed a Voice Over IP tribute to the abilities and professionalism emergency situations, ensuring the safety
mobile satellite and secure wi-fi technology specialists Primetech, to develop two state-of-the- (VoIP) telephone service, which removes of all three companies involved. The units of our firefighters and the public.”
reliance on the availability of mobile offer the very best cutting-edge, integrated
art vehicles for Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service (CFRS).
To enhance ground-level communications
and improve fire-fighter safety, CFRS
identified the need for new, 21st Century
mobile incident command units. Once
Vimpex and Ogura showcase
a specification had been developed,
CFRS contacted Firebuy Ltd, the national
procurement organisation for fire and
battery powered rescue tools
rescue services, to ensure the vehicles met
their exact requirements. Vimpex and Ogura unveil their revolutionary range of battery powered hydraulic rescue
tools at Interschutz 2010.
As CFRS wanted to make a substantial
investment for each vehicle, Firebuy
recommended Bott for the fit out and Those keen to learn more about the
conversion of the vans to the bespoke cutters were able to see the tools in
specification and Primetech to provide action on Vimpex’s booth and also during
the information and communications continuous live demonstrations on their
technology. The outcome of this external stand.
partnership is the creation of two modern,
bespoke vehicles. Above: Interior of the new state-of-the-art vehicles. The Ogura range is made up of three main
tools: the HRS Modular System is a unique
For the basis of the conversion, Firebuy Kevin Woodward, managing director at also installed a remote, portable 230V cutting, spreading and lifting system ideal
advised Mercedes Sprinter vans were to bott’s specialist vehicle enhancement 6kw diesel generator. The unit can then for use during police, military or rescue
be used, powered by top-of-the-range 3.0- division said: “Our original-thinking be set up outside the vehicle, reducing operations. The versatility of the HRS
litre, V6 turbo-diesel engines. The vehicles, approach and experience of handling onboard noise and vibration. In addition, system is unsurpassed and it is rapidly
supplied by City West Commercials, conversions for the emergency services because of the way the units are designed becoming established as a vital tool for
based at Mercedes Benz of Truro, are meant we were able to look beyond and built, updated technology can be specialist operations.
loaded with class-leading standard safety providing durable in-vehicle workspace easily incorporated – providing a long term
equipment, including Adaptive ESP – an equipment and storage, but also consider investment for CFRS.” The BC-300 Combi-Tool is one of a
anti-lock braking and a traction control additional safety features. For example, kind and the mix of replaceable blade
system, which constantly monitors the way we installed an innovative key-out facility, The vehicles include the latest in chips, Li-Ion battery technology, extreme
a vehicle’s load affects its stability, adapting which allows the vehicle ignition key to be communications systems as Henry Walker, portability and ease of use sets it apart
its settings to compensate. removed but keeps the engine running – director of Primetech, explains: “We from all others.
providing firefighters with peace of mind worked closely with Bott to incorporate the
The array of onboard technology and when working in the rear of the vehicle as it latest mobile satellite technology for when ORC Bar Cutters meanwhile are the only
storage solutions specified and installed cannot be driven off. mobility and rapid deployment capability battery powered tools available able to
into the units by Bott included weather- are key operational requirements. The cut through 20mm solid bar. Also on
proof scene lighting, an innovative external We then took our engineering solutions Micro-Sat is a low profile, fully automated, display on the Vimpex/Ogura stand were
LCD television, as well as emergency a step further. In addition to the internal, self seeking satellite system. It will allow Flame Fighter Piercing Nozzles, Autobrace
lighting, sirens and public announcement drive train mounted generator, which CFRS personnel to gain internet access Vehicle Stabilisation system and RoboLight Above: BC-300 Battery Powered Combi-Tool with removable, low-cost blade inserts.
equipment. provides immediate on-site power, we and establish vital communication to Portable Lighting.
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London Fire Brigade boosts
A new rapid response Detection, Identification and Monitoring (DIM) vehicle – capable of
tackling terror attacks and other major emergencies – hit London’s streets in June, reinforcing
the capital’s position as one of the best protected cities in the world.
The new vehicle is on-call in strategic
locations 24-hours a day, ready to respond
to chemical, biological, radiological or
nuclear (CBRN) incidents. It contains an
array of testing equipment ranging from
devices similar to those used to detect
chemical vapours in German U-boats during
the Second World War, to brand new state of
the art kit designed for 21st century threats.
Its highly trained crew specialise in detecting
and identifying any unknown and potentially
dangerous substances including solids,
liquids, gels, pastes, gasses, vapours and
radioactive material. Unlike London’s two
existing rapid response teams, which are
part of the national resilience fleet of 18 that
can be called to anywhere in the UK, the
new vehicle is funded entirely by London
Above and right: The interior
Fire and Emergency Planning Authority to and exterior of London Fire
meet specific demand in the capital. Brigade's new DIM vehicle.
“This is about providing vital extra
emergency cover for a complex major
city,” said London Fire Commissioner Ron
Dobson. “Now, if London is hosting a major used to provide cover to specific events or teams deployed to around 900 of these.
event that needs additional protection, for training, without impacting on cover for
we can provide that protection without the rest of the city. The vehicles are crewed The Brigade has come along way since the
taking resources away from other areas of by up to four trained CBRN specialists first motorised fire engine was introduced
the city. The world has changed and we around 100 years ago. Fire engines are the
must anticipate all types of emergency, Each of the vans contain protective familiar face of the fire Brigade, but behind
including terrorism. Having these specialist equipment like gas tight suits and breathing the scenes, a number of specialist vehicles
capabilities is about allowing Londoners to apparatus, alongside touch screen and crews are ready to tackle a wide range
get on with their lives, knowing that behind computers and a suite of equipment used to of incidents.
the scenes there is no complacency and detect and identify unknown substances.
we are prepared.” Teams can now detect and identify unknown
Aside from a potential role in a terror attack, substances, use heavy lifting/cutting
London’s rapid response CBRN capability London’s rapid response teams also attend equipment alongside fibre optic cameras
will include three rapid response vehicles. any incident involving unknown, potentially and listening devices, and carry out line
The new London Fire Brigade appliance will dangerous substances. The Brigade deals (rope) rescues and water rescue using
allow two vehicles to be continuously ‘on the with around 5,000 hazardous materials inflatable boats amongst other specialist
run’ and available, whilst the third can be emergencies each year, with rapid response areas of rescue.
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