Blogs from Police &   
 other Emergency Service Workers

Fire: Flooding in Lowestoft - we were ready...

Written by RSS Poster Alerter - the firefighters blog

It didn't bode well that the predicted flooding in Lowestoft and along the East Coast was scheduled for Friday 13th.

The previous day we were asked for volunteers to crew our pump as part of the Fire Service response to any flooding in the North of Lowestoft.

Plans were already underway in Suffolk, Norfolk and Essex to draft in additional resources from other Fire and Rescue Services across the country as part of the National Resilience capability.

Our first stint on standby at North Lowestoft Fire Station ran from 0800-1200 on Friday to cover the first high tide of the day. We were joined by a water rescue team made up of off-duty wholetime firefighters from Lowestoft South Fire Station.

A similar set up was in force south of the river with the duty watch providing another water rescue team with support from the on call firefighters at Lowestoft South.

The morning's high tide passed without incident and we headed home to grab some grub and wait till we were next required at 1800 hours.

The evening high tide, at...

Continues,

Fire: Boat fire in Lowestoft

Written by RSS Poster Alerter - the firefighters blog

If you've read any of my blogs posts you'll see that there's very rarely an ideal time for my alerter to spring into life and have me hotfooting it to the fire station.

Yesterday proves the point.

I've recently started working with a great local business and was in the middle of taking on board a ton of technical information, praying that my little grey cell could cope. And the shrill call of my alerter going ape had me mumbling apologies and heading for the exit at speed.

With the incessant noise rattling in my ear I found myself driving behind Miss Daisy all the way to the fire station. It only took minutes but seemed a lifetime!

Got my tally up as driver, fire kit stowed on the pump and a few seconds later we were heading off towards Oulton Broad. The tip sheet informed us it was a boat fire and the boat was moored alongside.

As we approached Harbour Road we were greeted by a guy pointing us in the right direction. Straight after the level crossing another man points us into Sea Lake Road. And the guidance continued right to...

Continues,

Fire: Lowestoft firefighters take the #22PushUpChallenge

Written by RSS Poster Alerter - the firefighters blog

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) affects large numbers of our serving and ex-serving military personnel.

UK charity, Combat Stress, is raising funds to help them carry on their great work by getting people to take the #22PushUpChallenge.

Originally started in the US, there's now thousands of people taking the challenge here in the UK.

Why 22 push ups?

In the US 22 ex-military personnel commit suicide because of PTSD. That's the reason...

Here in Lowestoft quite a few firefighters are working their way through twenty two days of doing 22 push ups each day. 

It includes Ben Horne, Ben Whale, James Field, Martin Burglin, Mark Frances, Andy 'Begz' Jackson and myself.

Here's a video on my Day 7 push ups with Ben Whale and James Field...


Please donate £5 to Combat Stress by texting PTSD22 to 70004.

Thank you...


Fire: Busy old station...

Written by RSS Poster Alerter - the firefighters blog

August is turning into a busy month for the firefighters at North Lowestoft Fire Station...

12 shouts so far ranging from the bowling alley fire in Great Yarmouth and exploding cylinders in Long Road, Lowestoft to fires in the open, AFA's and 'male on bus shelter'.

Yep, we've had them all so far.

'Male on bus shelter' did raise the odd eyebrow but that's exactly what we had...

What the tip sheet didn't mention (because no one had told Fire Control) was that there was a young female requiring medical attention at the same location.

So an assistance message was put back requesting an ambulance. I then spent a few minutes on the mobile chatting to Ambulance Control as they asked a few probing medical questions.

I think my medical terminology left a lot to be desired but it certainly made the control operator laugh.

If my medical knowledge is anything to go by I'm not sure how the proposed co-responding will fair!

Do you fancy joining us as an On Call Firefighter? We have vacancies at North Lowestoft Fire Station

Visit the Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service website for more information...

Fire: Fire in Lowestoft goes with a bang!

Written by RSS Poster Alerter - the firefighters blog

Sunday evening, just finished my tea and my alerter springs into life shattering the peace.


Yes, I know, it's been quite a while since I last posted on here. But oddly enough we've been quite busy these last couple of weeks including our crew being sent to the Make Pumps 15 fire in Regent Road, Great Yarmouth.

Anyway, back to the plot...

The alerter's incessant racket always has me clattering round the house - change from shorts to jeans, pull on a pair of socks, shoes, pick up keys, mobile and the still clammering alerter.

The usual jog across to the fire station only to be confronted with the tip sheet saying we're on standby... Bugger! Always the bridesmaid and never the bride...

A call to Control and seconds later the station turnout alarm gets itself all worked up and us grabbing fire kit and heading for the pump.

It's a Make Pumps 3 now to a shed fire.

Now I don't know about you but my shed measures a pretty measly 8 x 6 - certainly not warranting 3 pumps. Maybe it's a super-sized shed of epic man cave...

Continues,

Fire: Fire on South Lowestoft Industrial Estate

Written by RSS Poster Alerter - the firefighters blog

12655951_10153860188240629_11490527_oI know! It's been far too long since I posted anything on here about shouts.

No excuses really - work, life and couldn't be arsed all come into play.

So let's make amends now...

I was sitting chatting to the present Mrs. C, waiting the arrival of a health care professional to help us with Karen's ongoing care requirements. I won't bore you with the details suffice to say, if you don't already know, that Mrs. C broke her neck 27 years ago, uses a wheelchair to get about but leads a busy life that makes me knackered trying to keep up.

Enough of the back story.

So, with two minutes to go before the arrival of our 'guest' my little black number throws a wobbly and has me apologising profusely to The Boss before I head out the door and hot-foot it across to North Lowestoft Fire Station.

Archie, who's part of the South Lowestoft On Call crew is crossing the road with all his kit. To help keep pumps on the run, Archie has one of our alerters as his building work sees him working even closer to the fire station than...

Continues,

Fire: Lowestoft meeting to discuss cuts to Fire Service budget in Suffolk

Written by RSS Poster Alerter - the firefighters blog

SFRS-logoAround 80 people attended the public meeting on 1st February where the Chief Fire Officer, Mark Hardingham and Cllr Matthew Hicks sort to explain and 'sell' the proposed cuts to frontline fire engines and firefighters.

The meeting, held at the swanky new council offices at Riverside, Lowestoft was well stage-managed and largely deflected any major spats for the the Fire Service or County Council.

We sat on tables of 8, each with an officer present to answer general questions - our table was fortunate to have local Group Commander, John Tiffen.

I have to say I've never seen so many officers in one place unless you count Endeavour House...

The Chief gave a short presentation to explain the reduction and now plateau-ing of fires and RTC's and where the proposed cuts will be. We then, on each table discussed the proposals with the officer and numerous Lowestoft firefighters present able to answer questions from members of the public. Hopefully the answers given by the firefighters were...

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Fire: The Future of the Fire Service...

Written by RSS Poster Alerter - the firefighters blog

Yesterday's serious fire in Sudbury, Suffolk highlighted something we all take for granted...

Dial 999, ask for the Fire Service and within minutes you'll have fire engines arriving from all directions.

Last night that worked just fine. 

Suffolk crews assisted by those from Essex worked hard to contain the fire, rescue people and stopped the fire escalating to more properties.

But will this be the case when hard hitting budget cuts are forced upon our already hard-pressed fire and rescue services?

Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service is already the cheapest to run fire service in the UK when based on the population it serves. Yet very soon it will have to save another £1 million. That's £1 million from a service that has done all it can to save money without affecting frontline services. That's £1 million from a budget of just £22 million. And it's likely there'll be further cuts after that.

A public consultation has taken place to see what the people and businesses of Suffolk want from their fire service. I imagine the...

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Fire: Firefighters rescue horse from mud at Blundeston, Lowestoft

Written by RSS Poster Alerter - the firefighters blog

Horse-rescue-29Mar14-02Edging slowly down Cotmer Road in the lunchtime traffic towards The Flying Dutchman and our Mobile Data Terminal (MDT) does its little doorbell ring. Now our MDT is slow at the best of times and we thought it was just updating our status after leaving Lowestoft South Fire Station a few minutes back.

After a few more seconds and a couple of prods of the screen, Gary announced, "We've got a shout!"

I let the traffic in front move off as we waited to see to where and what we were now going to be heading to.

"Horse in mud, Flixton Road, Blundeston", said Gary...

That's good - it's in the direction we're travelling but right through a very busy Oulton Broad.

Horse-rescue-29Mar14-03Reach forward press the 999 button to get all the blue lights on followed by the 2 C/O button to changeover from the old two tones to the 3 different 'yelps & wails' that we now have.

The queue of traffic has already seen us light up like a giant Christmas tree and has started to edge to the side of the road to give me some room. Down the...

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Fire: Lowestoft Firefighters Charity Car Wash raises £586

Written by RSS Poster Alerter - the firefighters blog

Car-wash-01On a bright Saturday morning Lowestoft South Fire Station was transformed into a drive through car wash to raise much-needed funds for The Fire Fighters Charity.

Cars were queueing, the hoses were spraying, the suds were flying and the buffers were buffing the freshly washed cars with energetic enthusiasm...

As always, we're chuffed to bits that the people of Lowestoft come out to support their local firefighters

Welephant made an appearance, enticing motorists to come and have their car washed. Thankfully Welephant didn't get run over as he made numerous trips to collect money from the passing drivers... I took over as I wasn't too happy that a young elephant would be confident crossing the road by himself!

Car-wash-02I also took the opportunity to show some of our younger visitors around our fire engine. It's great to see the big smiles as they clamber aboard 'Jupiter' and ask for the umpteenth time if my name is Sam...

With some of our crew having to get away we left Lowestoft South just after midday...

Continues,

Latest Alerter - The Firefighters Blog Stories

Flooding in Lowestoft - we were ready...
Boat fire in Lowestoft
Lowestoft firefighters take the #22PushUpChallenge
Busy old station...
Fire in Lowestoft goes with a bang!

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