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Fire: Fire crews subjected to further attacks in Gateshead

Written by RSS Poster Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue
Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFRS) has repeated concerns about an increase in anti-social behaviour, in light of two incidents that took place over the course of bank holiday weekend. This follows a spate of recent attacks where firefighters have been assaulted both verbally and physically whilst attending incidents at a number of locations across the region. The first incident took place on Sunday evening (30 April) when a crew came under attack from a gang of five youths throwing stones and a bottle at their vehicle. The incident, which happened on Sundew Road, in the Beacon Lough Estate area of Gateshead, followed a call to extinguish a fire at a woodland area that had been started deliberately. Fortunately, none of the firefighters were injured but the appliance cabs paintwork was damaged. The second incident took place on Monday afternoon (1 May) when a crew attended a rubbish fire at a skate park close to the first incident, on Coltsfoot Gardens, Gateshead. As the crew was...

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Fire: Be water aware

Written by RSS Poster Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue
Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFRS) has joined a call by UK fire chiefs to raise awareness of the dangers of everyday activities near water, after statistics show that nearly 50% of people who accidently drown in the UK never intended to enter the water. The National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) Water Safety and Drowning Prevention campaign - Be Water Aware - is running from 24 - 30 April and is being supported by fire and rescue services throughout the UK. Latest statistics show that the total number of UK water related fatalities in 2015 was 644. Of these, 321 were accidental drownings. These people died after tripping, falling or simply underestimating the risks associated with being near water. TWFRS is advising people to be water aware and to change their behaviour around open water, to minimise their risk of becoming one of these statistics. As part of the drowning prevention campaign and following a number of river related incidents attended by emergency services in Tyne and Wear, a pilot scheme has been introduced that...

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Fire: Fire crews to carry out 'hot strike' following major blaze in Washington

Written by RSS Poster Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue
Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service is carrying out a community engagement initiative in Washington tomorrow (Friday, 21 April) after a former children's play centre was destroyed in a blaze yesterday. (Wednesday, 19 April) At the height of the fire in the former Junglerama building in Victoria Road, Concord, more than 30 firefighters were in attendance. All crews finally left the scene almost six hours after the alarm was raised just after 4.10pm. The fire was extinguished using four main water jets and two Aerial Ladder Platforms. To engage with the community of Washington, Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service is carrying out a co-ordinated 'hot strike' in the area, in a bid to increase fire safety awareness and tackle anti-social behaviour. Prevention and Education teams including community advocates, service volunteers and Prince's Trust team members, together with on-duty crews and Fire Safety teams will carry out targeted home safety checks and speak to...

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Fire: Putting firefighting into perspective

Written by RSS Poster Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue
Staff from Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service's Primary Authority partner NHS Property Services Ltd (NHSPS) recently became firefighters for a day when they attended a fire perspective day at the Service's training centre. The group was given an insight into the dangers posed to operational firefighters, such as how fire affects buildings and the speed with which it spreads. They also learned about the importance of fixed and portable water supplies and how risk assessors can plan for and mitigate the effects of fire. To enhance the partnership and to provide a greater awareness of the modern day fire and rescue service, the group took part in firefighting activities including: Working in smoke and darkness. Wearing breathing apparatus. Search and rescue techniques. Hot fire simulated exercises. Responding to emergency incidents. The fire perspective days are designed to help partner organisations to create a safer working and living environment, and at the same time potentially improve...

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Fire: Students have designs on fire safety

Written by RSS Poster Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue
Equipment designed by students at Northumbria University could soon be used by firefighters across the country thanks to a partnership with an international safety technology company. Students from Northumbria's School of Design have been working with Draeger Safety UK and Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service to create innovative new products, which will allow firefighters to communicate with each other safely while working. The student teams pitched their ideas to project sponsors Draeger during an event at Byker Community Fire Station, in Newcastle, with the top three designs being selected and progressed into working prototypes. Senior Lecturer Simon Scott-Harden and Matthew Lievesley, Director for Engagement and Enterprise at Northumbria's School of Design, worked together to co-ordinate the project. Matthew explained: “Design is a process that begins by understanding the needs of people working in real situations, so a design challenge such as this is fantastic experience for our students, and being able to...

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Fire: Increase in attacks on firefighters condemned

Written by RSS Poster Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue
Pictured: Area Manager for Community Safety, Alan Robson Fire officers, police and union officials have raised serious concerns about an increase in attacks on fire crews, after three firefighters were assaulted while attending a house fire in Houghton le Spring yesterday afternoon. Fire crews from Sunderland Central, Farringdon and Rainton Bridge were called out at 4.40pm on Wednesday, 5 April following reports of a house fire in Railway Terrace North. Whilst crews were dealing with the incident they were physically and verbally attacked by a man. One firefighter suffered a badly bruised and bloodied nose after he was hit in the face, while a second firefighter was struck in the side of the head, causing bruising to his ear. The attacker also tried to head butt another crew member, but fortunately his fire helmet blocked the blow. The crews were able to restrain the assailant whilst awaiting the arrival of Northumbria Police officers, who arrested two men and a woman in connection with the...

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Fire: New Chief Fire Officer for Tyne and Wear

Written by RSS Poster Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue
Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service has announced the appointment of a new Chief Fire Officer/Chief Executive. ​ Following an extensive selection process, Chris Lowther, currently Assistant Chief Fire Officer, Service Delivery, will assume the role as of Monday 10 April 2017 after it was announced last November that current Chief Fire Officer, Tom Capeling is set to retire from the Service. Chris started his career as an operational firefighter based at Gateshead Community Fire Station in 1997. He has an impressive and varied background in training, community safety and operations and has taken a lead role in a number of national resilience programmes. Chris has held a number of roles within the fire service, including as a Station Officer for community safety, during which time he was instrumental in introducing home safety checks which have had a significant impact in reducing fires in the home. After joining the Strategic Management Team in 2009, Chis worked as an Area Manager and then in 2013 was appointed...

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Fire: Sunderland convenience store owner fined for failing to comply with fire safety regulations

Written by RSS Poster Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue
The owner of a convenience store in Sunderland has been ordered to pay £3,500 after being found guilty of failing to comply with the requirements of Article 27 of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. Usman Ali, who owns Ray's Discount Store in Villette Road, Hendon, was fined £1,000 for each of two counts of failing to reply to Article 27 letters sent by Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service. He was also ordered to pay the full amount of legal costs totalling £1,380, plus a victim surcharge of £120. Mr Ali did not appear in court and, after deciding to proceed in his absence, Sunderland magistrates found the case brought against him by Tyne and Wear Fire Authority proven on 29 March 2017. The court heard that an officer from Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service went to the store on 23 August 2016 to carry out a fire safety audit. However, as there was only one staff member present and Mr Ali was unavailable, it was not possible to conduct the...

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Fire: Residents reminded that smoke alarms save lives

Written by RSS Poster Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue
Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service is providing fire safety and prevention advice to residents in North Shields after a man was seriously injured in a fire at his flat last week. The fire broke out at Botham House, in Percy Main, shortly after 6pm on Thursday, 23 March. The alarm was raised by a neighbour who heard the man's smoke alarm activating. Three fire crews from Wallsend, Tynemouth and South Shields were called to the incident and four firefighters wearing breathing apparatus extinguished the fire using a hose reel. The occupier was rescued from the living room and received first aid from firefighters at the scene, before being taken to hospital by ambulance suffering from smoke inhalation. The fire is believed to have been started by tee-light candles in the living room. Area Manager Alan Robson, Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Toxic smoke from a fire in the home can kill you in seconds, and it is quite clear that having a working smoke alarm saved this man's life. I can't stress...

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Fire: Fire officers ask dog owners to take the lead

Written by RSS Poster Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue
Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service is appealing to dog walkers to take extra care when exercising their pets on cliff tops. The warning comes after a number of incidents in which fire crews have had to rescue dogs that had fallen down cliff sides in the area. The most recent incident occurred on Friday, 24 February. Two specialist rope rescue crews from South Shields Community Fire Station were called to the cliffs at Whitburn after reports that a dog had fallen into a large sink hole at the cliff edge. Station Manager Adrian Jackson, Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Obviously these areas are very popular with dog walkers and we do not want to spoil anybody's enjoyment of the coastline. All we are asking is that people keep their pets on a lead if they are going to be anywhere near the edge of cliffs. ​“Fortunately, none of the animals have been lost or seriously injured as a consequence of these falls. However, given the increase in the number of these types of incidents, we would...

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