Blogs from Police &   
 other Emergency Service Workers

Fire: Lowestoft firefighters sing Christmas carols for charity

Written by RSS Poster Alerter - the firefighters blog

"It's beginning to sound a lot like Christmas"


It's that time of year when we serenade the good people of Lowestoft with the perennial Christmas favourites of carols and songs.

For the first time I was handed the Choir Masters baton to lead our motley crew in their two hour segue through all things festive.

From Silent Night to the crowd's favourite, 12 Days of Christmas, and everything in between we entertained the Christmas shoppers and gave them something to smile about.

And all in aid of a good cause or two.

We were raising funds for The Fire Fighters Charity and Pathways Care Farm.

And a big, BIG thank you must go to the generous people of Lowestoft who put pounds, pennies and notes into our buckets. The total coming in at over £1300!

Chuffed doesn't get close to how pleased we all were with that fabulous amount.

I was chuffed too.

Because... Never before in the field of firefighting has one firefighter issued orders to so many white helmets. At the last count it was three Watch...

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Fire: Suffolk firefighters practice high rise firefighting skills

Written by RSS Poster Alerter - the firefighters blog

The tragic fire at Grenfell Tower earlier this year has brought in to sharp focus the need for all Fire Service's across the UK to hone their skills at dealing with incidents in high rise buildings.

Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service has carried out a series of visits and inspections to the high rise buildings across the county. This has now moved to carrying out exercises for simulated flat fires in high rise blocks of flats - firstly in Ipswich and now in Lowestoft.

Even before Grenfell, fires in high rise buildings were always seen to be dangerous for the occupants and also the firefighters that would have to deal with a fire. Firefighters have been killed at fires in high rise buildings in Stevenage (Harrow Court, 2005) and Southampton (Shirley Towers, 2010).

All of this determines the need to train for such incidents and constantly look for ways to improve how we respond as a Fire Service.

Last night fire crews from across North Suffolk - Lowestoft South, North Lowestoft, Wrentham, Bungay...

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Fire: BA drill at derelict (haunted) Lowestoft hotel

Written by RSS Poster Alerter - the firefighters blog

The prospect of rummaging round the pitch black interior of the derelict Crown Hotel for a BA drill held no qualms for our crew from North Lowestoft Fire Station.

After all, we're rufty-tufty firefighters - right?

Rufty-tufty disappeared sharpish when you're gathered together in the smoke blackened kitchen and you see 'Help me' scrawled in the grime and you hear a low moaning sound from the gloom. 

I digress - anybody would think this was an episode of Most Haunted which, incidentally, did feature the Crown Hotel.

2017-11-07 20.20.17 2017-11-07 20.20.17 2017-11-07 20.20.17

There were two search and rescue scenario's for us to do.

I was No. 1 on the first scenario with Seb as my No. 2 managing the charged 45.

The brief was to follow the left-hand wall through the front bar carrying out search and rescue to also include a raised seating area.

We made good progress following the bench seating round to the inner front doors and this is where we found our first casualty. Seb grabbed the casualty and I led us back out to BAECO.

Straight back in and quickly...

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Fire: Water rescue at Slater's Pit, Lowestoft

Written by RSS Poster Alerter - the firefighters blog

As always, when shouts have been thin on the ground, my alerter going into overdrive sends me up in the air like a cartoon character. Thankfully, as I hit the ground, my legs are spinning like Billy the Whizz!

2017-07-03 17.24.00Over to the Fire Station to find we're going to a water rescue incident barely a few hundreds from the station, as the crow flies, but well over a mile by how the fire engine drives...

Within minutes we're pulling up behind the ERT and water rescue van plus a gaggle of police vehicles, paramedic's car and ambulance.

Now Slater's Pit is best described as a large pond surrounded by plants and of indeterminate depth set in open ground on a housing estate.

Emergency services were called when a man that lives close by heard someone calling out from the direction of the Pit. On investigating her saw someone in the mud and went off to make the 999 call. When he returned the female had disappeared from view.

Two Swiftwater Rescue Technicians from the Watch got suited and booted and made their way to search the...

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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...

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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...

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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,

Latest Alerter - The Firefighters Blog Stories

Lowestoft firefighters sing Christmas carols for charity
Suffolk firefighters practice high rise firefighting skills
BA drill at derelict (haunted) Lowestoft hotel
Water rescue at Slater's Pit, Lowestoft
Flooding in Lowestoft - we were ready...

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