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Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service is committed to working towards making Norfolk safer

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There's always plenty going on at Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service. From our interactive Crucial Crew for youngsters to the Norfolk Show, from station open days to safety initiatives there is a great deal to discover behind the blue lights.

Fire at Gayton Road, Bawsey - extinguished

01 December 2017

Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service (NFRS), the Borough of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk, the Environment Agency and Norfolk Police have issued an update on the situation at Bawsey, King’s Lynn:

  • NFRS has been working hard during daylight hours and into early evenings and the fire has now been successfully extinguished

 

  • As with all fires, now that the site is in a good condition with minimal risk to local residents and their properties, it has been handed back to the site operator

 

  • NFRS will continue to carry out site visits over the weekend

 

  • Due to the significant reduction in smoke emissions, air quality visits are no longer required
  • Now that the fire is extinguished it poses no risk to the health of local residents
  • Throughout the incident no local residents contacted their GP with health concerns due to smoke exposure
  • Residents are advised that if they can no longer smell or see any smoke they can open windows and doors to ventilate their house
  • When the ash is completely cold it will need to be tested. This is standard practice to determine the impact on the local environment and community

-ENDS- 

Notes to editors

This is a multi-agency response involving the following agencies:

Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service

King’s Lynn & West Norfolk Borough Council

Norfolk County Council 

Environment Agency

Public Health England

Norfolk Police 

 

Fire safety advice to ensure Norfolk residents stay safe at home this winter

Norfolk residents are being reminded to stay safe in their homes this winter by the fire prevention team at Norfolk Fire and Rescue service (NFRS). 

Traditionally, winter sees an increase in calls made to the fire service to attend incidents in homes as people light open fires, use candles on dark evenings and switch on electric blankets. As Norfolk residents are starting to put up Christmas trees inside and outside their homes which potentially pose extra fire risks.

Garry Collins, Head of Fire Prevention and Protection, said: “Members of the public can take some simple steps to reduce the risk of fire occurring in their home this winter. At this time of year residents may be starting to put up Christmas trees including festive lights.

“Please ensure that any tree lights are turned off and unplugged at bedtime. If you have lights up outside the home, ensure they have the correct plugs and wiring for outdoor use.

“Historically, December and January account for the highest number of accidental fires in the home across Norfolk. Our advice remains, in the event of a fire in your home, residents should get out, stay out and call us out.”

Other advice from Norfolk Fire & Rescue Service this winter includes:

• Always use a fixed and secure fire guard, and never leave a fire unattended. Never dry clothes over or near a fire, and keep the area around it clear.
• Keep your chimney and flues clean, sweeping at least once a year if used frequently. Make sure embers are properly put out before going to bed or leaving the home.
• Be careful driving during the winter, especially in the mornings. Icy conditions can lead to accidents on the road.
• Check electric blankets before use and service annually. Over blankets are designed to be left on, but under blankets must be switched off before getting into bed. Hot water bottles must not be used with electric blanket in the same bed.
• Don’t place heaters near combustible items, curtains, furnishings, clothes or newspapers, and always switch off when you go to bed or leave your home.
• Remember not to overload plugs. Check the maximum amps that the fuse in the plug can handle. In the event of a power cut, ensure that all appliances are switched off – there is a danger that they could come on again unnoticed, after the power is restored.
• Are you a smoker? Try to keep the habit outdoors, and when inside make sure you use deep ashtrays and stub each cigarette out properly. Never empty into a plastic bin, especially last thing at night before going to bed. Never smoke in bed.
• Spare a thought for elderly relatives, friends and neighbours during the winter months. Make sure their smoke alarms are checked and see if they need help getting prescriptions.

Norfolk's fire prevention team continues to offer home fire safety checks to residents in a bid to reduce the risk of fires occurring. The team works closely with other agencies, including Norfolk County Council’s Public Health and Road Safety teams, other local councils, police and its volunteers to help get fire prevention messages out to the public.

The home fire safety checks include work with Public Health to offer information about smoking cessation, falls prevention and wellbeing support.

Community volunteers help to spread the messages with rural home safety checks in isolated areas, including advice on staying warm, safe and well.

Garry Collins said: “We could not deliver the quality and volume of our prevention work without this valued and trusted support from volunteers. Our volunteer base has expanded to almost 50, from a wide section of the community. Dedicated individuals work tirelessly to deliver key safety prevention events.

Chairman of Norfolk County Council's Communities Committee, Councillor Margaret Dewsbury, said: “As a result of volunteers' support, our fire service has fitted more than 1,000 Norfolk households with smoke alarms and delivered Crucial Crew fire survival guidance to more than 150 primary schools across the county, in partnership with community safety staff and other partner agencies.”

Ongoing fire incident at Gayton Road, Bawsey update 29 November 2017

Following a site meeting on Tuesday (28 November 2017) at a recycling site in Bawsey, King’s Lynn, representatives from the Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service, the Borough Council of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk, the Environment Agency and the Police have issued an update on the situation:

Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service (NFRS) have been on scene since 19:15 on Monday 27 November dealing with the fire and the other agencies involved will continue to monitor the situation and issue advice to the public, businesses and organisations affected as necessary.

 
NFRS will oversee a controlled burn. Due to the quantities of material involved it is difficult to put a definitive time frame on how long this will take, but it's estimated that it could burn for up to a week. This will be reviewed as the incident continues. Firefighters will remain on site 24 hours per day during the controlled burn.


Environmental Health staff from the borough council will be undertaking regular visits to assess any potential impact of the plume on the local community
To date no signs of pollution have been observed in the local rivers and ground water. The Environment Agency will continue to attend the site and monitor the environment.

Dr David Edwards, Consultant in Health Protection, Public Health England East advises:

 

  • Residents in areas affected by the smoke should stay indoors, keep their doors and windows closed, and tune in to the local radio station for advice and information. Motorists who have to travel through the smoke should keep windows closed, turn off air conditioning and keep their air vents closed
  • Any smoke can be an irritant and as such, if people need to be outdoors, they are advised to avoid outside areas affected by any smoke or ash, or to limit the time that they spend in them
  • Some of the substances present in smoke can irritate the lining of the air passages, the skin and the eyes. Respiratory symptoms include coughing and wheezing, breathlessness, sputum (phlegm) production and chest pain. If symptoms occur, people should seek medical advice or call NHS 111
  • Chemicals in the smoke can worsen existing health problems like asthma. People with asthma should carry their inhaler
  •  As a precaution, residents within the local area are advised to keep windows and doors shut, and avoid spending unnecessary time outdoors

 

Anyone with health concerns is advised to contact their GP or contact the NHS 111 service out of hours.

Ongoing fire incident at Gayton Road, Bawsey - Update 30 November 2017

Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service (NFRS), the Borough of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk, the Environment Agency and Norfolk Police have issued an update on the situation at Bawsey, King’s Lynn:

  • The size of the pile has been revised and it’s now estimated to contain 1,000 tonnes of household waste
  • NFRS is taking proactive steps to extinguish the fire. A construction grabber is being used to collect and submerge parts of the pile in water before moving it out of the fire’s reach. Working continuously during daylight hours and into early evening, it’s estimated that it will take three days to complete this task
  • NFRS will continue to provide 24 hour presence until further notice
  • Due to higher winds today smoke is dispersing more quickly
  • Environmental Health staff from the borough council continue to undertake regular visits to assess any potential impact of the plume on the local community
  • To date no signs of pollution have been observed in the local rivers and ground water. The Environment Agency will continue to attend the site and monitor the environment
  •  Dr David Edwards, Consultant in Health Protection, Public Health England East continues to advise:
  • Residents in areas affected by the smoke should stay indoors, keep their doors and windows closed, and tune in to the local radio station for advice and information. Motorists who have to travel through the smoke should keep windows closed, turn off air conditioning and keep their air vents closed
  •  Any smoke can be an irritant and as such, if people need to be outdoors, they are advised to avoid outside areas affected by any smoke or ash, or to limit the time that they spend in them
  • Some of the substances present in smoke can irritate the lining of the air passages, the skin and the eyes. Respiratory symptoms include coughing and wheezing, breathlessness, sputum (phlegm) production and chest pain. If symptoms occur, people should seek medical advice or call NHS 111
  • Chemicals in the smoke can worsen existing health problems like asthma. People with asthma should carry their inhaler
  • As a precaution, residents within the local area are advised to keep windows and doors shut, and avoid spending unnecessary time outdoors

Anyone with health concerns is advised to contact their GP or contact the NHS 111 service out of hours.

Latest intake of Norfolk’s retained fire fighters report for duty

The latest retained fire fighters to be recruited by Norfolk Fire & Rescue Service have climbed the first rung on their career ladders by completing their initial two week training programme. 

There are currently 56 retained fire fighter vacancies at Norfolk fire stations. With 39 of Norfolk’s 42 fire stations relying on retained firefighters, filling the roles is really important as it means fire fighters are available closer to any incidents and the service can respond quickly. 

The appointment of 15 new fire fighters this month will fill some of the vacancies at fire stations across the county which are reliant on retained (on-call) staff.



Norfolk's Chief Fire Officer David Ashworth said: "This is really good news for the stations involved and the communities they serve. We have identified retained recruitment as a priority for the service and have invested a great deal of time and effort into improving our recruitment process. It is pleasing to see this delivering positive results."

Retained fire fighters receive a retainer for being on call and carry an alerter which lets them know when an incident occurs. 

In order for fire engines to go out, they must be staffed by a minimum crew of four. If no crew is available then fire engines from further afield are dispatched instead, meaning that response times will be slower.

Brett Hopcroft, Retained Development Manager at Norfolk Fire & Rescue Service, said: “These latest appointments are helping us to ensure cover for as much of Norfolk as possible when our services are needed, but we still need more and would love to fill every vacancy.

“All recruits went through a rigorous process to make it on to the course, and over this initial two weeks they have been learning the basics around dealing with different types of incident, including fires, road traffic incidents, as well as how to work safely at height and near water. They will also undertake a further two week breathing apparatus course that will teach them how to tackle fires within buildings and structures as well as their training continuing on-the-job over the next couple of years. It is great to be able to welcome them into the service and I know how rewarding they will find their new careers whilst they respond to their community's needs.”

Councillor Margaret Dewsbury, Chairman of Norfolk County Council's Communities Committee, said: "We are so grateful to our county's fire fighters for keeping the people or Norfolk safe. It's so pleasing to see new recruits coming forward to serve their communities and I wish them every success in their new careers."

Retained fire fighters often have other careers too and the latest batch include a shop manager, design engineer, personal trainer, warehouse worker, healthcare assistant, vehicle builder, admin assistant and civil servant.

They will be based at stations including Cromer, Great Yarmouth, Hethersett, Diss, Martham, Loddon, Hingham, Attleborough, Sandringham, Gorleston, Methwold and Outwell.

As well as the retained fee, fire fighters are paid per call out and for their weekly training session. On average they earn £7,000 per year.

To apply to become a retained fire fighter, applicants must live or work within five minutes of a fire station. Remember, not all heroes wear capes. If you think you have got what it takes and want a rewarding career and to become part of the fire service family, visit:

www.norfolkfireservice.gov.uk/nfrs/becoming-a-retained-firefighter

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