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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.

Councillors unite and vote to keep Fire and Rescue within Norfolk County Council

Councillors from Norfolk County Council’s Communities Committee voted unanimously today (Wednesday 17 January) to recommend to the Police & Crime Commissioner (PCC) that it does not proceed to a full business case and that Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service (NFRS) continues to be governed by Norfolk County Council (NCC).

The PCC for Norfolk engaged consultants Grant Thornton to carry out an independent review of potential changes in governance to NFRS.

Margaret Dewsbury, Chair of Norfolk County Council Communities Committee said: “We had lengthy discussions at Communities Committee which revealed that councillors from all parties were of the shared view that there should be no change to NFRS governance. It has always been stated that there must be a compelling case to make changes to the way the fire service is managed and we do not feel this report provides enough justification to progress to a full business case.

“NFRS is intimately integrated within many departments across Norfolk County Council including Trading Standards, Highways and Road Safety so it makes sense that it continues to be part of the authority. The cost to tax payers, disruption to fire officers and time it would take to make changes to the governance would be considerable, whilst providing few or no benefits.

“We will respond formally to the PCC with strong recommendations that they do not proceed to a full business case and that NFRS continues to be governed by Norfolk County Council.”

Could you be an on-call firefighter? Open days in Dereham and vacancies across Norfolk

Norfolk residents looking to add another string to their professional bow are invited to apply to become on-call firefighters across the county. People looking for an additional career, or a part-time career to fit around other commitments, can help to solve the current shortage of on-call firefighters and help their community. 


Norfolk Fire & Rescue Service (NFRS) is recruiting across the county, with the on-call positions sure to attract people from all walks of life.

There is currently a recruitment drive in Dereham, which is hosting two open days later this month to fill on-call (also known as retained) vacancies. 

With 39 of Norfolk’s 42 fire stations relying on on-call firefighters, there is an ongoing campaign to fill  roles in towns and villages around the county. It is really important as it means firefighters are available nearer to any incidents and the service can respond quickly.

NFRS's on-call firefighters often maintain other careers too, with current members of staff also working in a wide range of jobs; from accountants to electricians and tree surgeons to PAs.

As well as having a reasonable level of physical fitness, retained firefighters must live or work within five minutes of their fire station at the times they are on-call. Initial training is for two weeks and then recruits are in development with their crews for the following two years and also attend weekly training sessions.

The open days at Dereham Fire Station are on 27 and 28 January between 11am and 3pm and everyone is welcome to pop along, find out more and speak to members of the retained crew.

Brett Hopcroft, Retained Development Manager at NFRS, said: “Filling these roles is vital to ensuring we maintain a good service to the residents and businesses of Norfolk. On-call firefighters are key to our service being able to offer good coverage across the county.”

Councillor Margaret Dewsbury, Chairman of Norfolk County Council’s Communities Committee, said: “We have a really strong youth cadet community and plenty of firefighters of the future in training. However recruiting adults as on-call firefighters can be a challenge given the fact they need to live or work so close to a fire station when on-call. Their work in keeping the communities of Norfolk safe is so worthwhile and valuable to whole communities.”

As well as the retained fee, firefighters are paid per call out and for their weekly training session. On average, an on-call firefighter in Norfolk earns £7,000 per year.

For more details about becoming a retained firefighter in Norfolk, visit:
www.norfolkfireservice.gov.uk/nfrs/becoming-a-retained-firefighter

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 

 

Norfolk Fire & Rescue Governance

Norfolk Fire & Rescue Governance

In response to the publication of an independent report exploring the future options for police and fire and rescue governance in Norfolk, published today (Friday 12 January), Cliff Jordan, Leader of Norfolk County Council said:


“The Police & Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Norfolk engaged consultants Grant Thornton to carry out an independent review of potential changes in governance to Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service (NFRS).

“Norfolk County Council (NCC) has reviewed the report in full and notes that the conclusions are finely balanced and there is no compelling case made for any change. Therefore we do not feel it’s necessary to proceed to a full business case as this will not only incur significant costs for tax payers but also take up considerable time. We also believe that such a process would detract fire officers from their primary role of keeping Norfolk safe and have a negative impact on the upcoming NFRS inspection.

“At Communities Committee on Wednesday councillors will discuss this as an urgent agenda item and respond to the PCC accordingly with our views and recommendations.”

The full Norfolk Police and Crime Panel Committee papers can be viewed here.  

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.”

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