Cornwall Fire and Rescue takes delivery of new Fireboat

July 27th, 2018 by

Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service has operated a fire boat since 1999 when we took delivery of our first boat – Transco Phoenix, a 7.6 metre rigid inflatable boat (RIB) powered by twin 100Hp outboard engines. The Service had identified the need to provide an operational emergency fire response in and around the Falmouth harbour area due to the large and rapidly growing maritime risk. Falmouth was also becoming a popular choice as a venue for hosting large regattas such as the J Class Regatta, The Pendennis Cup, Off Shore Powerboat Racing to name a few, all of which require a large amount of safety/fire cover.

Other roles that the fire boat carries out are, to provide personnel and equipment transfer in support of Fire and Rescue Marine Response, Forms part of the King Harry reach response plan, to provide primary fire cover to the 100+ house boats in and around the Falmouth, Penryn and Helford River areas. We can also be called upon by other agencies to be used during high profile events anywhere in Cornwall throughout the summer months.

Fast forward 18 years to the start of 2017 and it was clear that Transco Phoenix had served her time and was due for replacement. A tender was put out for Rigid Inflatable Boat (RIB) manufacturers to bid on. After considering certain criteria, Ribcraft who are based in Yeovil, Somerset were awarded the contract. Ribcraft have a long history of building high spec’ customised RIB’s both for the leisure market and, commercial sector. What really stood out with Ribcraft is that the entire boat is built in house at their factory.

I was tasked with leading the project at a station/operational level, identifying the needs of the Service and how best these could be fulfilled on the new boat. Having had the previous boat to learn from and the luxury of having a RIB built from scratch I was keen to put our own stamp on it and make sure that it would firstly, be fit for purpose, but also easy to use in terms of the firefighting systems.

Working with Ribcraft we drew up certain criteria, namely that it would be easily trailable, would have a good working platform, carry a crew of 6 Firefighters and 2 coxswains, carry a light portable pump (LPP) which could be easily got to work and provide a fixed monitor with water.

Ribcraft have been an excellent company to work with during the build phase of this project keeping us regularly updated through video calls and myself visiting the factory at key stages of the build to ensure good progress and discuss any issues or improvements that needed to be addressed.

Early March, and after some solid and very successful sea trials in Portland Harbour “Skath an Tanlu” (Cornish for “Fire Boat” and chosen by members of the public through public voting) was delivered to the Service.

We could not be more pleased with our latest asset and Ribcraft have delivered exactly what was asked of them and their expertise and craftmanship in building RIBs is clearly evident in the new fire boat. Powered by twin Suzuki 140hp engines she has a top speed of 37 knots and a cruising speed of 30 knots, “Skath an Tanlu” is 8.5 metres long with a 3 metre beam (width), providing fire crews with an excellent and safe working platform. She carries a Godiva Powerflow 8/5 Twin LPP providing 800l/min at 5 bar.

The boat will be based at Falmouth Community Fire Station and berthed at Falmouth Haven pontoons in Falmouth Harbour during the summer months. It is hoped that “Skath an Tanlu” will be fully operational by July 2018 and it is fair to say that everyone involved is looking forward to getting out and using the RIB for many years to come.

Giles Kent, Crew Manager, Falmouth Community Fire Station

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St Austell Dementia Garden

July 3rd, 2018 by

Since the stations construction in the early 2000’s there has been a section of land adjacent to the building which was unused and underappreciated.  Green watch decided that we must be able to come up with something better for all that would improve things for everyone and make our time at work a better environment that was also healthier and safer for users. We got together as a team and designed a multi-use area that could work on many levels.

A self-help project was set up and we looked into the costings, materials and labour required and during the summer of 2017 the watch made a start by hand digging several tonnes of turf and clearing the area ready for the next phase of construction. The foundations were dug, concrete mixed, and walls built by the crew of general builders before we broke out our ‘Chippy’ skills and constructed a timber decking area which also incorporated a nice ‘multi-gym’ arrangement for those who love an outside workout. Approaching completion the green fingered among us became landscape gardeners and when time permitted the finishing touches were applied with the construction of the multi-use timber seating area, wall panelling, chippings and some tubs and planters.

The garden was officially opened by Station Manager Dave Pilling in May 2018 during the stations Dementia awareness coffee morning. Station personnel and members of our community now use this area to chill out, eat their lunch, briefing, debriefing and lecturing for operational training and now we look forward to Phoenix Services using this area for their Service Delivery.

The watch would like to thank ACFO Hewitt for his help and guidance on this project and would like to dedicate their blood, sweat and tears to our Dementia friends around the county with a warm welcome to any local Dementia groups for coffee mornings or get together now the work has come to an end. I’m so pleased to say that already there are regular visits from local dementia groups planned so they can enjoy the fruits of our labours.

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Cornwall Blue Light Day set to welcome more than 750 people with a learning disability and/or autism

July 2nd, 2018 by
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Raising awareness of responsibilities when running a holiday let

July 2nd, 2018 by

Newquay Community Fire Station is running an initiative this year aimed at holiday let property management companies and online holiday management organisations; like airbnb. The purpose is to educate and inform hosts of their responsibilities under The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, which makes you responsible for taking steps to protect the people using your property or home from risk of fire. This initiative is not restricted to summer months, so if you know of anyone that lets their property in this way and think they may be unsure of the legal requirements, we have created some guidance to inform and educate them.

If anyone that has a holiday let and enquires about the information they have seen / heard from our initiative, could you please take any details and forward them onto Mark Henwood at Newquay to help with the evaluation of this initiative.

The following list contains some of the fire precautions that maybe expected.  Expectations are risk based, and will depend upon the number of rooms, layout, travel distances and building construction.

  • A fire risk assessment must be completed.
  • Interlinked automatic fire detection throughout (grade D or F LD2).
  • Emergency lighting or torches that come one automatically when the power fails Solid fitting internal doors, ideally FD30S (high risk rooms).
  • Are the means of escape adequate for the premises?
  • External fire escape doors are simple to operate, and do not require a key.
  • Fire action notices (with postcode and six figure grid reference).
  • Multi-purpose extinguishers, fire blanket.
  • Furniture compliant with the Furniture and Furnishing Regulations 1998.
  • Carbon Monoxide detection (if hazards have been identified).
  • Chimneys, wood burners well maintained.
  • Barbecue fire safety and carbon monoxide advice for visitors.
  • Servicing records (fire alarm, gas, electric etc).
  • This checklist is not exhaustive and you should refer to the ‘Do you have Paying Guests’ guide for more information which can be found at: cornwall.gov.uk/holidaylet

For any further information please contact Orange or Black Watch at Newquay Community Fire Station 01637 854015 or email:
Mark Henwood – mhenwood@fire.cornwall.gov.uk
Lee Beresford – lberesford@fire.cornwall.gov.uk.

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NFCC/Asda National Day of Acton

May 3rd, 2018 by

Saturday 28th April was NFCC/Asda National Day of Acton focussing on Fire Safety this year for World Health Day. Crews from Bodmin, Falmouth and Hayle attended their local Asda stores to communicate fire safety messages and advice to members of the public, as well as offer referral cards to people who would qualify for a free home fire safety check. Children were spoken to about the importance of the Stop, Drop and Roll message.

 Over the course of the day over 550 people were spoken to across the three stores, and feedback from Asda Community Champions was very positive:

‘It was a great success with the customers as well so thank you very much for organising all of that.  Come back soon!’

 

‘The Fire Safety Day was brilliant and well received’

‘The customers enjoyed this event and many came up to the fire crew to ask questions.’

 

 

 

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Fire and road safety annual evidence report now available

April 10th, 2018 by

Our new Risk Based Evidence Profile 2018 is now available. It highlights our two highest risk priorities for prevention activities which are: accidental dwelling fires and road traffic collisions.

The document includes the latest research and analysis about fires and road safety, such as, new evidence from the Home Office shows that while the number of fires has fallen nationally the number of people aged 65 and over killed in a fire has risen by 22% between 2014/15 and 2016/17.

To read the full report or find out more fire and road safety facts about Cornwall please visit www.cornwall.gov.uk/rbep  A key messages paper is also available on the website which summarises these findings.

Did you know?

Facts about road safety

  • On average there are 24 collisions on roads in Cornwall each week involving an injury.
  • Evidence shows that most of the factors contributing to collisions in Cornwall are related to driver error.
  • The five high risk driving behaviours in Cornwall are:
  1. Failing to look properly
  2. Failed to judge other person’s speed or path
  3. Speeding
  4. Careless/ reckless/in a hurry
  5. Loss of control
  • Motorcycles make up less than 1% of traffic, but are involved in more than 15% of injury collisions.
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Don’t Drink and Drown

April 2nd, 2018 by

Falmouth Blue Watch, Cornwall Fire, Rescue and Community Safety Service in collaboration Devon & Cornwall Police and partners launched the Royal Life Saving Society (RLSS) ‘Don’t Drink and Drown’ campaign on 6th December 2017 in Falmouth at the Custom House Quay.  Don’t Drink and Drown is a national campaign that warns drinkers to steer clear of walking by or entering water when under the influence of alcohol.  The campaign was launched following a string of tragic student drownings and supported by Falmouth safety campaigner Paige Winsper whose brother Josh drowned after her fell into a harbour following a night out.

The campaign was supported by Cornwall Fire, Rescue & Community Safety Service, Devon & Cornwall Police, RLSS, Falmouth RNLI, the Marine Coastguard, Cornwall Search and Rescue and the Falmouth Harbour Commissioner to raise awareness of the dangers of being under the influence of alcohol when near water and to train staff to recognise the signs, encourage safer behaviour around the quay side and what to do in an emergency if someone enters the water.

Falmouth is a thriving student town which hosts waterfront and quayside pubs including the Chain Locker, Quayside, Stable, Warehouse, The Front, retail establishment Trago Mills and the Harbour Commissioner.  In total 18 staff from local businesses and 16 from partner agencies were trained by an RNLI Line Rescue Instructor in the safe use of throw lines should they be required in an emergency in a bid to reduce the number of alcohol related drowning deaths.

We worked with the establishments to raise awareness:

• All bar staff from each venue wore lanyards and had wristbands and T-Shirts to reiterate the ‘Don’t Drink and Drown’ message talking to drinkers to remind them of the risks of going near water after consuming alcohol.

• Don’t Drink and Drown posters were displayed on that back of all bathroom doors in the bars located at the waterfront and quayside displaying.

• Drinkers were encouraged to take Don’t Drink and Drown merchandised selfies to share the messages on social media.

• The management from every venue and resolve security signed the pledge to support the campaign.

• We encouraged the University to display posters on campus, played the Don’t Drink and Drown film and shared information on social media throughout the campaign.

·         Using a social media platform to promote the campaign provided the opportunity to communicate our safety messages to our audience in an innovative approach.

• Information handouts in Falmouth

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Penzance Green Watch distribute homeless welfare packs to rough sleepers in Penzance

March 31st, 2018 by

Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service have engaged with a local homeless charity, Breadline, for the second year running with the aim of increasing the welfare and safety of rough sleepers in Penzance. The Breadline Centre is managed by St Petroc’s Society, undertaking valuable work with homeless and unemployed people, providing practical advice and support.

Due to the success of the initiative when it was run previously, where 30 welfare packs were circulated, funding has been secured for a further 20 welfare packs which were distributed in partnership with Breadline during February 2018.

Whilst progress has been made to reduce the number of rough sleepers in Cornwall we still need to do more and support people in often challenging circumstances. Initiatives such as this provide a wonderful opportunity to engage with our homeless communities, to understand their needs and to support them into appropriate housing where required. In a bid to help those in their local town, the partnership distributed welfare packs, consisting of a sleeping bag, roll mat, a rechargeable lantern and a hygiene pack containing a toothbrush, toothpaste and wet wipes, distributed to the rough sleepers in Penzance.

Information regarding the dangers of carbon monoxide and fire safety advice was also distributed; rechargeable lanterns were given out in a bid to discourage the use of tea lights as a source of lighting in tents, which poses a major fire risk. Rough sleepers have been encouraged to visit Breadline to recharge their lanterns for free, providing an opportunity for regular contact with the Charity.

Dave Brown Manager of Resettlement Services, Saint Petroc’s Society says:

Watch Manager Matt Worthington says: ‘Through our engagement and partnership work with Breadline, we thought we would use this opportunity to provide vulnerable people with information and advice, as well as the welfare packs, to increase their safety and wellbeing.’

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Businesses urged to take precautions to prevent false alarms and arson during UK Business Safety Week 2017

October 3rd, 2017 by

Cornwall businesses are being urged to take precautions to prevent arson and false alarms as part of UK Business Safety Week (11-17 September).

The week, which aims to reduce fire incidents in the workplace, provides an opportunity for local businesses to think about fire safety and focus on prevention in areas which are often overlooked.

Nationally, there are nearly 3,000 arson attacks on businesses each year, prompting the reminder for businesses to take measures to reduce the threat of arson, which is still a major factor in commercial fires.

Terry Nottle, Station Manager for Business Support, said: “An arson attack can be devastating, but it would probably surprise people to know that most arson attacks aren’t planned, they are opportunistic. Simple steps to reduce the build-up of combustibles and waste near buildings can reduce the likelihood of an arson attack. If you haven’t done a recent workplace fire risk assessment, now is the time.”

False alarms are another area businesses are being asked to think about. Across the UK there are nearly 250,000 false alarms a year and according to the Fire Industry Association, this costs business and fire and rescue services £1 billion.

“Every false alarm causes disruption and repeated false alarms are a sign you need to review your procedures, or could be a sign of unmaintained equipment,” said Terry. “This can affect the confidence your customers and staff have in you, as well as impact on productivity and  the general routine of your organisation, not to mention putting lives at risk.

“Ensuring an alarm system is appropriate for your premises can quickly reduce false activations. Our message this week is simple – have you done everything you can to protect your business?”

Arson prevention advice for shops and stores

  • Limit as far as possible the number of entrances in use (but do not block fire exits!)
  • Keep a watch on what is going on. Larger establishments might have a security guard on duty at main entrances, while in smaller businesses you and your staff should practice vigilance.
  • As part of staff training, remind all employees of arson threats and ask them to report any suspicious behaviour.
  • Ensure that doors and windows are in good repair and that locks are working.
  • Gaps under doors to the street should be as narrow as possible – this will prevent items such as lighted paper being pushed under them.
  • If there is a letterbox, it should have a metal container fitted on the inside (to contain any fires from lighted rags or paper).
  • Keep a list of people holding keys to the premises, and chase any that are missing.
  • Identify possible entry routes for intruders (ie. via yards, up drainpipes or even flat roofs) and consider what could be done to prevent access.
  • Special danger areas are storages and warehousing, which should only be accessible to authorised members of staff.
  • Is there a system for leaving lights on at night?
  • For further information on reducing arson risks, please visit our arson prevention webpages

Reducing false alarms

  • The Fire and Rescue Service will work with you to reduce false alarms at your premises and in some cases we may take enforcement action
  • False alarms can be caused by cooking, welding, steam, dust and aerosols, as well as poor maintenance and cleaning or poor design and installation

For further information on how to reduce false alarms please visit our false alarms webpage.

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