Monday, 30 July 2012

Serious collision in Ringmer

East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service were called to a serious Road Traffic Collision just outside Ringmer this morning (30th July).

Crews from both Lewes and Barcombe attended the incident in Lawson Road, and firefighters used hydraulic cutting equipment to free a man from one of the two vehicles involved.

Crews remained at the scene from 8.30am until 9.30am, ensuring that the vehicle was stabilised before freeing the man.

It took eight firefighters to support the roof of the Land Rover while crews cut through the wreckage and the man was lifted out of the vehicle using a spinal board.

Brighton camper van fire

Brighton firefighters were called to a camper van on fire in Waterhall, in the early hours of this morning (30th July).

One crew attended the incident at 12.55am and wore breathing apparatus to tackle the blaze, which had engulfed the vehicle.

A fire investigation will get underway today to find out how the fire started.

Olympic celebrations in Hastings

Hastings residents got into the Olympic spirit at their Community Fire Station Open Day on Saturday (28th July).

More than one thousand people turned up for the event, at Bohemia Road, and saw first-hand kitchen fire simulations, road traffic collision demonstrations, Active Hastings and other displays.

Even Fireman Sam made an appearance much to the delight of the excited children who were there.

Visitors were given a chance to have their photo taken with Olympic Torch Bearer Lawrence Page. Families were generous in their donations to the Fire Fighters Charity when having their photo taken, which all helped to raise £240 on the day for the charity.

Forty-five-year-old Lawrence proudly carried the torch through the town’s celebrations on July 17th after being nominated for this prestigious role by Hastings firefighters. Twenty-five years ago, Lawrence, who has learning difficulties, walked into Hastings community fire station and volunteered to wash service vehicles and fire appliances. He's since worked at the station every Saturday.

Crew Commander Tony Giles said:

“It was a fantastic day and gave families the opportunity to get up close and personal with the Olympic Torch, as well as meeting Lawrence who is not only an asset to East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service but Hastings too. The Olympic Torch symbolised the start of the 2012 Olympic Games and we wanted residents to have this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see it in person and be snapped with it!

“We hope families enjoyed their snapshot of what goes on at their local fire station, as well as picking up a few invaluable safety tips along the way.”

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Firefighters battle to save recycling site

Firefighters from across East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service have been battling through the night to save Sussex Skips from a devastating fire.

Flames swept through the buildings after rubbish caught fire at the site in Newhaven, which could be seen from miles away.

At the height of the fire around 50 firefighters and eight fire engines, along with two Aerial Ladder Platforms, attended the incident at 12.40am after an alarm was activated.

Crews successfully worked with the owners of the site to save essential office information, along with millions of pounds worth of machinery, which will enable to business to trade again once the clear-up has been completed.

Crews faced particularly tough firefighting conditions and have been praised by Brighton & Hove’s Borough Commander, Mark Rist, who said:

“The crews did a fantastic job in saving a vast majority of the site and stemming the flow of contaminated water running off.

“It has been an arduous incident as we had to lift water for fire fighting from the nearby river. As it became light this morning the morning dew caused heavy smoke to sit over the area on the main site and the railway for a couple of hours, until sun light lifted the dew. 

 “We also had a considerable amount of water running off, which was contaminated by debris from fire, which we are managing to contain to protect the nearby environment. We are working closely with Environment Agency, Southern Water and the site owners to determine where to put the water run-off so it does not pollute the river.”

Crews have also been using firefighting foam (1 in 7 foam) to minimise the use of water.

Mark added: “This is fantastic to use at incidents such as this as, not only does it suppress the fire without using large amounts of water but reduces the smoke plume"

The incident has now been scaled down but crews will be there for several hours checking for any potential hotspots. Crews are working with the owners who are using a large excavator to lift sections of the charred remains, enabling firefighters to damp down effectively. A full re-inspection will take place later on today.

A full fire investigation got underway at midday today and East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service is working closely with Sussex Police who are carrying out forensic examinations of the scene today.

Olympic glory for Hastings residents

Hastings firefighters are offering residents a part of the Olympic action….

This Saturday (28th July) they will hold their Open Day at Bohemia Road, Hastings, with the chance for families to have their photo taken with Olympic Torch Bearer Lawrence Page. All the crews ask in return is for a token donation to the Fire Fighters Charity.

Crew Commander Tony Giles said:

“This will give families the opportunity to get up close and personal with the Olympic Torch and to meet Lawrence who is not only an asset to East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service but Hastings too. The Olympic Torch is the symbolic start of the 2012 Olympic Games and we want residents to have this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see it in person and be snapped with it!”

Forty-five-year-old Lawrence proudly carried the torch through the town’s celebrations on July 17th after being nominated for this prestigious role by Hastings firefighters. Twenty-five years ago, Lawrence, who has learning difficulties, walked into Hastings community fire station and volunteered to wash service vehicles and fire appliances. He's since worked at the station every Saturday.

Tony added: “This is a fantastic opportunity for residents to see what goes on at their local fire station and to see firsthand the vast range of work that we carry out. We want this to be a fun day for the whole family and hope people will take away with them a few safety tips to help keep them safe in their day-to-day lives. It’s always great to meet the people that we work for and hope that our Open Day will brighten up their day.”

Just some of the fun in the sun going on this weekend includes displays and attractions, a chip pan demo, Road Traffic Collision scenarios, Active Hastings, Mobilising and Communications Centre (who will be giving 999 call handling demonstrations), the Incident Command Unit (the epicentre of any major incident). The day gets underway at 11am and the fun continues until 4pm.

Weekend round-up

Busy weekend for Brighton crews

Preston Circus firefighters had a busy weekend with 28 call-outs ranging from overcooked food to fires and people stuck in lifts.

A crew were sent to a fire at Patcham High School, Ladies Mile Road, Brighton, in the early hours of Sunday morning (22ndJuly). Firefighters were at the scene for around half an hour tackling the blaze in the bike store with one hose reel jet.

Meanwhile, Roedean and Preston Circus firefighters were called to Rye Close, in Saltdean, following reports of overcooked food. The occupant had a lucky escape after falling asleep. Crews used a Positive Pressure Ventilation Fan to clear smoke from the building.

On Sunday night (22nd July) two fire engines from Brighton and Hove were sent to an incident at Woods Mill Joinery, North Street, in Portslade at 6.14pm. No-one was injured.

Dust cart fire

Crews were called to a dust cart on fire on Monday morning (23rd July) in West Street, Brighton. One main hose reel jet was used to tackle the blaze at 7.14am and crews left the scene at 7.40am.

Burst water pipe

Firefighters had to isolate the electrics after being called out to a burst hot water main on Monday (23rdJuly) at 7.36am, which resulted in water pouring out on to a hand-dryer at Mithras House Lewes Road, Brighton. As the water hit the dryer it produced steam which set-off the fire alarm in the building. A plumber was contacted to deal with the leak. Crews were there for fifteen minutes at just after 7.30am.

Lorry fire in Brighton

Two fire engines from Preston Circus were sent to London Road, Brighton, after a lorry caught fire on Friday (20thJuly) morning at 11am. The flames ripped through the vehicle destroying half of the lorry. Firefighters used firefighting foam (1 in 7 foam) and one hose reel jet to tackle the blaze and were there for an hour getting the situation under control.  The driver managed to escape the flames but was treated by paramedics as a precautionary measure. Sussex Police closed the road to traffic and traffic was diverted for around an hour, after which the bus lane was then re-opened.

Woman collapses on scaffolding

A woman had to be rescued from scaffolding after collapsing whilst working on a house in Tangmere Road, Brighton, on Friday (20th July) at 1.30pm. The Aerial Ladder Platform was used by firefighters to provide a stable platform for the HART team (High Access Rescue Team) to bring her down safely.  HART are trained experts in technical line rescue and can also offer medical and first aid support to the emergency services – in areas which would normally be inaccessible. The casualty was taken off to hospital.

Elderly lady rescued

Roedean and Brighton firefighters led an elderly lady to safety after a pan of food caught fire on her cooker at Walter May House, Whitehawk Road, Brighton, on Sunday night (22nd July) at 10.15pm. The alarm was raised by Carelink. Crews gave the woman oxygen therapy at the scene and then left her in the care of paramedics. 

Six stuck in a lift

Hove firefighters came to the rescue of six distressed people who found themselves stuck in a lift within a block of flats on Grand Avenue, at just after 6pm on Sunday (23rd July). They had been there for around twenty minutes and were relieved to be rescued by East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service. Crews isolated the power before winding the lift to a floor and freeing the people. Hove crews also attended three separate car fires all in the same area around Ellen Street and Conway Street, in the early hours of Monday (23rd July) morning.

Major rescue operation launched to help paraglider

A major rescue operation was launched by East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service after a paraglider became stranded on the South Downs above Firle.

The emergency call came in to the Mobilising & Communications Centre last Friday (20th July) at 11.41am.

A technical rescue crew from Lewes, along with the line rescue teams from Battle and Bexhill, were sent to the incident.

The woman was stranded 45 metres down the bankside and various emergency services worked alongside each other to assist, including: crews from the Kent Helicopter Emergency Service (HEMS), the Hazard Area Rescue Team (HART), South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAMB), Sussex Police and ESFRS. The combined line rescue team helped to bring the woman down safely.

ESFRS Watch Manager Dave Washington said: “The rescue was undertaken in a controlled manor to prevent further injury, lasting 45 minutes from arrival. The woman was then taken to the Trauma Centre at the Royal Sussex County Hospital.”

Rubbish catches fire at Sussex Skips, Newhaven

Police along with East Sussex Fire and Rescue were called to Sussex Skips in Newhaven in the very early hours of this morning (24 July) following an alarm being activated. 

On arrival at North Quay Road at 12:40am emergency services discovered a large pile of burning rubbish that was spreading to the main building. Firefighters worked for several hours to extinguish the fire and make safe the area. 

Sergeant Dave Tye from East Sussex CID said: "The cause of the fire is yet unknown and we will continue to work with our colleagues at East Sussex Fire and Rescue who are continuing with their forensic examinations of the scene today (24 July). 

"If you heard or saw any suspicious activity yesterday evening please call 101 quoting serial 50 of 24/7 or the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111."

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Fire sparks electrical warning

On 18th July at 9.23pm, East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service responded to a fire in a three-storey property on Oak View Main Road, Icklesham, between Hastings and Rye.
Two fire engines were dispatched from The Ridge, Hastings and Rye fire stations. When crews arrived, they found smoke issuing from the three-storey domestic property.

Crews used two breathing apparatus and one hose reel jet to tackle the blaze in the first floor bedroom. Two more engines from The Ridge and Rye were dispatched to the scene along with the Incident Command Unit from Bexhill.

Crews used six breathing apparatus, one hose reel jet and a compressed air foam system to quickly bring the fire under control.

Crew Manager, Daniel Burnett said: “The fire is believed to be accidental caused by an electrical appliance. Always unplug appliances when you’re not using them or when you are going to bed. Unplugging appliances helps reduce the risk of fire. You can help protect your home and your family by having a working smoke alarm and ensuring you check it regularly. It could save your life.”

How to avoid electrical fires:

  • Always check that you use the right fuse to prevent overheating.
  • Make sure an electrical appliance has a British European safety mark when you buy it.
  • Certain appliances, such as washing machines, should have a single plug to themselves, as they are high powered.
  • Try and keep to one plug per socket.
  • An extension lead will have a limit to how many amps it can take, so be careful not to overload them to reduce the risk of fire.
  • Be on the look-out for signs of dangerous wiring such as scorch marks, hot plugs and sockets, fuses that blow or circuit-breakers that trip for no obvious reasons, or flickering lights.
  • Check and replace any old cables and leads, especially if they are hidden from view – behind furniture or under carpets and mats.
  • Unplug appliances when you’re not using them or when you go to bed.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Hailsham firefighters invite you to their Open Day

If you’re wondering what the family can do this weekend, why not go along to Hailsham community fire stations Open Day on Saturday 21st July, 10.00am – 4.00pm.

Children will be able to climb on board and have a good look around fire engines and other emergency vehicles as well as trying out using a hose to put out a mock fire.

Firefighters will be on hand to give you a warm welcome and discuss what’s involved in modern day firefighting and prevention work. Lots of demonstrations are planned throughout the day, including extricating a casualty from a road traffic collision and rescuing a casualty from a house fire demonstration as well as a chip pan fire display.

A huge range of specialist equipment will be on display along with the East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service Fire Bike. The rope rescue team and the animal rescue team will be there along with staff from the Mobilising and Communications Centre, who will be giving 999 call handling demonstrations.

For any budding football enthusiasts, the Coaching for a Safer Community inflatable goal will be there – perfect for expending that last bit of energy!

And if that wasn’t enough, children will be able to dress up as a firefighter and have their face painted. Sam the Fire Dog will be there and Fireman Sam and Welephant are also making a guest appearance.

Firefighter, Jason Hull, said: “It’s a fantastic opportunity to meet the community we serve and to demonstrate the wide range of preventative work the service undertakes. All the team are really looking forward to the Open Day, we’d love to see you and your family there!”

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

ESFRS and St Leonards Academy working in partnership

An East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service (ESFRS) community safety events day was recently held with 26 Year 10 pupils at the Edinburgh Campus site of St Leonards Academy.

Speaking about the day, which took place on Wednesday July 4th, Gillian Dearman, Assistant Principal at St Leonards Academy, said:

"It was a great day. The young people were pleased to be working with the Fire Service and to have their ideas listened to."

ESFRS Youth Interventions Manager, Vicky Thomas, said:

“The event was an opportunity for ESFRS to consult with the students and explore ways in which we can engage with young people. It was a long and challenging day for all involved - with many ideas and suggestions being given during the discussions. The young people were enthusiastic and forthcoming and I’d like to thank everyone at St Leonards Academy for their support."

Monday, 16 July 2012

Serious Brighton fire sparks candle safety warning

Concerns have been raised over candle safety following a recent serious fire at a property in Clarence Square.

Three children had to be rescued from a flat fire after a candle was lit and placed on the window sill of the lounge.

The occupants were unaware that a fire had started in the lounge until they were alerted by the smoke alarm.

Crews were called to the property on 28th June at 9.13pm after reports that there were people trapped inside the building.

Four fire engines and an Aerial Ladder Platform from Preston Circus and Hove were sent to deal with the situation.

Five police officers had already gone into the building to attempt to rescue the occupants but were unable to do so because of the effects of inhaling smoke. Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus went into the top floor flat and brought out the three occupants, a boy aged four, and a girl and boy, both aged 14.

The three children and the five police officers, a Sergeant and four Constables, were treated at the Royal Sussex County Hospital for the effects of smoke inhalation. None of the firefighters were injured or required any treatment.

It’s believed this fire was caused by a candle which had set light to one of the curtains.

East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service would like to warn others of how easily an innocuous candle can quickly have devastating repercussions.

You can prevent fires when using candles by following these simple safety tips:
You should take care where you decide to put candles in your home. 

Lighted candles and where to put them

Candles are best placed:
  • On a heat-resistant surface - be especially careful with night lights and tea lights, which get hot enough to melt plastic.
  • In a proper candle holder, so they don't fall over.
  • Out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Out of draughts and away from curtains, other fabrics or furniture which could catch fire.
  • With at least 1 metre (3 feet) between the candle and any surface above it.
  • With at least 10 centimetres (4 inches) between any two candles.
  • Away from clothes and hair - if there's any chance you could forget where a candle is and lean across it, put it somewhere else.
Make sure you put out candles before moving them and don't let anything fall into the hot wax, like matchsticks.

Putting candles out:
Never leave a candle unattended. Make sure you:
  • Put out candles before you leave a room and before you go to bed.
  • Never leave a burning candle or oil burner in a child's bedroom.
  • Use a snuffer or a metal spoon to put them out - blowing them can send sparks and hot wax flying.
  • Double-check that they are completely out and not still smouldering.
For further information on candle safety including candles and decoration for celebrations, decorative and electrical safety visit our Community Safety pages.