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Welcome from Chief Fire Officer Mark Yates

Cfo m yates white detail

On behalf of all employees of Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service, I would like to welcome you to our new website, a key tool to keep our communities informed.

You won't be surprised that one of our primary aims is to make the counties of Herefordshire and Worcestershire safer from fire and other associated hazards, and we believe prevention is always better than cure.

We work tirelessly and have had a high degree of success in this arena: we attend a third less incidents than we did 12 years ago, including a 50 per cent fall in the number of fires we attend. This means we are all safer from the devastating consequences of fire than we were in the past.

An important part of our desire to make communities safer is to communicate advice to the public via the Service's website. Our old site was a respected source for information across a range of subjects but had become outdated and wasn't as user friendly as could be expected. The new site has been completely redesigned to make it easier for you to read, easier for you to navigate your way around and easier for you to interact with your fire and rescue service.

Brand new features

For example, the site is now responsive so automatically adapts for viewing on a tablet or smart phone; you can apply for a free Home Fire Safety Check; you can keep up to date with all that's going on via our Events Calendar; and sign up to RSS updates to keep abreast of all the latest news.

To find out more about these new features, visit our introductory guide.

The website was developed in partnership with students from The Worcester Business School's Media Lab initiative, a student-led design and development lab working in conjunction with the University of Worcester to create web solutions for our community and businesses. To find out more about their team and what they do visit the Worcester Media Lab website.

Our work with the University is another great example of how we run your fire and rescue service: we will always seek out partners to assist in doing things better and more efficiently and if those partners are local to our counties, then all the better.

Worcester University logo and website link Media Lab Logo

A modern fire service

In more than 30 years working for fire and rescue services, I have seen many changes to what we do and how we do it. We are no longer purely a reactive service that deals with fires and road traffic collisions: we now deal with water rescues, rescues from height and depth, and chemical incidents.

We are part of the national response to significant incidents caused by terrorist events or adverse weather and also contribute to the entire country's safety by hosting a variety of nationally provided specialist vehicles available to be sent wherever they are needed.

We have initiated many community safety projects working predominantly with the young and vulnerable as well as ensuring all public buildings and workplaces have adequate fire precautions to keep people safe in the event that a fire does occur.

Did you know we do so much? Your firefighters now receive more training than ever before and are highly skilled in many different specialisms; they are the backbone of this Service and I'm proud to be able to lead such an excellent organisation.

On this website you can find pages for all our areas of work, including for every one of our stations and vehicles, with pages of advice and useful links for a host of safety issues, including in your home, for businesses, road safety and how to prepare for an emergency such as flooding.

I hope you find the site informative and useful; we are always looking to improve, so please feel free to contact us at info@hwfire.org.uk if you have any comments or questions about the new website or any other area of our business.