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Last Updated
16-Apr-2014 13:21

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News Headlines...April 2014

To go straight to any of April's news click on the links below.

Safety On 2 Wheels | Worcester Caravan Fire | Biggest House Fire Killer | Joint Emergency Services Station |

Community safety on two wheels!

Monday 14 April

Community Safety cycle team image

Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service (HWFRS) Community Cycle Team will be out and about again in the Redditch area in the school Easter holidays.

The teams will operate in pairs and will be out on their bikes for 4 hours a day at various times from Tuesday 22nd April until Sunday 27th April.

The aim of the team is to engage more closely with young people in the town, and discouraging arson and other anti-social behaviour throughout the school holidays.

The initiative, which has been partly funded by North Worcestershire Community Safety Partnershipand the Kingfisher Shopping Centre, will see Community Cycle Teams heading off on their push bikes around key areas of Redditch, including areas along the River Arrow acting as a visible presence, offering community water safety advice and promoting positive activities for young people to get involved in. They will also look out for potential fire risks, such as abandoned cars, empty premises or fly tipping, and work with partner agencies at ways of removing or reducing these risks.

Watch Commander Shaun D’Oliveira, Community Safety at HWFRS, said: “being able to interact and help to educate young people about the dangers of playing in or near the water is key for us.  We would like to highlight the dangers of open water and encourage people, whatever their age, to take extra care. 

He continued: “We also want to make young people aware of the dangers of starting fires deliberately, and highlighting the consequences of their behavior to those involved as well as the negative impact it has within the local community, is of great importance to the Fire Service”.

“We will be carefully targeting resources towards areas of the town that have experienced pockets of anti-social behavior, bin fires etc in the past, and monitoring the impact that this has on call-outs to these types of incidents.”

The Community Cycle Teams will be wearing their specially designed cycle kit and will be on their distinctive bikes so that they will be easily recognisable in the community.


Caravan fire, Worcester

Monday 14 April

A family had a lucky escape this morning (Monday) after a fire broke out in their caravan.

The incident happened at Offerton Lane, Worcester, at just after 4.30am. Two fire engines from Worcester attended the scene and crews wearing breathing apparatus used a hosereel jet to extinguish the fire.

Station Commander Jallands said: “The occupier of the caravan managed to evacuate his family before using a garden hose to spray water onto the fire through the open door, which helped to control the flames until the fire crews arrived. 

“Once the firefighters had put the fire out they vented the caravan of smoke.  The family were extremely lucky to survive the fire, which was thought to have been caused by an electric fan heater left on all night.

“Although there were two smoke alarms fitted in the caravan, the smoke alarm positioned directly above the fire had no battery in it.  It was only by chance that the daughter awoke and alerted the adults, averting a certain tragedy.”

Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service recommends that you make sure you have the earliest warning of a fire by testing your smoke alarm weekly. More safety information can be found at


Wake up to the Deadly Risk:

Thursday April 10

Put it out, right out

Smokers are being warned that they must wake up to the deadly dangers of smoking - especially when tired - as Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service (HWFRS) as part of the Fire Kills campaign, highlights that a third of all deaths in fires in the home are caused by cigarettes.

Smoking is the single biggest killer in accidental fires in the home, often because of careless behaviour such as smoking in bed or not taking care after drinking alcohol.

When smokers fall asleep with a lit cigarette in hand, their proximity to the resulting fire seriously lowers their chance of escaping in time.

HWFRS is reminding smokers to ‘Put it Out, Right Out’ whenever they light up, to install smoke alarms on every level of the home, and, to test the smoke alarms weekly. Without a working smoke alarm you are at least four times more likely to die in an accidental fire in the home.

These simple steps can help prevent a cigarette fire in the home:

  • Never smoke in bed. Take care when you’re tired – it’s very easy to fall asleep while your cigarette is still burning and set furniture alight
  • Never smoke when under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If your lit cigarette starts a fire you could be less able to escape. 
  • Put it out, right out!  Make sure your cigarette is fully extinguished
  • Fit a smoke alarm and test it weekly. A working smoke alarm can buy you valuable time to get out, stay out and call 999
  • Never leave lit cigarettes, cigars or pipes unattended – they can easily overbalance as they burn down
  • Use a proper, heavy ashtray that can’t tip over easily and is made of a material that won’t burn.

Station Commander Alan Haley from the Community Safety Department, HWFRS said:

“Every six days, someone dies from a fire caused by cigarettes or smoking materials. Despite a fall in the overall number of fires caused by these products, it’s still the biggest killer in accidental fires in the home across the country.

“Every smoker should wake up to the risks they take every time they light up, and drop the habit of smoking whilst in bed or under the influence of alcohol. The risk of falling asleep before you ‘put it out, right out’ is just too great.

He continued “Just two to three breaths of toxic smoke can render you unconscious, so invest in a working smoke alarm and test it monthly. It can give you the extra time you need to escape if the worst should happen”.


Police and Fire Service move into Worcestershire’s
first Joint Emergency Services Station

Monday 7 April

The new joint police and fire station on Slideslow Drive, Bromsgrove has replaced outdated police and fire stations in the town.

The station is the first project delivered under the Worcestershire Capital Asset Pathfinder initiative, which looks at how a partnership approach to public services (for example combining police and fire and rescue services in one location) can lead to better local services, increased value for money and efficiencies through shared services. The project has been funded by the police, with the fire service committed to a 25 year tenancy agreement.

The new site replaces two old police and fire stations which required extensive refurbishment, were expensive to run and would incur increasing costs in the future to maintain. By joining forces, the police and fire brigade have saved an estimated 20% on building costs. The building has been installed with solar panels to contribute to heating and electricity, lighting sensors, heating control system and a sprinkler system, harvesting rain water which provides filtered water to the building.  These installations are expected to cut annual running costs by 25%.

Superintendent Kevin Purcell, North Worcestershire Commander said: “There have been many occasions in recent months including floods and serious fires, where I have had the privilege of working closely with fire and rescue colleagues. They are undoubtedly a top performing service and this new venture cements our already close working relationship.”

Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner Barrie Sheldon said: “Ensuring value for money for residents in Bromsgrove while maintaining high quality, accessible services is very important. Sharing this building with the fire service is a great example of how the force is embracing new ways of working smarter with its partners.”

Group Commander Mick Cadman of Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service said: “We are delighted to be moving our firefighters into this new station – we’re extremely pleased that we will be implementing a new innovative crewing system for our staff at this station.

“We have a very close working relationship with West Mercia Police and look forward to jointly continuing to provide the best possible service to our communities.”

The official opening of the Bromsgrove Police and Fire Station will take place later in the year.


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