Crash course in road safety

Young drivers are getting a crash course in road safety as they celebrate the end of exams and the start of the summer holidays.

The dangers of drink/drug driving, speeding, driving while distracted and not wearing seatbelts – known as the Fatal Four – will be driven home to engineering apprentices from across Teesside by the emergency services and local authority road safety teams at NETA Training in Stockton on Wednesday, June 6 (1pm – 3.30pm).

Cleveland Fire Brigade will stage a crash scene and extricate students from a wrecked car demonstrating the challenges both casualties and rescuers can face. Apprentices will also have the opportunity to take a car journey in Virtual Reality using the latest technology and see at first-hand the harrowing consequences of a road crash that could so easily have been prevented.

The Police Safety Camera Team will profile the latest laser speed detection equipment used to help keep our roads safer.

Apprentices will be able to test their brake reaction times on specialist equipment which serve to highlight the distances a vehicle will travel before stopping in an emergency.

Traffic officers from Cleveland and Durham Police Specialist Operations will also be delivering a hard hitting drink drive case study highlighting how lives can be wrecked by driving whilst under the influence.

Andrew Bright, Cleveland Fire Brigade’s Learn and Live Co-ordinator: “This event will give apprentices a real hands-on opportunity to learn about the key risks that can face drivers and passengers on our roads but more importantly give them strategies to avoid the dangers that can so often wreck lives. With the World Cup tournament just about to start many people will be planning to enjoy a drink or two while watching the football. We want everyone to enjoy themselves, but at the same time ensure the roads are kept safe by raising awareness of the dangers of drink-driving.

“We are asking drivers to think and plan ahead if they are going out and drink is involved. Leave the vehicle at home and take a taxi or have a designated driver who isn’t drinking. Remember, if you have been drinking the night before you could still be well over the limit on your next journey.

“Passengers also have an important role to play not only to keep themselves safe but also their friends who might be driving. We all can play a part in keeping our roads safe and Look Out For Each Other. Our message is ‘None for the Road’.

David Laycock, NETA Training’s Programme Area Leader – Engineering, said: “We are delighted to welcome Cleveland Fire Brigade to NETA Training to help deliver this important safety message to our young apprentices and students. The information and activities provided by the emergency services to raise awareness of the dangers on the roads really do pack a punch, but we believe it is essential that our students are given the guidance and advice they need to help them to make the right choices, keeping themselves, their friends, family and other road-users safe.”

Source:: Cleveland Fire Brigade

Holiday Fire Safety Advice

Cleveland Fire Brigade are asking people to take extra care and be vigilant during the half term break to avoid deliberate fires and lives being put at risk.

Parents should make sure they know where their children are and also remove any rubbish away from houses and other properties.

It comes after latest figures show a 36% increase in deliberate fires across Cleveland in the last two years. There were 345 fires in April and May 2016 compared to 468 from April to May 20 this year.

John Feeney, District Manager, Cleveland Fire Brigade said: “Make no mistake deliberate fire setting is a blight on the whole community and is irresponsible. Buildings, wheelie bins, rubbish and grasslands have all been targeted recently.

We are asking people to remove any rubbish away from their properties and for parents to remind their children of the severe consequences of starting fires.

These fires divert our firefighters away from real emergencies where lives may be at risk and can also cause serious damage to property and the environment.

All our appliances are fitted with CCTV cameras and any evidence of people starting fires will be passed to the police and appropriate action taken. We need the help of everyone in the community to stop these incidents“.

Superintendent Bev Gill, from Cleveland Police, said: “Whilst some people may believe that by setting fire to an object they may not hurt anyone, arsonists do take risks which could leave someone seriously injured or could potentially kill someone. This type of behaviour will not be tolerated and we will work together with Cleveland Fire Brigade to ensure that anyone committing such acts is put before the courts wherever possible.”

If anyone has any information about arson or anti-social behaviour in their area, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or the Police on 101.

Source:: Cleveland Fire Brigade

Be water aware this summer

Cleveland Fire Brigade is urging people to be careful around water as drowning in the UK is one of the leading causes of accidental death.

The call comes to support the National Fire Chiefs Council’s (NFCC’s) drowning prevention and water safety campaign ‘Be Water Aware’ which runs from 23rd – 29th April.

Each year more than 300 people drown after tripping, falling or just by underestimating the risks associated with being near water. Many more people are left with life changing injuries in water related incidents.

Dave Turton, Head of Community Safety for Cleveland Fire Brigade said, “It is essential to highlight the dangers of drowning and to be ‘Water Aware’. Locally we have the River Tees and other waterways that can pose a danger to anyone who goes near them. We hope that by providing people with safety advice, it will hopefully save lives.”

NFCC’s Water Safety Lead, Chief Fire Officer Dawn Whittaker, said “Most people would be shocked to hear that those people drowning just happen to be near water such as runners and walkers.

“They are unaware of the risks and are totally unprepared for the scenario of ending up in the water. By highlighting this issue and making sure simple safety messages reach them we hope to reduce the number of these needless deaths.”

Safety advice

  • If you are going for a walk or run near water stick to proper pathways and stay clear of the water’s edge
  • Make sure conditions are safe, avoid walking or running near water in the dark, slippery or in bad weather
  • If you’ve had alcohol don’t enter the water, avoid walking alone and avoid routes near water
  • Never enter the water to try and help a person or animal – always call 999 and use any water rescue equipment if it is available
  • If you are spending time near water – whether at home or abroad make sure you are familiar with local safety information

The fire service has successfully reduced the number of accidental dwelling fires by focusing on prevention work and now we must apply the same principle to support our partners and the community to tackling drowning. Response is not enough – we must prevent drownings.

Source:: Cleveland Fire Brigade

First Steps to Success

Young people have taken their first steps in learning new skills and increasing their chances of getting a job as they got together to kick-start the latest programme of courses organised by Cleveland Fire Brigade in partnership with the National Citizen Service.

The initial team building session at Middlesbrough Community Fire Station will be followed by residential outdoor activities in the Lake District and a series of community projects

The young people are from the Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council area and the programme has been organised by Cleveland Fire Brigade’s Youth Engagement Team led by Commissioned Services Manager Helen Winskill.

She said: “It is a hugely exciting opportunity for teenagers to develop team working and leadership skills, boost their confidence and also get out and about to design projects to help the local community.

The sessions at Middlesbrough station were a great way to start the latest programme and give those taking part the chance to meet each other for the first time, have fun and take part in team building on the climbing wall and other activities. As well canoeing, rafting and climbing in the Lake District, they will also take part in firefighter training and deliver community projects to help local people.

They have already shown tremendous enthusiasm, commitment, dedication and a willingness to learn”.

All participants will be awarded nationally recognised volunteering qualifications as well as being presented with National Citizen Service completion certificate signed by Prime Minister Theresa May.

Last summer across the whole of the Tees Valley almost 1,000 teenagers completed NCS programmes and organised around 60 youth-led community programmes

Source:: Cleveland Fire Brigade

Appeal to parents to help keep arson incidents down

Parents are being urged to help Cleveland Fire Brigade make it a Happy Easter for everyone by continuing to support the drive to reduce deliberate fires.

It comes after figures for the same holiday break last year showed a 61% increase on 2016.

Dave Turton, Head of Community Safety at Cleveland Fire Brigade, said: “Although the lack of rainfall over the last Easter holidays was probably a factor in this massive increase, the simple fact is there were still 460 fires deliberately set over a very short period. We are urging parents to make sure they know what their children are doing over the holidays and make sure they are staying out of trouble.

“This is the first big school break of the year and the longer days and warmer weather means more young people are outside and for a small minority this results in irresponsible behaviour.

“Make no mistake, deliberate firesettting is a blight on the whole community. Buildings, wheelie bins, rubbish and grasslands have all been targeted in recent years. This can cause serious damage to property and the environment, and divert our resources away from real emergencies.

“We will not tolerate arson. We are working closely with the Police and Local Authorities, and immediate action will be taken against anyone caught deliberately starting a fire. We want everyone to enjoy the Easter break, but ask them to be responsible.”

For Easter 2017 (7 April to 24 April) there were 460 deliberate fires Cleveland Fire Brigade attended; 160 incidents in Redcar and Cleveland, 150 in Middlesbrough, 83 in Stockton and 67 in Hartlepool.

Compared with Easter 2016 (March 25 to April 11) there were 161 deliberate fires Cleveland Fire Brigade attended; 38 incidents in Redcar and Cleveland, 28 in Middlesbrough, 18 in Stockton and 17 in Hartlepool.

Superintendent Bev Gill, from Cleveland Police, said: “Whilst some people may believe that by setting fire to an object they may not hurt anyone, arsonists do take risks which could leave someone seriously injured or could potentially kill someone. This type of behaviour will not be tolerated and we will work together with Cleveland Fire Brigade to ensure that anyone committing such acts is put before the courts wherever possible.”

If anyone has any information about arson or anti-social behaviour in their area, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or the Police on 101.

Source:: Cleveland Fire Brigade

Fire door advice for residents

Cleveland Fire Brigade is reassuring residents over the use and provision of fire doors.

It comes after doors for flats in Grenfell Tower, which was destroyed by fire last year, could only hold back a fire for half the time they were designed to.

Joe Flounders, Head of Fire Engineering, CFB said: “Our advice has not changed, in the event of a fire people should continue to follow existing fire procedures in their property.

Fire doors are important but they are only part of a range of safety measures. Having working smoke alarms which are regularly tested are vital. Figures show that without a working smoke alarm you are four times more likely to die in a fire..

Other sensible steps to prevent a fire include never leaving cooking unattended, ensuring smoking materials are properly extinguished and disposed of, never leaving candles unattended and not putting items over heaters.”

What should I do if I am worried about my fire door?
If you are worried about any aspect of fire safety in your building you should contact your landlord/owner/responsible person in the first instance.

Why are fire doors important?
Fire doors are part of the key fire safety measure in place in buildings. They are designed to hold back flames and smoke for 30 to 60 minutes.

While fire doors are important, residents need to know what to do in the event of a fire in their building. All these measures come together to ensure people are kept safe in their own homes.

There are plenty of ways you can keep you and your family safer from the risks of fire in your home. Having working smoke alarms and testing them every week to check they are working, is one of the easiest ways to protect your family and your home.

I have a fire door on my flat – am I at risk?
There is no evidence to suggest there is an increased risk to public safety. Further tests are being carried out at this time and residents should continue to act in line with their building’s fire plan.

If we aren’t sure if our fire doors are safe, should we just keep them open?
People living in buildings with fire doors should continue to keep them closed at all times. Given the technical nature of fire door testing, further investigations are likely to take some time however the National Fire Chiefs Council will monitor progress on this issue and update our advice regularly.

If you have any concerns over the fire door fitted to your property please contact our Fire Engineering Department via [email protected]

Source:: Cleveland Fire Brigade

New fire station set to be officially opened

Cleveland Fire Brigade will be officially opening the newly rebuilt Grangetown Community Fire Station this Friday (16 March) which forms part of a multi-million pound programme to bring buildings up to 21st century standards.

The state-of-the art Grangetown Community Fire Station, which cost £3 million to build, replaces the previous building on the same site located at Slip Road Church Lane/Trunk Road which was 48 years old.

The single story, four bay fire station houses three fire engines and will deliver prevention, protection and an emergency response service to Grangetown and the surrounding areas. The station also boasts a community room which is available for local groups to use.

The impressive new station forms part of a major re-building programme – partly funded by Government grant – to ensure that the Brigade can continue to provide the very best fire and rescue service to the people of Teesside.

As well as the official opening of the station, there will be a tour of the station, prevention, protection and emergency response displays and the presentation of the Long Service Medals and Awards to staff who have served for more than 20 years in the fire service.

Councillor Jan Brunton Dobson, Chair of Cleveland Fire Authority said, “I am delighted to be officially opening another brand new Fire Station which will help deliver essential services to our local community.

“It is absolutely vital that we invest in new state-of-the–art facilities so that the people of Teesside can rest assured they have the very latest fire and rescue equipment to help keep them safe.”

Ian Hayton, Chief Fire Officer said, “This is the third brand new fire station we have built. These new facilities are important, not only in terms of its emergency response to incidents for the area but also as a community hub.

“The building will vastly improve the accommodation for firefighters, will enable them to continue to deliver safety services and enable the community to have a meeting place from which individuals, groups and organisations can work together.

“It’s also fantastic that we can celebrate and reward our staff at this event for their work, commitment and long service to Cleveland Fire Brigade.”

Source:: Cleveland Fire Brigade

Important message from Age UK


With heavy snow and freezing conditions forecast to last for the rest of the week, Age UK is urging older people to wrap up warm, keep the heating on, and make sure they’re claiming the benefits available to help with their heating costs.

Most older people will have received the Winter Fuel Payment already this winter but Age UK is urging those who haven’t to check their eligibility and make a claim before the deadline on 31st March.

In addition, all Pension Credit recipients will automatically receive a Cold Weather Payment if the criteria is met. Yet official figures show that over a million older people who are eligible for Pension Credit are not claiming it – missing out on valuable extra weekly income as well as Cold Weather Payments. The Charity is urging all older people who are living on a low income but not receiving Pension Credit to find out if they’re eligible for extra support.

Research shows that exposure to the cold can have a devastating impact on the health of older people, who are particularly vulnerable to the impact of low temperatures. As people get older it takes longer to warm up which can be bad for people’s health. The cold can also increase blood pressure which increases the risk of stroke and heart attack, and breathing in cold air can increase the risk of chest infections.


• 18°C (64°F) is the ideal temperature for your bedroom and 21°C (70°F) is the ideal temperature for your living room. Check your thermostat or use a room thermometer to monitor temperature.

• Breathing in cold air can increase the risk of chest infections. If you go out, put a scarf around your mouth to warm up the air before you breathe it in. If you stay in, make sure you keep your windows closed, particularly overnight in the bedroom (even if it’s your normal habit to leave them open).

• Stay active and when you are indoors try not to sit still for more than an hour, if you can get up. Walk around or make a hot drink (or take one to someone you know can’t get out).

• Eat well. It’s important to eat well, especially in the winter. Have at least one hot meal a day and have regular hot drinks, as they help to keep you warm.

Caroline Abrahams. Charity Director at Age UK said: “These arctic conditions will be really challenging for many older people, particularly those who are more vulnerable because of pre-existing health conditions or who are living in housing that is difficult and expensive to heat.

“With the country now firmly in the grip of the Beast from the East, we are urging people to stay warm, keep the heating on, and make sure they’re receiving all the help that’s available.

“Now is the time to check in on older family members, friends and neighbours. Picking up some shopping for them or just popping in to check they’re okay can be a big help in these conditions.”

Age UK publishes a number of free guides, including Winter Wrapped Up, which offers practical advice to help older people stay warm and well through the colder months. The guide includes information on cold weather preparations, tips on staying healthy, ways to improve energy efficiency and advice on how to keep warm both inside and outside the home. It includes a section on benefits and concessions available to those eligible and a handy pull-out and keep room thermometer. The Charity also publishes a number of other free guides including More money in your pocket to help people navigate the benefits system and has trained advisers on hand all year round to offer support.

Anyone – whether an older person, carer, friend, neighbour or relative – can pick up a free guide by contacting their local Age UK or visiting the Charity’s website or by calling Age UK Advice on 0800 169 6565.

Useful links:

Source:: Cleveland Fire Brigade

Brigade supports “Dying to Work” campaign

Signing the Charter (l to r) Dave Howe, Fire Brigades Union; Councillor Jan Brunton Dobson, Chair, Cleveland Fire Authority; Beth Farhat, Regional Secretary, Northern Region TUC, Eddie Jeffries, Unison and Chief Fire Officer Ian Hayton

Cleveland Fire Brigade has pledged to support, protect and guide any staff diagnosed with a terminal illness.

By signing-up to the TUC “Dying to Work” charter the Brigade continues to recognise that additional support and understanding is needed.

Ian Hayton, Chief Fire Officer Cleveland Fire Brigade, said: “It was an easy decision to sign-up and make a formal commitment to the work we already do. Sometimes people have to work through very difficult circumstances and it is our job to make sure they get the help and support they need and are treated with the utmost dignity.”

Chair of Cleveland Fire Authority Councillor Jan Brunton-Dobson added: “Cleveland Fire Brigade is a caring organisation that cares for the public, local communities and staff and we are delighted to pledge our support for such a hugely important campaign.”

The Dying to Work charter outlines:

• Recognising terminal illness requires support and understanding

• Terminally ill employees are secure in the knowledge that they will be supported

• They have security of work, peace of mind and the right to choose the best course of actions for themselves and families

• All employees battling terminal illness have adequate employment protection

Source:: Cleveland Fire Brigade