Hotter Than The Riviera

Jon Southgate is a Station Commander, his role being that of Deputy District Commander of the South District of Suffolk’s Fire & Rescue Service

Wow, what a fantastic run of hot weather we’ve been having, as I write this, it’s predicted to reach 31 degrees & I hope you’ve made the most of it!

Whilst most of us look forward to the decent weather, it certainly has an impact on our operational activities. You’ll have seen the recent stories covering the vast fires across Saddleworth Moor which needed the help of the Army to support Firefighters working night and day. 

In Suffolk, we’ve already had a number of fires in the open that have needed 5 or 6 crews to extinguish the fire. All too often, as with at least one of the fires in Lancashire, they’re started deliberately, aside from the fact that it’s illegal, it puts property, animals and people at great risk. 

With the hope of yet more glorious weather to come, we know our peak time isn’t over yet but remember, while crews are tackling grass, undergrowth or crop fires, it leaves gaps in fire cover that we make every effort to backfill from across Suffolk or even from our neighbouring Fire & Rescue Services (FRS). 

It’s not just from other FRS that we get help, we’re really fortunate to have great working arrangements with The Salvation

Army who provide hot food and drinks at a major fire; The British Red Cross who have a support vehicle which we can request to attend a serious house fire and offer support to the homeowners whilst they try to get things sorted; Suffolk Lowland Search & Rescue (SuLSaR) who assist with search & rescue of missing persons, flying our new drone or water based rescues if required; Suffolk 4x4 club who work closely with  SuLSaR in getting volunteers and equipment over very rough terrain.

One thing all the above organisations have in common is that they’re all volunteers! We truly value every person that helps us but we also have our own volunteers within Suffolk FRS. We have a group of Community Fire Volunteers (CFV) who support our Fire Prevention team in delivering valuable safety messages across Suffolk. They’ll promote safety in homes, on roads and you’ll see them at a variety of events around the county so pop over and have a chat, you never know, a few minutes chat could help protect your home or more importantly you and your loved ones!

I too, volunteer on our FireBike project and often take a day off from running 6 fire stations to deliver motorcycle safety advice to the bikers of Suffolk. So, as long as we’re not dealing with an incident, come and say hello, our crews are happy to help and give advice!

See you next month, stay safe!