Yarmouth fire department

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Description: Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service - A service provided by Norfolk County Council - Making Norfolk Safer. The official website for Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service. Here you will find information on our aims, responsibilities, our organisation and our locations. Also included are full details on Fire Safety and joining the Service.

To look after the residents of Edwardian Yarmouth, the Borough Council commenced work on a new Fire and Police Station to the rear of the Town Hall in 1909 with it being extended in 1911.

The station boasted the tallest pole in the country, the Chief Fire Officer lived in a flat above the station itself (some things do change for the better) and had the latest in self propelled steam fire tenders. These were last used at the scene of the fire at ‘Arnolds’ a large department store in town in 1919. They were replaced by Merryweather motor driven tenders.

The Great Yarmouth Fire Brigade not only acquitted itself admirably fighting such major fires as Arnolds and the Scenic Railway at the Pleasure Beach in 1919, Britannia Pier in 1932, the ‘Norfolk Blitz’ in 1941, but also dealt with severe floods in 1931 and 1953 (after which Firefighter Fred Sadd was awarded the George Cross) and the appalling winter of 1963. It is also worth noting that the Great Yarmouth Fire Brigade also took delivery of one of the first 12 Hydraulic Platforms in the country and this vehicle can still be seen at Duxford Museum.

On June 8th 1972 the current fire station seen on the front page of the website was opened having been built at a cost of £146,500 (incidentally the same price as the Breathing Apparatus Chamber to the rear of the station cost to complete, and HALF the cost of the 2002 Scania Water Tender Ladder now designated Yarmouth P1, that’s inflation for you!).

In 1974 the amalgamation of three fire brigades, those of Great Yarmouth, Norwich and Norfolk, together with the transfer of the combined HQ’s and control rooms to Hethersett, Norfolk Fire Service as we know it today was born.

The current station has, as mentioned, a Scania Heavy Rescue Pump (Yarmouth P7), a Scania Water Tender Ladder with CAFS compressed air foam system (Yarmouth P3), a Bronto Skylift Aerial Ladder Platform (Yarmouth A6) and a retained Mercedes Water Tender (Yarmouth P4).

To staff these appliances there are four wholetime watches and a part time on call retained crew of 12 personnel (one Watch manager, two Crew managers and 9 Firefighters per watch) are employed to serve an area that extends from Long Fulans Lane in Hopton, to the First and Last Public House in Ormesby and as far inland as the Pontiac Road House on the A47. Although the ALP, being only one of three covering the whole of Norfolk often travels much further afield.

Unusual risks of the town include the Riparian risks of the river, Offshore companies (which use radioactive sources and explosives), and a major hospital (the James Paget). Whereas the primary life risk used to be the influx of tourists in the summer and the greatly increased number of people sleeping peacefully in the numerous hotels and guest houses, many of these have been converted to bedsits or ‘houses in multiple occupancy’ with different fire regulations covering them and an increase in social issues being noted by firefighters.

It has a Compressed Air Foam System (CAFS) on board that mixes a foam concentrate with water to produce a foam mixture that is more effective than plain water in dealing with certain fires. Currently Norfolk Fire & Rescue Service only uses this in exterior firefighting but will soon be looking to extend its training to include interior techniques too. This can be deployed using either the standard firefighting hose or by using a dedicated CAFS hosereel.

Great Yarmouth’s newest addition to its fleet. This is longer and heavier than a standard Rescue Pump. It has the same water capacity but carries a lot of extra equipment. Firefighting capability comes from standard hose, two high pressure hosereels or a Compressed Air Foam System.

Additional equipment includes a Heavy Goods Vehicle rescue platform, heavy duty hydraulic cutting equipment, 66 tonne airbags, battery powered combination cutter/spreader tool, various drills/drivers/saws, pulling chains and much more.

The cage can hold up to four people with equipment and reach a maximum height of 30 metres. It has the ability to reach up to 5 metres below ground level which has been put to good use in rescuing people from boats docked in the harbour.

The monitor attached to the cage can deliver up to 3300 litres of water per minute. It can also be used to deliver CAFS if required. The monitor and cage can both be controlled from ground level if conditions up in the cage are deemed too dangerous.

Typical duties include cleaning and upkeep of their equipment & appliance, attending lectures on fire service operating procedures, occasionally training alongside the wholetime & retained crews.

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