A project which has almost halved the number of small fires in Nuneaton and Bedworth, and resulted in a Warwickshire wide scheme being launch, is now to be supported by a dedicated Small Fires Unit.

Since October 2007 Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service has been running an Anti Social Behaviour Intervention Team in the Nuneaton and Bedworth area.

This team have lead the way in helping to reduce the problems associated with anti social behaviour, achieving significant reductions in deliberate small fires. Due to its success, the project was rolled out around the county in 2010.

Cllr Richard Hobbs, Warwickshire County Council's Portfolio Holder for Community Safety, said: "The team relied entirely on the principle of engagement, intervention and education and had no physical means with which to fight fires.

"The launch of the Small Fires Unit is the next logical step, and Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service has taken this principle and moved it forwards by introducing a dedicated Small Fires Unit, which will become operational in the spring.

"This unit will have the capabilities to tackle small fires and carry on the principles created by ASBIT that have proved so successful.

"The capability to extinguish a small fire with this unit ensures that our main fire appliances are still available to respond to other emergencies where life may be at threat and not otherwise occupied at a small fire."

The vehicle has been designed by the fire service for the specialist role of tackling Small Fires and allowing engagement with people in local communities.

Chief Fire Officer Graeme Smith added: "It is far smaller than a main fire appliance and has 4x4 capabilities, which allows it to get to the right place at the right time. The vehicle also has a 'fogging' unit which is a new technique of fighting fires that uses minimal amounts of water to extinguish a fire safely and rapidly."

The unit will be based at Bedworth Fire Station and will cover the Nuneaton and Bedworth area.

The team is a partnership and will consist of three firefighters and a Police Community Support Officer, who will engage, work with, and educate children and young people to improve safety for everyone in communities.

For further information on the work of the Fire and Rescue Service visit: www.warwickshire.gov.uk/fireandrescue 

 

Photo: Les Moore, Roly Bayley, Cllr Richard Hobbs, CFO Graeme Smith, Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service

 

Posted February 21st, 2012 at 1125 by Andrew. Comment by emailing: andrew.lynch@pavpub.com