Firefighters across Cambridgeshire lead the way with new protective equipment

PUBLISHED: 10:45 04 June 2020 | UPDATED: 10:45 04 June 2020

The Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service is one of the first crews to roll out smoke blocking curtains in England. Picture: CAMBRIDGESHIRE FIRE AND RESCUE SERVICE

The Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service is one of the first crews to roll out smoke blocking curtains in England. Picture: CAMBRIDGESHIRE FIRE AND RESCUE SERVICE

Archant

Firefighters in Cambridgeshire have become some of the first in the country to roll out new technology that help tackle fires and protects more people when responding to incidents.

Crews from the Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service (CFRS) have received smoke blocking curtains, which helps contains the smoke from a fire and reduces the impact of the smoke on the rest of a property to keep neighbouring residents safe.

Over 50 colleagues from 15 counties across the country joined the CFRS training team to hear about the benefits of the new kit, where crew members held an online seminar and shared some of their expertise.

Although popular in the rest of Europe, CFRS is one of the first crews to roll out the specialist equipment in England, where they will feature on fire appliances at every station in the county.

Watch Commander James Ball said: “Smoke curtains are an exceptional tool to help us tackle fires.

“They enable us to simultaneously evacuate a property whilst also tackling the fire, helping to protect residents and keep them safe from the smoke.

“We’ve seen how effective they can be in real-life scenarios, and it’s fantastic to see so many other fire services interested in what we’re doing and how they can benefit their own response to fire.”

The smoke blocking curtains, which were obtained earlier this year, will mainly be used within multi-occupancy accommodation, such as care homes or flats.

They help contain the smoke from a fire to the room of origin. As well as this, they give firefighters the ability to fight a fire from within the building whilst protecting the means of escape for other residents.

Firefighters have received training on how to use the equipment effectively, and since their launch, they have already been used in incidents across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

Group Commander John Sherrington, head of training and development at CFRS, said: “We’re always looking at the latest developments and new technology to ensure we maintain operational excellence and deliver the most effective response at incidents.

“New equipment, like the smoke curtains, will help us protect residents while ensuring the safety of our staff remains a priority.

“Our training team have worked incredibly hard to get these rolled out across the service over the last few months and many other services are benefiting from this learning nationally.”

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