Latest news and events from Ellesmere Port Fire Station:
Ellesmere Port's incredible open day!
Our annual open day was a great success this year, drawing in huge crowds and raising a total of £461 for the Fire Fighters Charity! We also had the good fortune of warm weather throughout the day, with only a smattering of rain in the beginning.
Our Road Traffic Collision demonstration was clearly the most popular event, with tonnes of people gathered around to watch. During the demonstration, the crew cut off the roof of the car before releasing a (mock) casualty using a stretcher.
As you can see from the photos, it was a fantastic day and everyone had a great time!
Wader training in the canal
Crews took a trip to the Manchester Ship Canal near Ellesmere Port where they undertook water wading training. They also practiced rescue techniques so they are able to rescue people from the water swiftly and safely.
Read all about firefighter involvement in water rescues.
Road safety at the zoo
Red Watch was at Chester Zoo at the weekend with a very serious road safety message for visitors to the attraction. They took along a fire engine for people to have a look round and a brake reaction device to demonstrate braking distances.
The Service works very hard to promote road safety and is grateful to organisations such as Chester Zoo who allow us to engage with their visitors to keep them safe.
Road safety advice.
Driving safety the offer of the day
Firefighters from Ellesmere Port braced the busy sales at shops in the area to pass on vital road safety messages to local residents.
Green Watch decided to take advantage of the hectic period between Christmas and New Year and remind people to think twice before getting back behind the wheel of their car on New Years Day if they have had a drink the night before.
Watch Manager Paul Janion said: “People know that they should not drive after having a drink but many of us forget that just because you have been to bed and it’s the next day, doesn’t mean you are safe to drive. The amount you have to drink impacts on the time it takes for the alcohol to leave your system and we felt that this was an important message to remind people of ahead of New Years Eve celebrations.
“Reminders like this are vital to the maintaining the safety of our roads and we are committed to doing all we can to reduce the number of deaths and serious injuries caused by collisions across Cheshire.”
Rudolph the ‘smoke alert’ reindeer
Ellesmere Port Fire Station has got a festive friend helping to remind the public to test their smoke alarms this month.
Cheshire Fire and Rescue advises people to test their smoke alarms once a month to make sure they work and firefighters in Ellesmere Port are hoping Rudolph the ‘smoke alert’ reindeer will be another welcome reminder.
Watch Manager Ant Fletcher said: “There is a serious message behind our festive visitor that can ultimately save lives. You are at least four times more likely to die in a fire if you don’t have a working smoke alarm, so taking the time to test the smoke alarms in your home could be a truly lifesaving decision.
“We hope people will see Rudolph as another friendly prompt to make sure Christmas is remembered for the right reasons.”
Red Watch ride for charity
On the 12th of December, firefighters from Ellesmere Port's Red Watch and Tarporley Fire Station will be raising funds for Manchester Children’s Hospital and Alder Hey Hospital.
Crews dressed as Santa and his reindeer will ride the 'Tarporley Flyer Flametamer 2' from Tarporley to Manchester and then on to Liverpool to support the hospitals.
Money raised from the challenge will also support the Fire Fighters Charity.
Road safety messages driven home to shoppers in Ellesmere Port
Firefighters from Ellesmere Port have been targeting shoppers at Sainsbury’s and Cheshire Oaks for Brake Road Safety Week (23 to 29 November).
As the weather took a turn colder they used the safety week as an opportunity to encourage people to recognise the changes in the road and driving conditions in the winter months.
Watch Manager Garry Sawdy said: “We always like to have leaflets to leave people with so they remember our key safety messages but it is also great to chat to so many people from the local community. We are committed to reducing the number of people killed and seriously injured on our roads and so we are delighted to support Brake with this important campaign."
Firefighters tackle coal fire at Ellesmere Port docks
Firefighters from Ellesmere Port's Red Watch were left looking a little grubby after tackling a fire in a 500 tonne pile of coal at Ellesmere Port Docks.
The fire, which was extinguished using a hose reel jet, was believed to have been caused by a piece of coal overheating.
A thermal imaging camera was used to monitor the coal after crews noticed that temperatures within the pile had risen by around 40 degrees. Firefighters dampened down the remaining coal and ensured that the scene was safe before leaving the incident.
Green Watch have a busy Bonfire night
Firefighters from Ellesmere Port's Green Watch were extremely busy this Bonfire Night, attending 15 incidents in the space of around 12 hours.
Crews worked tirelessly throughout the night to respond to 999 calls and make sure people could enjoy themselves out of harms way by providing safety advice at unofficial bonfires.
Firefighters had to take action at several incidents including ventilating a flat where a firework had gone through a window and extinguishing a fire in a skip containing building waste, which was creating a significant amount of smoke.
They also extinguished several bonfires that had been left unsupervised or contained unsuitable materials such as plastic, which can be damaging to people and the environment when burned.
Residents given safety advice over Bonfire period
Firefighters in Ellesmere Port have been out and about in the lead up to Bonfire night highlighting the dangers of fire.
Last year crews dealt with a number of outdoor fires that were not being responsibly managed by an adult resulting from rubbish being set alight.
Watch Manager Garry Sawdy said: “Whilst we expect to be dealing with more reports of fires in the open at this time of year we always aim to educate people as much as we can about the dangers and how they can help us reduce the number of nuisance fires in the area.
“Fire is never something to be messed with and we encourage people to go to organised displays rather than starting their own fires. Residents can also reduce the risks of arson by ensuring their wheelie bins are stored away.”
The crew has been out in hotspot areas talking to local residents and handing out information leaflets.
During the bonfire period anyone can report piles of rubbish in public areas to Street Scene on 0300 123 7026 and it will be removed.
Winter driving safety at Morrisons
Firefighters from Ellesmere Port joined forces with Tyres on the Drive to offer winter driving safety advice and free tyre and vehicle checks at Morrisons in Ellesmere Port.
They checked 36 vehicles while passing on vital safety tips, working closely with police colleagues who were also giving people information about protecting their belongings as part of Operation Shield.
Find out more about winter driving safety
Firefighters help Brownies towards their badges
3rd Ness Brownies visited Ellesmere Port Fire Station recently. Firefighters from White Watch and members of the station's new on-call crew spent time with the Brownies, teaching them about fire safety and showing them how the hoses work.
Watch Manager, Garry Sawdy said:
“It’s great for us to be able to help out the Brownies working towards their badges. These young people will take the lessons that they’ve learnt home with them and cascade the information to their friends and family, making a real difference to our communities.
"Being a part of this is one of the many benefits of taking on the challenge of becoming an On Call Firefighter.”
Find out more about becoming an On-Call Firefighter
Charity Car Wash
Firefighters raised over £220 for charity washing 40 vehicles in their bi-annual car wash event at the station.
Free winter checks by Jeffrey’s Tyres were also provided and road safety advice was given to the motorists.
Watch Manager Ant Fletcher said: “We want to say a big thank you to the public for their generosity. We raised £222.22 and will also get gift aid on top of that and this will go to the Fire Fighters charity which has provided assistance to serving and retired firefighters for more than 60 years.
Training exercise at Essar
Firefighters in Ellesmere Port ensured their skills were up to date in a recent training session at Essar Training Ground.
The crew used the Services Foam Unit to extinguish pool fires created for the exercise.
Family fun at Ellesmere Port open day
Firefighters in Ellesmere Port welcomed the public to the fire station at their recent open day to find out more about the variety of ways they work to help and protect the public.
The station opened its doors to the community for the free event, where a range of activities for all the family were on offer, as well as demonstrations showing the various rescues they deal with.
Fire engines, the kitchen safety vehicle and the Services largest appliance – the hydraulic platform were all on display.
A special appearance from Iron Man went down well with the children as well as face painting, a climbing wall and free ice cream!
Watch Manager Garry Sawdy said: “The event was a great success with something for everyone to enjoy. It is a great family day out and an opportunity for people to come and find out about their local station and what services we deliver to the public. The children always love having a look inside the fire engines and it is an ideal time for us to pass on some vital safety messages and for people to see the variety of other things we do as well as fight fires and rescue people from road traffic collisions."
Two men awarded for bravery after Ellesmere Port fire
Two members of the public who saved the life of a 94-year woman in Ellesmere Port after rescuing her from a house fire have been given an award from Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service.
Chief Fire Officer Paul Hancock awarded the men a Community Award at Ellesmere Port Fire Station for their brave actions that ultimately saved the woman’s life.
Chris Johnston, 34, from Liverpool, and Lucas Cooper, 26 from Ellesmere Port were invited to an awards ceremony where they also met the family of Florence Millichap who were keen to express their gratitude to the men.
Geoff Millichap, her son, said: “I am so glad they were there, if it hadn’t been for them I would have lost my mum that day and to live with that is just terrifying to think about. I just can’t thank them enough and I am so happy I got to do it face to face.”
Chris,who works for Plus Dane Housing was driving back to work just before 1.30pm on 5 November 2014. As he drove past a house on Oliver Lane in Great Sutton he noticed smoke coming from the property.
He pulled over and banged on the front door but got no answer. He was then joined by the neighbour, Lucas, who came over to see what was going on and Chris went around the back of the house after calling Cheshire Fire.
He opened the back door but was faced with a wall of smoke and flames. He shouted out to see if anyone was inside and heard a woman call out but because of the thick black smoke he couldn’t see her.
Chris said: “I couldn’t believe it when I heard someone call out and I was just determined to get in there somehow. It was like someone turned a switch on in my head and I knew I just had to get her out.”
The smoke was low down and it was far too dangerous to go inside. Lucas Cooper then joined Chris and as they looked through the patio doors they could see Mrs Millichap lying on the floor closeby. They used a concrete flower pot to smash the glass doors and rescued her just as the firefighters arrived at the scene.
Lucas said: “It was really distressing to know that someone was trapped inside and we had the opportunity to save them and you just feel helpless. Luckily she was quite near the patio doors so we didn’t have to go far inside the house once we had smashed them.”
The firefighters provided first aid when they arrived and extinguished the blaze,the cause of which was deemed to be electrical.
Chief Fire Officer Paul Hancock said: “There is no doubt that the actions of these brave men ultimately saved the lady’s life and they certainly deserve recognition for what they did.
“We would never encourage anyone to go inside a burning building and thankfully the thick black smoke prevented them going inside the house, but they did not give up on finding the victim and her family is understandably truly thankful to them. These men deserve recognition for their tenacity and this award is our way of acknowledging their bravery.”
Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service has also nominated the two men for a national award in the Adult Hero category of the Fire Fighters Charity annual Spirit of Fire Awards.
Both men are very modest about the recognition. Chris said: “I feel like anyone would have done what we did, we were just in the right place at the right time but I do feel proud as I know if we had not been there the poor lady probably would not be alive today.”
Lucas added: “I feel emotional and proud that we rescued the lady and prolonged her life and it is just overwhelming to think that something we have done has been recognised like this.”
Fire safety class a hit in Ellesmere Port
Firefighters from Ellesmere Port gave a group of primary school children vital fire safety advice during a recent school visit.
The crew went to Meadow County Junior School on Dolphin Crescent where they spoke to the year five students about fire safety in the home and what to do if they were ever involved in a fire.
After watching a short DVD and talking the children about what they should do in various scenarios the kids then got to go inside the smoke tent and see for real what it would be like in a fire and how to react.
Firefighter Clare Page said: “The kids are always so excited to see us and interested in what we have to say. I was very impressed with how engaged the children were and of course they all loved looking around the fire engine and seeing the smoke tent. The session is so important as we know that the young people will go home and talk to their parents about what we have said so it is a really impactive way of spreading vital fire safety messages to a variety of people.”
Firefighters promote water safety
Firefighters across Cheshire are going to be out and about warning parents and children about the dangers of water as part of Drowning Prevention and Water Safety Week (13-19 April).
Sadly the number of drownings start to rise in April, often peaking in July and August, which is why Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service is supporting the Chief Fire Officers Association’s national campaign to educate young people in particular about the dangers of taking an impromptu dip in open water.
Alex Waller, Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service’s Head of Service Delivery said: “We want people to enjoy swimming, however we also want people to do it safely. Sadly, each year people die swimming in open water. Firefighters and other emergency services also risk their own safety to rescue people who get into difficulties on our waterways. Our advice is to only ever swim outdoors as part of an organised open water swimming club. Don’t let a cooling dip be the last thing you ever do. Please follow our advice to stay safe around water.”
In 2013 there were 669 water-related fatalities nationally which is two-and-a-half times the number of people that died in a house fire in 2012/13.
Cooling off in rivers, canals, ponds, quarries and lakes may seem great fun but it can have deadly consequences
Even on a warm day, the temperature of the water in a reservoir, quarry or lake can remain very cold and the shock of the cold water can cause a swimmer’s body to shut down, or the onset of cramp which can leave a person unable to continue.
Certain waterways can also have strong undercurrents or underwater debris that can prove fatal. These conditions can affect anyone, even an experienced open water swimmer.
There are many open water venues and organised swimming clubs across Cheshire. Chris Malpass runs the Chester Triathlon Club swimming section. He has many years of experience in swimming in open water, as a competitor, race organiser and safety officer.
Chris said: “It is really important to take care when swimming in open water. We would always encourage people to only swim as part of a group where there are safety measures in place. If you would like to try swimming outdoors then come along to the Chester Triathlon Club. We have regular trips to outdoor swim spots which are safe and there are people with all abilities in the club, who will be only too happy to help you to get started.”
Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service would encourage people to follow the following water safety advice:
Only swim as part of an organised group.
Never go swimming alone.
Ensure you stay clear of boats and canoes to avoid accidents.
Never drink alcohol before swimming.
Know your limits - the cold can kill.
Don’t ignore the safety signs - it could cost you your life.
For anyone wishing to pursue open water swimming there are a number of clubs that offer supervised sessions. To find out more or to locate a club near to you visit:
Thank you, Ellesmere Port, for bucketloads for charity
Thank you, Ellesmere Port, for your generosity at our charity car wash.
Drivers turned out in force to support The Fire Fighters Charity. Car wash organiser, Watch Manager Garry Sawdy, said: "Firefighters and helpers with their buckets and sponges raised money for this worthy cause as well as handing out road safety advice at the Station. We'd like to say a big thank you to everyone who helped us raise nearly �240."
Cheshire Chair of the Fire Fighters Charity and Deputy Chief Fire Officer Mark Cashin said, "It is testament to the support we have from the public when events such as this show how generous people can be as a magnificent total of �238.55 was raised on the day.
"It costs over �9 million every year to keep The Fire Fighters Charity running and, with no government funding, it is completely reliant on donations from the general public and fire community.”
Chip pan fire ruins Neston home for Christmas
A Neston couple is hoping they will be able to get back into their home before Christmas after the damage caused by a chip pan fire.
Firefighters were called to David and Margaret Gill’s house on Bendee Avenue just after 6pm on Friday 12 December 2014.
Margaret had gone out and David had decided to start tea and put a pan with oil inside on the hob.
David explained:“We don’t have chips very often and hardly ever use a chip pan but I really fancied sausage, egg and chips so I put the pan of oil on the hob. While it was heating up I went into the front home and nodded off. The next thing I knew I woke up and rushed into the kitchen and saw the fire and smoke everywhere. I rushed next door and told my neighbour to call the Fire Service. I was frantic and frightened and thought to myself, ‘I’ve got to do something’ so I ran to the caravan and got a fire blanket and extinguisher and threw it over the stove.”
David suffered some smoke inhalation and was checked over by paramedics at the scene.
As Margaret returned home from her friends she saw the fire engines and ambulance outside her house. She was thankful her husband was alright but was shocked and upset by the mess inside.
She said: “I don’t think anyone realises the level of damage fires like this can cause. It isn’t isolated to one area, it spreads through the whole house. I was horrified when I was allowed inside and saw the damage, it broke my heart. I love Christmas and I had got everything ready and had family coming to stay but now we have had to change all our plans.”
Watch Manager Paul Janion said: “This case highlights not only the dangers of chip pans but also the disastrous consequences of leaving cooking unattended. David and his wife currently have to deal with the upset of not being able to live in their home at the moment but the outcome could have been even worse if he had not woken up when he did.
“I want people to think about this case over the festive period when we are all more likely to be cooking more and entertaining in situations where it is easy to get distracted. Please ensure you do not leave your cooking unattended and if there is a fire don’t take any risks, get out, stay out and call us out.”
Cooking safety advice:
Avoid leaving children in the kitchen alone when cooking on the hob. Keep matches and saucepan handles out of their reach to keep them safe.
Make sure saucepan handles don't stick out - so they don't get knocked off the stove.
Take care if you're wearing loose clothing - they can easily catch fire.
Keep tea towels and cloths away from the cooker and hob
Double check the cooker is off when you've finished cooking.
Take care if you need to leave the kitchen whilst cooking, take pans off the heat or turn them down to avoid risk.
Keep the oven, hob and grill clean and in good working order. A build up of fat and grease can ignite a fire.
Deep fat frying:
Take care when cooking with hot oil - it sets alight easily.
Make sure food is dry before putting it in hot oil so it doesn't splash
If the oil starts to smoke - it's too hot. Turn off the heat and leave it to cool.
Use a thermostat controlled electric deep fat fryer. They can't overheat.
What to do if a pan catches fire:
Don't take any risks. Turn off the heat if it is safe to do so. Never throw water over it.
Don't tackle the fire yourself - Get Out, Stay Out, Call 999.
Crew supports White Ribbon Day
Firefighters from Red Watch attended a local White Ribbon Day event to support the campaign to stop domestic violence against women.
Joined by councillors, including Fire Authority member Tony Sherlock, and police, the crew supported the White Ribbon Pledge by taking part in a photograph standing behind a washing line full of a variety of men’s white underwear.
Domestic abuse statistics show that 70% of incidents result in injury and that on average, two women in England and Wales are killed by a partner every week. Wearing a white ribbon represents that you will never condone, take part in or remain silent about domestic abuse against women.
Firefighters rescue Kestrel trapped on TV aerial
Firefighters from Ellesmere Port rescued a Kestrel that had become trapped on a TV aerial.
The crew was called by the RSPCA to Station Road, Little Sutton and used a 10m ladder and a roof ladder to reach the ridge in order to release the bird which had become wrapped around the aerial when she had landed on it.
A hacksaw was used to cut through the aerial, which was then passed down to the crews and the RSPCA officer cut the bird free using wire cutters.
Watch Manager Phillip Barney said: “It was not an easy task for the firefighter but luckily the bird calmed down as he got close.<
“Usually with this type of incident the bird would be injured but when she was placed into the back of the RSPCA van she walked around happily and was given a clean bill of health.
To view a list of Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service events, county events and religious festivals etc please visit: