Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service wins National Road Safety Award

Station Manager Andy Gray with the Tyresafe Emergency Services Award 2020Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service has won the Emergency Services award in the Tyresafe Awards 2020.

Tyresafe is a national charity promoting the importance of tyre safety for UK motorists.

The Service was recognised for its new tyre safety prevention activity which has been incorporated into its Firefighter and Community Safety Apprenticeship Scheme during 2020. The tyre safety initiative aims to encourage a driver mentality to regularly self-test their tyres.

The methods the Apprentices used to engage with drivers included organising a tyre safety event at the Sadler Road site in Winsford. Free tyre inspections were offered to staff, contractors and visitors, providing safety advice and highlighting issues related to air pressure, condition and tread depth. The tyre check comprised the following:

  • Each tyre was digitally scanned; a 3D map/scan of each tyre was shown on a tablet and the findings explained to the driver. The report highlighted tread depth, stopping distances, tracking/camber issues and condition (eg. overinflated, underinflated, ‘eggs’ and bumps, perishing, protruding wire).

  • Each driver was able to take a photo of the report with their smartphone; this avoided non-compliance with GDPR.

  • Each driver received tyre safety advice and an explanation of remedial action if required. 

  • Each driver was given a tyre tread depth gauge key ring; the way to use the gadget was explained so that each driver could self-test their tyres every month.

Station Manager with responsibility for Road Safety is Andy Gray who said: “I am extremely proud that Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service has been recognised nationally for the work we do in keeping drivers on Cheshire’s roads safe. Not only does this inclusion into our road safety plan encourage drivers to self-test their tyres, it also has helped develop the knowledge of our apprentices so that they understand the important role that prevention activities play in reducing road traffic collisions.

“The initiative has provided a further opportunity to build awareness of the Service as a leading authority in road safety delivery in Cheshire and is a part of the Road Safety element within the organisation’s Integrated Risk Management Plan 2020-2024.”

The Firefighter and Community Safety Apprenticeship is a 36 month scheme which equips apprentices with the skills and knowledge they need to be a firefighter within a modern fire and rescue service. 

It is a varied apprenticeship where they spend time learning about the work of the Service’s various departments, including Prevention and Protection as well as experiencing the operational work carried out by firefighting crews.  Upon successful completion of the first 24 months, apprentices are placed on station as a Development Firefighter.

The current cohort of 11 Firefighter and Community Safety Apprentices have had to adapt quickly to new ways of working with their usual duties of delivering Safe and Well visits paused during Covid 19.

The apprentices have stepped up and taken on a variety of new roles, such as working alongside a network of partner agencies, offering support and sharing tasks to ensure that essential community services continue to operate throughout the pandemic.

Related images

Station Manager Andy Gray with the Tyresafe Emergency Services Award 2020