Page 18 - HOT NEWS APRIL 2014
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Some of the partners involved in Operation Beachsafe this year. Photo: Lyndsay Young.
Operation Beachsafe, which sees our Service helping to reduce arson and other fires along Sefton’s coastline, has been launched.
The campaign, which runs over the spring and summer months until September, also aims to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour on and near beaches, National Trust areas as well as Sites of Special Scientific Interest.
Partners including Merseyside Police, our Service, Sefton Council, National Trust, Sefton’s Coast and Countryside Rangers, RNLI lifeguards, British Transport Police, councillors and parish councillors will work together to keep people safe this year.
During last year’s Operation Beachsafe campaign, from March to September, crime was reduced by 6.7% on the coastline compared to 2012, with violent crime down by 21%, while criminal damage and arson were both down by 12%.
Our firefighters attended 41 deliberate fires on the coastline during the campaign, which was nine less than in 2012. Throughout August 2013 there were no deliberate fires in the beach areas.
Pan Fire Rescue
A man was led to safety by firefighters after a fire started in a kitchen of a property.
Two firefighters wearing breathing apparatus used a high pressure hose to tackle the fire, which involved a pan of food in an electric oven. The pan was severely damaged by fire. The kitchen was also damaged by smoke.
The man led to safety in Queens Road, Rock Ferry, on March 17, was also given oxygen by firefighters.
Watch Manager Tommy Grierson, who attended the call-out with firefighters from Red Watch at Bromborough Community Fire Station, said: “Smoke alarms were present and activated helping to alert people to this fire. When we arrived a man was still inside the property so we woke him and led him to safety and gave him oxygen. We advise people that, if they discover a fire, they get out, stay out and call 999.
“We also advise cooking is never left unattended, even for a moment and we advise people to have working smoke alarms on each level of their home.”
A fire appliance from Bromborough Community Fire Station and one from Birkenhead Community Fire Station attended the call-out.
Rob Pritchard, our Service’s Sefton District Manager, said:
“Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service had staff at key locations last year. That proactive work to prevent deliberate fires on the beaches will continue this year. We will be highlighting the dangers of lighting grass fires and urging visitors not to light barbecues or discard cigarettes in the woodland areas or near the beaches.”
Superintendent Steve Fell, Sefton Command Team, said: “We are looking forward to building on the success of previous years of Operation Beachsafe by continuing to work with all the other agencies involved in protecting Sefton’s beaches. We will always welcome visitors that come to the area to enjoy Sefton’s beautiful coastline as long as they respect the environment and the local community. The few that don't do this can expect to be dealt with firmly and robustly by the police.”
To report a non-emergency incident contact Merseyside Police by dialing 101.
Damage Control
Firefighters were called out to a suspected gas explosion at a house in Formby.
Our Service attended a property in Heatherways on a Wednesday morning in March.
The explosion occurred in the utility room of the property. It caused structural damage to the walls of the utility room, walls of the kitchen and doors of the property.
A fire outside the property caused gas to escape from a cylinder at the side of the house. The gas which was released caused an explosion inside the property.
The external wall of the property was also damaged by fire.
Firefighters isolated the gas supply and also prevented the fire from spreading into the property. There were no reports that anyone was injured in the incident.
A spokesman for our Service said: “When firefighters arrived the fire was spreading and rapid intervention prevented further damage to the property.”
Two fire appliances from Formby and Crosby community fire stations were called out on March 12.
The Incident Investigation Team also attended.

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