It's a shocking fact that older people are twice as likely to die in a fire than any other age group. Often that's because they live alone and that's why Hampshire Fire and Rescue have launched an initiative to help keep people safer in their homes. They've been offering advice on smoke alarms and fire prevention. Juliette Fletcher and Fred Dineage went along to the launch event today.
Older people from the local area were today invited to Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service's HQ to get home safety advice from firefighters.
Supported by ITV’s Fred Dinenage, the older persons event formed part of the Service’s three month campaign to make the most vulnerable people in the community safe in their own homes.
Nationally the risk of dying in a fire for people over 65 is more than twice as high as the average for all ages. This risk increases dramatically if the person lives alone, smokes, drinks or has a physical and/or learning disability.
Hampshire has a higher percentage of age-related impairments than the national average and now that the weather is getting colder, older people are more vulnerable and spend more time in their homes alone and isolated.
The Service is also working with partner organisations including Age Concern and asking the public to help raise awareness of fire safety amongst older people.
The region's fire and rescue services are facing a number of ongoing challenges over the past year including firefighters going on strike and shrinking budgets.
Fire chiefs in Hampshire- one of our biggest counties in the South - will have to make £12 million pounds of savings by 2018 - leaving the service with £58 million pounds to keep residents safe.
ITV Meridian interviewed Dave Curry, the Deputy Chief Fire Officer of Hampshire Fire & Rescue Service.
The fire service has launched an online survey to allow people living in Hampshire to have their say on how to shape the county's fire service of the future.
The public's views will be factored into proposals that will be put to the county's fire authority for approval next year. The online survey closes on 7 December 2014.
Hampshire firefighters have recently had the chance to train on board a Brittany Ferries vessel in an exercise to rescue a trapped crewmember.
Firefighters from Southsea and Cosham were given the scenario of a casualty trapped in the vessel's hydraulic machinery room where a hydraulic leak had caused an irrespirable atmosphere.
Firefighters wore breathing apparatus and used a rope pack rescue kit to lift the crewmember to safety. The casualty was then handed to the care of the Brittany Ferries medical team.
Southsea's Station Manager Mark Larrimore of Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service, said:
Crews worked along side Brittany Ferries and Portsmouth International Port staff who helped organise and facilitate the training exercise.
A woman in her 70s is lucky to be alive after she was pulled from a ditch by emergency crews after becoming stranded in remote countryside.
The woman was only discovered, submerged in mud and water, by a passing dog walker near Oakley Lane, Mottisfont, at around 11am this morning.
It is thought the woman's car had become stuck in mud down a track.
Her efforts to free the car had then left her exhausted and immersed in the mud herself for several hours.
It took fire, police and ambulance crews some time to locate the casualty because of her remote location and they needed specialist off-road vehicles to reach her.
She was taken to Southampton General Hospital suffering from the effects of hypothermia.
Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service has been crowned World Extrication Champions at the world’s biggest rescue challenge competition. It beat teams from across the world in dealing with various car crash scenarios.
Teams took part in a number of simulated multi-vehicle pile-ups at the 16th World Rescue Challenge, hosted by The Fire Service College in Gloucestershire. The teams faced scenarios in which casualties needed rescuing - some of whom had deteriorating conditions.
Hampshire’s team are also the current UK champions in extrication.
He's helped tackle some of the most dangerous incidents to hit Hampshire over the past fifty years. And now having made history, he's being honoured. Martyn Long is the first person to reach fifty years service for Hampshire Fire and Rescue. From Winchester Guildhall going up in flames to the Great Storm, he's been on hand to help others. Andrew Pate went to meet him.
Shoppers at Gunwharf Quays will be the first to see Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service's new campaign to promote fire safety for vulnerable people. The campaign seeks to make life safer by asking the public to consider if they know an older person and raising awareness of basic life-saving fire safety measures they could help them to maintain, such as a working smoke alarm. Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service will also be promoting free home safety visits, which are available to vulnerable individuals over 65 who are worried about fire safety in the home.
An aerial ladder platform vehicle will be on show at the event, which is used to fight fires at great heights, as well as a large themed cake which visitors will be able to win in a raffle. All proceeds raised during the event will be split between The Fire Fighters Charity and Age Concern.
Assistant Chief Officer Neil Odin said: "We are looking forward to welcoming as many people as possible to the launch of our new older person's safety campaign. Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service is committed to making life safer for everyone in Hampshire. We are targeting people aged 65 and over who are a significantly more vulnerable group in society when it comes to dwelling fire fatalities.
Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service offers the following advice:
Test the batteries of your smoke detector once a week: more than 75% of house fires had a fitted smoke alarm but less than half activated because of missing batteries and defective alarms
Stub out cigarettes properly and dispose of them carefully: just over half of house fire fatalities occur due to discarded smoking materials
Never leave cooking unattended and keep electrical leads, tea towels and cloths away from the oven or hob
Try to secure heaters against a wall for stability and keep heaters clear from curtains and furniture
Don't overload plug sockets and unplug appliances when not in use
Test electric blankets regularly: Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service hold regular blanket testing sessions at public venues in partnership with Trading Standards. Call 023 8062 6809 for more information
If you have any concerns about your gas appliances, arrange for a Gas Safe registered engineer to safety check or service your appliance immediately
For more information, visit www.hantsfire.gov.uk. You can also call 023 8062 6809 to speak to the Service's Community Safety team or email email@example.com
Fifteen firefighters were called to a property in Southampton this morning where the roof was alight.
Crews from Hightown, St Marys, and Botley fire stations along with one senior officer put out the blaze in Farringford Road. The roof was destroyed by the fire.
Two jets, two hosereels, positive pressure ventilation and an aeriel ladder platform were used for firefighting.