Fire & rescue partners & projects

Fire & rescue partners & projects

We work with partners locally, regionally, nationally and internationally to help protect life, property and the environment within Northumberland.

Local fire & rescue partners

We work locally and share facilities with:

  • North East Ambulance Service
  • Northumberland National Park Mountain Rescue Team
  • Sure Start
  • National Health Service
  • North East Equality and Diversity
We also work closely with the following local organisations and partnerships:

Northumbria Police
Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service works closely with Northumbria Police on a daily basis. This joint-working covers a multitude of activities:
  • co-operating together at emergency incidents such as large fires or road traffic collisions
  • the prevention/detection of arson
  • protection of vulnerable people within the community
We work with detective and forensic teams to determine the cause of fires and, where necessary, follow these through to prosecution.

Fire and police analysts work together to track arsonists across the county.

Before bonfire night, local fire stations work closely with neighbourhood policing teams to provide safety advice to the public and school children.
Northumberland Fire Group
This multi-agency group contains representatives from numerous public and private sector organisations, including landowners. We are a founding member of the group and continue to maintain a very active role.

The group aims to improve resilience to wildfire within Northumberland, by delivery activities that improve prevention and response to incidents.

At a practical level, the Northumberland Fire Group:
  • establishes firm lines of communication with regards to wildfire
  • increases public awareness of wildfire
  • provides wildfire training
  • provides a structure for multi-agency response to wildfires
More information about the Northumberland Fire Group is available here. 
Safer Northumberland partnership
This partnership was created in the summer of 2009 with a single mission: to work together to make the county of Northumberland a safer and more desirable place to live.

Key partners include: As well as a variety of voluntary sector organisations involved in great work throughout the county.

Northumberland is one of the most attractive places in the UK, with an excellent reputation for partnership working and crime reduction. Safer Northumberland’s aim is to further improve the quality of life in the county.

Within this is local multi-agency problem solving, localised meetings held every four weeks in each of the nine police sectors in the county where partners come together to discuss local problems and develop multi-agency solutions.
Northumberland collaborative burning project
The project began in September 2013 with the aim of reducing the risk wildfires and protecting the people, economy and environment of the Northumberland National Park. 

Dry springs and summers during recent years have led to wildfires across the heather moorland of the national park. Unless properly managed, the peat soils, which have taken thousands of years to establish, can catch fire and burn down to the bedrock.The peat, heather, game and wildlife that live on the moorland are irreplaceable.

The project is being co-financed by us and Northumberland National Park Authority’s sustainable development fund. It is also being supported by Northumberland Fire Group.

The project has involved the purchase of additional wildfire equipment which is now being stored and used within the National Park. The project has also involved the design and delivery of enhanced classroom and live fire training to firefighters that work at Bellingham, Rothbury and Wooler fire stations.  

Finally, the project has included training for young people aged between 13 and 17 who attend branches of the Northumberland Young Firefighters’ Association at Rothbury and Wooler. This training has provided key transferable skills such as map reading and navigation skills to the next generation of firefighters and land management employees who will work within the national park.

For further information about the project, please contact robert.stacey@northumberland.gov.uk

National fire & rescue partners

We are currently working very closely with the following on issues related to wildfire:

Chief Fire Officers’ Association wildfire group
This group provides professional advice to inform government policy on wildfire and is committed to developing strategic and technical guidance, as well as sharing notable practice within the wider fire and rescue community.

Paul Hedley, chief fire officer of Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service, is currently the lead officer for wildfire within the Chief FIre Officers' Association. 
England and Wales Wildfire Forum
A voluntary strategic body, independent of government, created to expand knowledge and understanding of wildfire in England and Wales. The forum consists of representatives from public, private and third sector organisations.

The purpose is to create a focus for joint working between all interested organisations that will lead to the development of initiatives to improve the management of wildfire risk and the communication thereof to government, stakeholders and the wider community.

Robert Stacey, project officer at Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service, is currently the secretary of the forum.
Knowledge for Wildfire project
The project, funded by the UK’s Natural Environmental Research Council knowledge exchange scheme, has two key aims, which are:
  • to maximise the use of existing funded research and promote mutually beneficial new research and knowledge exchange projects on wildfire
  • to assist the management of wildfire risk in the UK at all stages, from prevention, to response and recovery
The project also has three specific objectives:
  • join up emerging cross-sector, cross-disciplinary interests in wildfire
  • apply and adapt fire-related research to improve the evidence base for managing wildfire risk
  • facilitate new partnership research and knowledge exchange projects to fill knowledge gaps
The project is guided by a steering group of academic, government, fire service and land management experts. A principal officer from Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service is currently a member of the steering group.

International fire & rescue partners

We have worked with a number of international partners to exchange knowledge and good practice.

This has helped us to purchase equipment and continually develop the skills and expertise of our staff.

During recent years, we have been involved in a number of European Union co-financed projects: 

Initiative for Global Management of Big Fires through Simulation (IGNIS Project)
The IGNIS project (Initiative for Global Management of big fires through Simulation), brings together the knowledge and experience of emergency service partners from four different European countries including France, Italy, Portugal and the United Kingdom. The project will develop a mobile simulation tool and training packages that can be used within the partner countries and across Europe to train fire officers in how to safely, effectively and efficiently command and control large wildfires.

IGNIS is financed by the European Commission through its Civil Protection Financial Instrument (Grant Agreement Number: ECHO/SUB/2015/718664/PREP01 IGNIS) and is being delivered by a team of partner organisations from four European countries: 
The simulation tool being developed will consist of a network of computers that will run advanced gaming-style software which present officers with a realistic virtual environment that is as close to real life conditions as possible. Commanders receiving the training will see what they would see at a wildfire incident and will need to use knowledge, skills and experience to gather and process information to make informed decisions on how to safely and effectively command the incident, their sector or team.

To accompany the training tool, the partners will also be jointly developing a robust training and assessment framework, as well as a number of training scenarios. The scenarios will be designed to test commanders’ abilities to safely and effectively respond to changes that may occur during the course of a wildfire incident, such as changes in rate and direction of firespread.

The training tool and assessment framework are being tested during three national exercises: 
  • Portugal National Exercise - November 2016 in Sintra, Portugal
  • Italy National Exercise - May 2017 in Rome, Italy
  • UK National Exercise - June 2017 in Northumberland, UK
An independent advisory panel consisting of wildfire and incident command specialists from across Europe has also been recruited to peer review and evaluate the training tools and framework being developed as part of IGNIS. The advisory board is meeting a number of times during the project and members will observe and evaluate all of the exercises.

The IGNIS Project will conclude with an international conference in Brussels, Belgium in late 2017. During this event, the project partners will launch an online platform called the IGNIS Fire Simulation Resources Centre. The resources centre will be a key legacy of the project, providing an international reference resource on simulation training for wildfires. The resources centre will also facilitate ongoing networking and collaboration, to ensure the continual development and improvement of this innovative approach to wildfire incident command training.  

You can find out more about IGNIS by looking at the press releases below or by visiting the project website at www.ignis-project.eu . You can also find out more by contacting Robert Stacey at robert.stacey@northumberland.gov.uk

Press releases about the IGNIS project:


 
E-Learning for prevention, preparedness & response to natural disasters project
This was a two-year project which was successfully delivered between October 2014-2016. The aim of the project was to address the need for education and training in relation to natural disasters through the development of an e-learning system.

The project was a cross-sectoral and cross-border initiative involving six partners working in six EU countries: During the project, the six organisations worked together to develop e-learning modules for primary school children, secondary school students, adults and fire and rescue services. Each module was tailored to the specific needs of its target group and covered prevention, preparedness and response to four types of natural disasters: floods, storms, heat waves and wildfires.

The e-learning modules are now available in six different languages: Danish, English, Estonian, Lithuanian, Romanian and Spanish. The project was co-funded by the European Commission within the framework of the Erasmus+ Programme.

For further information about the project, please click on the links below: 

Publicity material about the project: Magazine articles about the project: Press releases about the project:
WATERSAVE II project
This project involves partners in the Netherlands, Czech Republic and UK. We are working with these partners to improve international response to flooding incidents within the European Union.

It is an ongoing project which builds on the success of previous project WATERSAVE. Both projects have been co-funded by the European Commission.

The service has benefited significantly from its involvement in these flood response projects and has used its experiences to enhance flood response within Northumberland and the North East.
 
The European forest fire networks project
This involved 13 partners from nine European Union countries between October 2010 and December 2012. Co-financed by the INTERREG IVC programme, it had the overall aim of improving and enhancing regional and local approaches to wildfire prevention and suppression in Europe.

Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service was a project partner, hosting an international workshop and leading on the development of the European Glossary for Wildfires and Forest Fires, as well as co-leading the project’s communication activities. Related documents: Translations of the European Glossary for Wildfires and Forest Fires:
Fire origins cause understanding & studying project
This project was delivered between August 2011 and June 2013. The aim was to improve the quality of vocational training systems in the field of fire investigation.

The project was co-financed through the Leonardo Da Vinci Programme and delivered by the Fire Safety and Civil Projection Directorate-General (Bulgaria), the Ghent Fire Brigade (Belgium) and Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service.

For further information, please contact matthew.thomas@northumberland.gov.uk
EVROS project
The ‘complex floods management in European Union vulnerable areas through effective reaction and joint operations simulation project’, or Evros, ran between 2009 and 2010.

It was co-funded by the European Commission directorate-general for environment and involved partners from Greece, Bulgaria, Germany, Italy and the UK.

The project involved the design and implementation of a large-scale EU exercise involving the simulation of a major flooding event of the river Evros, which originates in Bulgaria and flows through Greece and Turkey.

The 150 individuals involved – including officers from Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service – used the exercise to test how they would work together at a major flooding incident involving emergency services from multiple countries.

Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service benefited significantly from this project and have used the experience to enhance flood response within Northumberland and the North East.
Accidental, natural & social fire risk assessment & management project
This project was an innovative two-year project coordinated by Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service.

During this project, we worked closely with three project partners, Frederikssund-Halsnæs Fire and Rescue Service (Denmark), Corpo Nazionale dei Vigili del Fuoco – Nucleo Investigativo Antincendi (Italy), and the Emergency Services College (Finland).

Delivered between January 2009 and December 2010, the project received co-financing from the European Union through the civil protection financial instrument. The aim was to enable cross-border exchange of good practice on the assessment and management of fire risk.

Related documents:
European exchange of best practice in arson prevention and investigation project
This project was delivered by Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service in partnership with Northumbria Police and Laoratoire central de la Préfecture de Police (France) between January 2007 and December 2008. The project was co-financed by the European Union through the civil protection financial instrument.

The key aim of the project was to identify, collate and disseminate best practice in arson prevention and investigation on a European scale. The premise was that by sharing this, practitioners across Europe could be better equipped to prevent and investigate fire crime within their communities.

A significant legacy of this was the creation of the European Network for Fire Investigation and Prevention, an information-sharing network for practitioners that has been operating since 2007.

For further information, please download the final report here, or contact robert.stacey@northumberland.gov.uk