Fire & rescue partners & projects

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

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:
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.
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. 
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.
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
We work with a number of partners in the North East of England, in particular all of the fire and rescue services:

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

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 National Fire Chief's Council.  
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.
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.
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: 
The Firefighters Plus project aims to assist firefighters in using their position as positive role models to promote social inclusion within their communities. The project is co-financed by the European Union through the Erasmus+ Programme and began in October 2017. The project will be completed by the end of September 2019. 

The project partners represent 6 European countries and include: 
This cross-sectoral and cross-border partnership is an initiative of Frederiksborg Fire and Rescue Service (Denmark) in collaboration with four other fire and rescue services and two Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) with knowledge and experience in the field of social inclusion. 

The key objective of the project is to develop the first open and multilingual online training course for firefighters on how to use their position as role models to promote social inclusion. The online training course will include 120 hours of learning available in English, Danish, Spanish, Polish, Dutch and Romanian. The platform will be divided into at least 4 units, including: 
  • UNIT 1: Introduction to social inclusion and the power of role models in promoting social inclusion.
  • UNIT 2: Identifying and assessing the needs of individuals and groups suffering or at risk of social exclusion.
  • UNIT 3: Developing and implementing actions to promote social inclusion.
  • UNIT 4: Assessing the impact of the implemented actions, follow-up and dissemination of the results.
For further information about the project, please visit the firefighters plus project website and/or click on the links below:

Social Media sites: 
Press releases about the Firefighters Plus Project:

 
The IGNIS project (Initiative for Global Management of big fires through Simulation) has brought together the knowledge and experience of emergency service partners from four different European countries including France, Italy, Portugal and the United Kingdom. The project has developed a mobile simulation tool and associated 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 was a 24 month project that was completed in January 2018. The project was co-financed by the European Commission through its Civil Protection Financial Instrument (Grant Agreement Number: ECHO/SUB/2015/718664/PREP01 IGNIS) and was delivered by a team of partner organisations from four European countries:  The simulation tool consists of a network of computers that run advanced gaming-style software which present fire officers with a realistic virtual environment that is as close to real life conditions as possible. Commanders receiving the training see what they would see at a wildfire incident and 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.

The simulation tool and training frameworks were extensively 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 was also recruited to peer review and quality assure the materials produced during the project. The advisory board met a number of times during the project and its members observed and evaluated all of the national exercises. 

The IGNIS Project concluded with an international conference in France on 10th January 2018. The event was attended by apprioximately 80 individuals representing a wide number of wildfire stakeholder agencies across Europe. During this event, the project partners provided a summary of the project activities and key deliverables. Delegates were also given the opportunity to observe a short demonstration exercise being delivered to a multinational team of fire officers using the simulator. 

Following the conclusion of the final conference, lead officers from all four of the IGNIS partner organisations, and one member of the independent advisory board, signed a Statement of Intent. This document outlines a committment from all of the partners to continue working together over the next year to further develop and enhance simulation training for wildfire incidents. The partners are also discussing further exchanges and projects to continue the sharing of knowledge and experience which has taken place during the two year project. 
 

The final results of the IGNIS project will be made publicly available here and on the IGNIS website in the near future.

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:


 
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:
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.
 
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:
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
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:
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.
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