Rotherham firefighter wins humanitarian award

A FIREFIGHTER from Rotherham has won a top accolade in recognition of her humanitarian work.
Rotherham watch manager Clare Holmes, pictured during her trip to South Sudan.Rotherham watch manager Clare Holmes, pictured during her trip to South Sudan.
Rotherham watch manager Clare Holmes, pictured during her trip to South Sudan.

Clare Holmes, a watch manager on Rotherham blue watch, received the Women in the Fire Service (WFS) bronze award for the work she carried out improving fire safety in migrant camps in South Sudan.

She spent two weeks at the camps and was part of a team of six volunteers who were selected to go on the trip following a request from Fire Aid - a charity which provides donations of fire and rescue equipment and training to those in need.  

The team provided "train the trainer" courses for the United Nations (UN) camp staff which included community fire safety advice and burn and scald prevention information. Clare and the team also carried out a fire safety assessment of the camp, which is occupied by around 120,000 people.

Clare said the community were very receptive to their visit and found the training and advice "very beneficial". 

"The site staff we trained will now be able to pass on fire safety guidance to thousands of people living in the camps and hopefully reduce the risk of a fire starting," she added. 

Many of these camps in South Sudan have thousands of people living in makeshift accommodation in close proximity to one another - with schools, hospitals and markets all adding to the risk of fire. As well as this, all cooking takes place on open fires and fire service response is limited.

It was announced that Clare had won the award at the annual Women in the Fire Service weekend held in Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire last weekend.

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