On Monday 24 July teams from West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (WYFRS) and Wakefield and District Housing (WDH) took part in a training exercise in Pontefract focusing on operating lifts in an emergency.
The exercise, which took place at Luke Williams House, was delivered by training experts TÜV SUD Dunbar Boardman, and focused on freeing people who may be trapped in a lift.
In the event of a fire, residents should never use a lift to evacuate a building, as it is safer to use the stairs.
However, in controlled circumstances, firefighters can take over the lift system to transport themselves or their equipment to different parts of the building to assist in tackling a blaze.
WYFRS and WDH have always worked closely together on all aspects of fire safety and make regular fire inspections of all high rise properties. WDH manages 12 high rise blocks across the Wakefield district and, whilst the Fire Service has not identified any problems with the premises following the Grenfell tragedy, tenant safety is paramount for the housing association.
Assistant District Commander for Wakefield, John Lloyd, said: “The safety of the local community is a priority for the Fire Service and our partnership with Wakefield and District Housing over the years has helped us to promote fire safety in the home to their residents.
“Taking part in exercises like this one means that the Fire Service is familiar with the building and its lift operating systems.
“We would always encourage residents to be informed about their building’s evacuation procedure and never use a lift in the event of a fire.”
In addition to the exercise, a training and information package has been developed by Watch Commander Steve Blezard, to aid firefighters who attend incidents in high rise premises to quickly and safely help residents. This lift training is part of the package and will certainly be beneficial.
Mick Walsh, Director of Housing at WDH said: “It’s important that Fire Officers know how to use our particular equipment in an emergency. This training session has helped everyone to ensure they are up to date with the very latest technology and techniques. We will continue to work in partnership with our colleagues at WYFRS to make sure that our properties are safe and meet all the necessary fire safety requirements.”
About TÜV SUD Dunbar Boardman
TÜV SÜD is an international service corporation focusing on consulting, testing, certification and training. At over 800 locations, primarily in Europe, North America, Middle East, Asia Pacific, TÜV SÜD Group employs approximately 22,000 staff. In 2015, sales revenues totaled EUR 2.2 billion. TÜV SÜD Group is headquartered in Munich, Germany.