Praise for LIFE pilot - still in its early days

It's the good LIFE as Sheffield's new 999 squad enjoy success
It's the good LIFE as Sheffield's new 999 squad enjoy success
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Sheffield’s new joint emergency services team has revealed its seen an ‘encouraging’ start in its first three months.

The Local Intervention and Falls Episode team is a joint police and fire operation, set up to reduce demand on 999 responders in Sheffield.

So far the team - which is halfway through a six month pilot visiting households to reduce fire risk, improve security and help fall victims - has carried out 101 crime prevention checks and 191 home safety visits, including fitting free smoke alarms.

The trial squad also responds to help people at high volume and lower priority incidents, which in the last three months has included helping 26 people who have had a fall, helping to find two missing people and visiting vulnerable people who have been victims of crime, or who are at risk of anti-social behaviour. Some of this work traditionally takes police officers and paramedics off the road for many hours.

SYFR head of prevention and protection, Steve Helps, said: “This is a very encouraging start for a brand new team, which proves emergency services are working together locally to help make people safer and healthier.

“We know that there are huge links between the people who need the help of the police and health services, and those who are at risk of fire., so collaborative working such as this undoubtedly benefits our public safety work.”

Souyh Yorkshire Police chief inspector, Jenny Lax, said: “The team have made a promising start and are working really well together to reduce the vulnerability of people in our communities and improve their quality of life.”

The team operates using two specialist vehicles and consists of four staff – two South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue employees and two South Yorkshire Police community support officers.

The scheme has been funded by South Yorkshire Fire Authority for six months, and researchers from University of Huddersfield have been commissioned to evaluate its effectiveness. If successful, it could be extended and taken to other parts of South Yorkshire.

Work has also now started on a joint police and fire station in Maltby.