WATCH: Hampshire firefighters use pioneering technology to fight blazes

Firefighters in Hampshire have been taking a step into the future by using pioneering technology to fight blazes.

Friday, 24th February 2017, 9:03 am
Updated Tuesday, 28th February 2017, 12:49 pm
A firefighter using a high pressure lance. Credit: Chief Fire Officers Association/YouTube

Last year the county become the first to adopt the SAVE strategy to help enhance the safety of the public and crews.

It includes using new devices such as high pressure lances to allow crews to cool down fires without being exposed to flames or smoke.

Crews have also been trained in different forms of ventilation.

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The SAVE technique can help protect crews from harmful gases and flames. Credit: Chief Fire Officers Association/YouTube

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What does SAVE stand for?

S is for Scan. Thermal imaging cameras can be used to scan buildings and gather more information about fires.

A is for Attack. Firefighters may use new technologies such a high pressure lance, which allows them to cut through a wall to cool the fire without coming into contact with flames. Other resources such as foam may also be used.

Ventilation fans are used to clear away smoke. Credit: Chief Fire Officers Association/YouTube

V is for Ventilate. Large fans can be used to reduce the risk of coming into contact with harmful gases, and to increase visibility.

E is for Enter and Extinguish. The area should now be safer for crews to deal directly with the fire.

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Hampshire Fire and Rescue assistant chief officer Andy Bowers, who helped create the strategy, said: ‘The equipment is there but we are the first service to bring all of these things together - it is going to revolutionise the way we work.

The SAVE technique can help protect crews from harmful gases and flames. Credit: Chief Fire Officers Association/YouTube

‘We were looking at ways to improve the way we operate - which was already extremely good and efficient - when we came up with the idea of SAVE.

‘It is easy to remember and it is at the heart of what we are about.

‘The need for this new strategy for the modern age comes from a constant desire to improve, an understanding of the opportunities new technologies offer and a commitment to meet the financial challenges we face.’

The new approach will also help crews get more training in fighting fires.

Ventilation fans are used to clear away smoke. Credit: Chief Fire Officers Association/YouTube

According to Hampshire Fire and Rescue, the number of fires in the county has been cut by half over the last 10 years.

ACO Bowers said: ‘HFRS, like many other fire and rescue services, has seen a significant reduction in the amount of fire incidents over the past decade.

‘Whilst this is to be welcomed from a community safety perspective this does also have a negative impact.

‘We are clearly now seeing the impact of reducing experience and resultant degradation of practical knowledge and skills.’