We’re taking the opportunity to reward and say thank you to the emergency services for their heroic efforts with our Emergency Service Heroes campaign. As part of the campaign, we’re providing a little more information on each of the emergency services and the great things that they do to keep us safe every day.

In this post, we’ll take a closer look at the fire and rescue service and what its roles and responsibilities actually involve.

What is the fire and rescue service?

The fire and rescue service is a branch of the emergency services that is funded by the UK government. Unlike voluntary services, such as mountain rescue, you need specialist fire service training to join the fire and rescue service.

There are over 50,000 firefighters in the UK and they’re mainly responsible for preventing fires and extinguishing those that do occur. However, they also carry out a wide range of rescue and safety activities to help prevent the general population from getting into harm’s way. Some of these activities include:

  • Assisting and attending traffic, rail and road accidents
  • Defending against UK terrorism
  • Helping to clean up chemical spills and floods
  • Educating communities on fire hazards and how to stay safe if there is a fire

The history of the fire service in the UK

The great fire of London in 1666 helped to standardise firefighting in the UK, whereas it had previously fallen into decline after the Roman’s invasion.

A company called ‘The Fire Office’ was established in 1667, and they employed the first firefighters and fire brigades, which were made up of small teams of Thames watermen. Other companies soon followed suit and over time, they merged to become the fire and rescue service that we know and appreciate today.

Who is in a typical fire and rescue team?

A typical fire and rescue team will be made up of trained firefighters, and the number of team members will depend on the nature and size of the incident that needs attention. You can have full-time firefighters as well as ‘retained’ firefighters in a team, for whom firefighting is their second job.

What fire service equipment is used?

When responding to fire service callouts, fire and rescue teams utilise a wide range of equipment and tools to make sure their job is carried out safely and efficiently.

Some of the fire service equipment that is used in the UK includes:

  • A first aid kit
  • Intrinsically safe lighting - including torches and area lighting
  • Cutters and spreaders - to release people from trapped cars or buildings
  • Breathing apparatus
  • Heavy-duty toolboxes
  • Defibrillators
  • Thermal imaging cameras
  • Ladders
  • Hoses and reels

Get involved in the Emergency Service Heroes campaign

This is just a brief overview of what the fire and rescue services do every day to keep us safe, however, in reality they do so much more.

If you want to help give back to those that deserve it, don’t forget to vote for the team that you think deserves the Emergency Services Heroes campaign prize here. The team with the most likes and shares will win £2000 to spend on Peli products, helping them to carry out their heroic jobs carefully and safely.