Hot award for dedicated Rotherham fire chief for work in Sudan

A big hearted firefighter from South Yorkshire has received a top humanitarian award for her fire safety work at migrant camps in South Sudan.

Tuesday, 2nd July 2019, 12:14 pm
Updated Tuesday, 2nd July 2019, 12:43 pm
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

Watch manager on Rotherham blue watch, Clare Holmes, received the Women in the Fire Service Bronze Award with the focus of her trip to develop and deliver training to prevent fire spreading throughout the camps.

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

Clare said: “The community were very receptive to our visit and found the training and advice very beneficial. The site staff that 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.

“I feel privileged to have received this award and I hope that our work can make the lives of the people we visited safer for years to come.”

WM Holmes spent two weeks at the camps and was part of a team of six volunteers who were approached by the ‘Women in the Fire Service’ network to visit the camp, after a request they’d received from an aid charity.

During the two week trip, the team provided ‘train the trainer’ courses for 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 roughly 120,000 people.

Many camps have thousands of people living in makeshift accommodation in close proximity to one another, with schools, hospitals and markets all adding to the fire risk. Cooking takes place on open fires and fire service response is limited.