How apps are helping firefighters tackle blazes in Hartlepool as officers hail drop in incidents

New apps are helping firefighters tackle rubbish fires, resulting in a drop in the number of incidents compared to the same time last year.

Wednesday, 25th September 2019, 4:44 pm
Stock picture c/o Pixabay

Officers from Cleveland Fire Brigade noted refuse fires and rubbish fires are the biggest cause for concern locally, followed by grass fires.

To help combat the issues they are now using two apps, Fix My Street, to report fly-tipping to get it removed, and What Three Words, allowing the firefighters to easily find locations residents reporting don’t know.

Darren Lane, community liaison officer for Cleveland Fire Brigade, gave the update at a meeting of Hartlepool North and Coastal Community Forum, and noted fires in all areas were down compared to the same quarter last year.

He said: “Because we are seeing this as a big problem across the county we are now using an app called Fix My Street, so all crews can, as they are driving round, log a report of fly-tipping in the area so it can get cleaned up.

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“It’s becoming the biggest issue now, refuse fires within the county. Second to that is grass fires.

“We’ve got a new app called What Three Words. We’re using that to give an accurate location of where you are, if you don’t know where you are and you’ve got this app on your phone you can open it up and it’ll give you three words.

“Give that three words to any control room member of staff and they’ll be able to pinpoint where you are, it’s really, really accurate.”

He added firefighters have also been carrying out work with the community safety team and with schools across the area to help combat arson, and sending out the message they will take action if people are identified.

An example of work carried out includes at Summerhill Country Park where over 50 individuals were signed up to behaviour agreements after a spate of deliberate fires.

Mr Lane also issued a safety message for residents with bonfire night approaching, urging them to attend organised displays.

He said: “Our main message, what we’re going to be telling everyone, is attend an organised event, don’t try have a bonfire in your garden or anything like that, attend an organised event, you’ll be safe there.”