Gypsies and Travellers given fire safety training at Appleby Fair

Gypsies and Travellers put their Fire Safety training into practice with Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service Watch Manager, Paul Dean.

Gypsies and Travellers put their Fire Safety training into practice with Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service Watch Manager, Paul Dean.

Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service has been training Gypsies and Travellers in how to tackle small scale fires on the first day (2 June 2016) of the annual Appleby Horse Fair which runs from 2-8 June.

The training was provided by Paul Dean, a Watch Manager for Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service, he said: “Today’s training involved instructing the Gypsy and Traveller community in maintaining public safety on the Fail Hill site by being able and willing to undertake the ‘first attack’ principal, to prevent small fires growing into larger fires.

“The training involved giving instruction in how to use portable extinguishers to put out small fires e.g. rubbish fires, bin fires, BBQs or camp-fires which may spread and could threaten to get out of control.”

Paul Dean from Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service provides fire training to Gypsies and Travellers.

Paul Dean from Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service provides fire training to Gypsies and Travellers.

The training was given to Gypsy and Traveller Billy Welch and his team, who manage the historic Fair Hill site at Appleby. The training will help to reduce the chance of fire spreading to caravans and vehicles which are usually in close proximity to each other on the site.

It may also reduce the call-outs for the Fire service to what may be an easily manageable ‘small’ fire on site. This will also reduce the times emergency vehicles need to make progress through what is always a very busy town, thronging with people and horses during the annual Horse Fair.

Cumbria Fire & Rescue Service donate fire extinguishers to Gypsy and Traveller Billy Welch and his team who manage Fair Hill.

Cumbria Fire & Rescue Service donate fire extinguishers to Gypsy and Traveller Billy Welch and his team who manage Fair Hill.

Gypsy and Traveller Billy Welch who manages the historic Fair Hill encampment at Appleby Horse Fair said: “I would like to thank Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service for providing the training and for donating extinguishers. This is practical safety knowledge that we can share amongst our community to help make not only Horse Fair safer but also the sites where we reside.”

Paul Dean, Watch Manager for Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service, added: “In the case of large scale fires, which may be already well-established or growing rapidly, always dial 999 and ask for the ‘Fire Service’. We have the benefit of thermal protection with personal protective equipment, water and pumps to deal with any incident.