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Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service (RBFRS) aims to contribute to securing a safe society by reducing the incidence of death, injury and damage to property from fire and other emergencies.

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Find out about the Thames Valley Fire Control Service (TVFCS)
See the latest information about the Thames Valley Fire Control Service (TVFCS) and view other relevant information.

Our Corporate Plan
The Corporate Plan and Annual Report 2012-13 sets out our progress during 2011-12 and our priorities for making Berkshire safer moving forward.

The Corporate Plan part of the document defines our vision and role, focusing on six commitments. These are underpinned by the legislative and financial environment we work in. The Annual Report shows how we have progressed over the last year and illustrates what achievements we have made.

The Corporate Plan and specifically the “Core Strategy” provides the framework for future decision-making: prioritising those areas seen as most critical or important.

RBFRS urges smokers to 'put it out, right out'
Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service (RBFRS) is warning people about the dangers of careless smoking as part of a recent safety campaign. A third of all deaths in fires in the home are caused by cigarettes [1], often because people do not extinguish them properly or fall asleep while smoking. From April 2011 – March 2012, RBFRS attended 54 incidents involving fires caused by smoking materials (cigarettes, matches etc). [1 - statistics from Fire Kills]

Click here for more information.

Dangers of Fuel Storage
Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service is urging people not to store more than the maximum legal limits of diesel or petrol because it poses such a high fire risk.

For more information about storing fuel, visit the Health and Safety Executive website:

Olaf Baars, Deputy Chief Fire Officer at Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Petrol is an extremely dangerous, highly flammable, explosive and toxic substance. There are laws governing its storage, which require that only very small quantities of petrol are kept in appropriate containers and in a well ventilated, secure building away from your house.

“Our concern is that people may underestimate the dangers and store increased quantities of petrol unsafely, which could lead to devastating fires and even loss of life.”

RBFRS wins 'Fire Project of the Year' award
Fire Project of the Year award Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service (RBFRS) has won ‘Fire Project of the Year’ 2012 at the Improvement and Efficiency Awards, beating 12 other fire and rescue services in the process. The awards ceremony took place on the evening of Wednesday 28th March at Church House Conference Centre, Westminster.

(Photo shows (L-R): Cllr David Burbage, Royal Berkshire Fire Authority Member; Cllr Colin Dudley, Royal Berkshire Fire Authority Chairman; Olaf Baars, Deputy Chief Fire Officer at RBFRS; Cllr Phil Bicknell, Royal Berkshire Fire Authority Member).

For further information: click here.

Change your clocks, test your smoke alarms
With the end of British Summer Time Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service (RBFRS) is encouraging people to test their smoke alarms at the same time as turning their clocks back.

Working smoke alarms can save lives in the event of a fire, acting as an early warning system and providing precious extra time to escape. Despite this, although most people make the effort to change their clocks to the right time when they go forward, many people still don’t test their smoke alarms on a regular basis. For further nformation click here.

Don't become a statistic - Test your smoke alarm
Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service (RBFRS) is urging people to test their smoke alarms regularly as part of a recent safety campaign.

Working smoke alarms can save lives, as they can alert you to the first signs of fire and give you precious extra time to escape. However, just half of all householders who own a smoke alarm say that they test it on a regular basis to make sure it is working.

Follow these simple tips to keep yourself and your loved ones safe:
  • Fit smoke alarms to every level of your home
  • Check they are working by pressing the button every week
  • Change the battery every year (unless it is a ten-year alarm)
  • Clean the alarm casing twice a year to ensure dust isn’t blocking the sensor
  • Never remove the battery in your smoke alarm
  • Make an escape plan in advance so that everyone knows the quickest and easiest way out of the house in an emergency
For further information click here.

HRH The Countess of Wessex Officially Opens Fire Station
HRH The Countess of Wessex opening Wokingham Fire Station Her Royal Highness, The Countess Of Wessex, officially opened Wokingham fire station on Wednesday 8th February 2012.

The Countess was received by Cllr Peter Lucey, Mayor of Wokingham Town, Cllr Colin Dudley, Chairman of Royal Berkshire Fire Authority, Iain Cox, Chief Fire Officer of Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service, and Tregear Thomas, Station Manager at Wokingham fire station, before being given a behind the scenes tour of the fire station.

During the tour, The Countess met firefighters carrying out equipment checks in the appliance bay, talked to junior officers about their roles in the Watch Room and watched other crew members taking part in a professional training session. The Countess was also given an informal briefing by Assistant Chief Fire Officer Paul Southern about the unique challenges faced by the Brigade during the Swinley Forest incident. She then spent some time chatting with members of White Watch about their experiences as firefighters.

HRH The Countess of Wessex opening Wokingham Fire Station The Countess was introduced to some of Wokingham’s retired firefighters and Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Support staff, before being invited to unveil a commemorative plaque to mark the occasion. Station Manager Thomas then presented The Countess with two framed photographs of the Swinley Forest fire as a memento of her visit.

Chief Fire Officer, Iain Cox, said: "It was a great honour to welcome Her Royal Highness to officially open the station and it was also a milestone for Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service, as Wokingham is the first fire station to be built in Berkshire for nearly 20 years.

“The Countess quickly put everyone at ease and was very interested to hear about our work, particularly the challenges presented by the Swinley Forest fire. It was a very special occasion and one that we will remember for a long time.”

Take a look at how the building was constructed by clicking here.

Help Berkshire's Firefighters To Save Lives
Berkshire’s busy roads mean that Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service (RBFRS) firefighters now save more lives by rescuing people from the wreckage of road traffic collisions than they do from fires.

As part of this vital work they train regularly, using cars which are no longer roadworthy. Most of these are donated by members of the public, due to the costs of buying in specially adapted vehicles. The old cars are used to give firefighters hands-on experience of working with as wide a range of vehicles and equipment as possible. Each car is used for multiple training sessions to get as much training time as possible out of each one.

More vehicles are now needed for training and RBFRS is hoping members of the public can help. If you have an old car or van that you would like to get rid of, please consider donating it to RBFRS. Group Manager Paul Maynard, who leads the RBFRS World Champion Extrication (road rescue) team, explained: “We are happy to accept nearly any type of vehicle, it doesn’t matter how badly damaged, rusty or old it is. We are particularly looking for newer vehicles with features such as air bags and electric windows, because they are more challenging to train on but we would be very grateful for older vehicles as well.”

Donating a vehicle to RBFRS is a straightforward process. Vehicles are first assessed by an RBFRS technician, who will then arrange for suitable vehicles to be collected. All paperwork regarding the transfer of ownership is completed before the vehicle is removed. The vehicle is then prepared for use in training, including the removal of any potential pollutants, such as fuel and other fluids. If you would like to donate your old vehicle to help firefighters train to save even more lives on Berkshire’s roads, please call the co-ordinating team on 0118 932 2787 or email

RBFRS is the Pride of Reading 2011
Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service (RBFRS) was crowned the Pride of Reading at a ceremony held at the Crowne Plaza hotel last week. The Brigade was presented with a Pride of Reading Award in recognition of our handling of the Swinley Forest fire earlier this year and for an incident involving the rescue of two women who were trapped in a muddy bog.

Pride of Reading award The Pride of Reading awards are organised by the Reading Post and nominations are made by members of the public. RBFRS won the 999 category, which is for emergency service personnel who ‘have gone above and beyond the call of duty’, and the award is for all RBFRS staff who were involved in the incidents.

Deputy Chief Fire Officer Olaf Baars and Watch Manager Control Ellen Warner (Blue Watch) were presented with the award by TV personality Chris Tarrant. DCFO Baars said: “I am delighted that Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service has won the Pride of Reading award.

“All of our staff, whether they are firefighters, Control or non-uniformed, regularly go above and beyond the call of duty without a second thought but I am very proud that we have been recognised and rewarded for this by the public we serve.”

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