South Yorkshire County Fire Service


The new Service, under the leadership of Chief Fire Officer McCoy was a collection of the old District Council Brigades of Sheffield, Rotherham, Barnsley and Doncaster, with the Mexborough Division of the old West Riding of Yorkshire, which was also incorporated. All the existing Fire Stations and equipment were taken over and most of the Officers and men were already in post, although there were many promotions and some new officers were introduced at Senior Officer Level.

The New Brigade consisted of 27 Stations, 19 of which were manned by Wholetime personnel, 8 of which had a Retained commitment, together with 7 fully, Retained stations and one station which was nucleus manned. County Fire Service Headquarters was situated at Division Street where the old Sheffield Headquarters used to be.

It was decided that South Yorkshire County Fire Service should consist of Five Divisions, each with a Divisional Commander having the rank of Divisional Officer Grade I.

Command and Control

County Fire Service Control was situated on the top floor of Division Street Fire Station.The control was responsible for mobilising the 27 SYCFS stations using the Multiplex System and electric resource availability displays operated from consoles.

Photo - Control Room 1974
Division St Control circa 1974

The Five Divisions were located as follows

A Division: Barnsley Area, Divisional Headquarters Barnsley Station

A01 Barnsley 1 Water Escape, 1 Water Ladder, 1 85' Hydraulic Platform, and 1 Emergency Tender (Wholetime). Ex Barnsley Borough Council. Combined Ambulance and Fire Station.
A02 Royston 1 Water Ladder Wholetime, and 1 Water Tender. Ex West Riding County Council
A03 Hoyland 1 Water Tender Retained. Ex West Riding County Council
A04 Goldthorpe 1 Water Tender Retained. Ex West Riding County Council
A05 Penistone 1 Water Tender Nucleus Manned, 1 Water Tender Retained. Ex West Riding County Council
A20 Brampton Bierlow 1 Water Ladder Wholetime, 1 Water Ladder Retained, and 1 Foam Tender Wholetime. Ex West Riding County Council

B Division: Doncaster Area, Divisional Headquarters Doncaster Station

B06 Doncaster 1 Water Escape, 1 Water Ladder, 1 Turntable Ladder, and 1 Emergency Tender (Wholetime). Ex Doncaster MBC.
B07 Adwick-le-Street 1 Water Ladder, 1 50' Hydraulic Platform Wholetime, and 1 Water Tender Retained. Ex West Riding County Council
B09 Thorne 1 Water Tender Wholetime and 1 Water Tender Retained. Ex West Riding County Council
B10 Askern 1 Water Tender Retained. Ex West Riding County Council
B11 Conisbrough 1 Water Tender Retained. Ex West Riding County Council
B12 Rossington 1 Water Tender Retained. Ex West Riding County Council

C Division: Sheffield West, Divisional Headquarters St. Peters House, Bank Street, Sheffield

C13 Division Street 1 Water Escape, 1 Water Ladder, 1 85' Hydraulic Platform, 1 Turntable Ladder, and 1 Emergency Tender, Wholetime. Ex Sheffield City Council.
C14 Rivelin Valley Road 1 Water Ladder Wholetime. Ex Sheffield City Council.
C16 Ringinglow Road 1 Water Ladder Wholetime. Ex Sheffield City Council.
C15 Lowedges Road 1 Water Ladder Wholetime. Ex Sheffield City Council.
C17 Stocksbridge 2 Water Tenders Retained Ex West Riding County Council

D Division: Rotherham Area, Divisional Headquarters Erskine Road Fire Station, Rotherham

D18 Rotherham 1 Water Escape, 1 Water Ladder, 1 Turntable Ladder, and 1 Light Emergency Tender. Ex Rotherham MBC. Combined Ambulance and Fire Station.
D19 Oaks Lane 1 Water Ladder Wholetime. Ex Rotherham MBC
D21 Maltby 1 Water Ladder Wholetime, 1 Water Ladder Retained. Ex West Riding County Council.
D22 Kiveton Park 1 Water Tender Retained. Ex West Riding County Council.
D08 Mexborough 1 Water Ladder Wholetime, 1 Water Ladder Retained. Ex West Riding County Council

E Division: Sheffield East, Divisional Headquarters 2 Rotherham Road, Handsworth, Sheffield.

E23 Darnall Road 1 Water Escape, 1 Water Ladder, and 1 Turntable Ladder. Ex Sheffield City Council
E24 Elm Lane 1 Water Ladder, and 1 50' Hydraulic Platform. Ex Sheffield City Council
E25 Mansfield Road 1 Water Ladder, and 1 Light Emergency Tender. Ex Sheffield City Council
E26 High Green 1 Water Ladder Wholetime, and 1 Water Tender Retained. Ex West Riding County Council
E27 Mosborough 1 Water Ladder Wholetime and 1 Water Ladder Retained. Ex Sheffield City Council

SY Logo 1974 was a busy year for the new Chief Fire Officer, who was welding together a new Service and organising the re-distribution of appliances to ensure a good balance of fire cover, which was a top priority. The need for replacement of elderly fire appliances was also realised and a programme introduced. New Staff Cars and Vans were purchased during the year and, of course, the continuing maintenance of the Service Vehicles was programmed and undertaken.

Chief Fire Officer McCoy was far sighted in his outlook and began serious negotiations for land in Sheffield on which he could build a replacement for the Division Street Station, which was becoming inadequate to meet the requirements of a modern Firefighting Service with responsibilities for the major commercial area of Sheffield. The site was also proposed to contain a Fire Service Control and a new County Fire Service Headquarters on the same site.


Pumping Appliances available to the Service in 1974

Photo F104 Dennis
F104 - Dennis Wrl 1000 gpm Ex Sheffield Fire Brigade
Photo F4 Dennis
Dennis Water Tender 500gpm Ex West Riding Fire Service

Negotiations were of necessity, complex and problems were experienced in obtaining a suitable piece of land in the City Centre. Eventually a site bounded by Carver Street, Wellington Street and Rockingham Street and situated close to the Division Street Station was earmarked, it was to take many years and much hard work before plans were finally agreed and money allocated for this project.

Training

Chief Fire Officer McCoy also saw the need for the trainingof his Officers and men within the newly formed county and initially set up a Training School at Brampton Bierlow Fire Station, using the former Divisional Commanders Office Suite and ex A.F.S. Garages. A maximum of 16 students could be trained under this system.

Eventually a premise was purchased in Rotherham, which had previously been used as a Bakery and was sited on the Eastwood Trading Estate. Over the next few years, it was proposed that this would be developed into a modern training centre.

Photo - Bramptom TC
Photograph Brampton Bierlow Training School.

Under Chief Fire Officer McCoy's command the Service became established, and took its place within the County structure.

'B' Division Headquarters moved from the Doncaster Station into an office block sited at the rear of the Station, this created more room for all personnel both on the Station and at the new Headquarters.

Mr. McCoy's period of service as Chief Fire Officer was not an easy one, encompassing as it did the nine-week period of national industrial action by the Fire Brigades Union. However, credit must be given to him for the way in which he quickly pulled the Service back up to its high standard of efficiency. In recognition of this and all his other efforts, Chief Officer McCoy was awarded the Q.F.S.M. and later the British Empire medal.


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