SOME of Sunderland’s most precious artefacts and buildings are safer than ever thanks to city firefighters.
Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service has joined forces with Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums to help safeguard a host of precious objects.
Fire bosses have been given up-to-date plans of each of the 12 buildings run by the museum service, including Monkwearmouth Station Museum, Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens and Washington ‘F’ Pit.
Fire crews also have vital details of what equipment is available to keep fire, smoke and water damage to a minimum.
All crews carry equipment designed to help them deal with salvage operations and each venue now has a salvage box containing plastic sheeting and other materials for firefighters to use.
Fire service area manager for community safety, John Baines, said: “We have a commitment to protect the heritage of the region in which we serve and this latest development in our partnership with Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums increases the tools at our disposal to preserve these buildings and their contents.
“Our crews now have the information they need to assist them when dealing with incidents and to help improve the safety of the public and firefighters.”
Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums is responsible for 12 museums, galleries and heritage sites; two of which are recognised as world heritage sites.
It also manages Tyne and Wear Archives, based at Discovery Museum in Newcastle, which holds collections of international importance.
Work is also under way to identify key items in each of the venues that should be rescued or prevented from damage wherever possible.
The fire service now hopes to extend the scheme to other venues in the area, such as libraries and theatres.
Iain Watson, director of Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums, said: “As custodians of these museums and galleries it is Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums’ responsibility to care for the collections so that they are available for future generations to learn from and enjoy, just as they are now by the millions of people who visit our venues each year.
“Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service has provided excellent advice and helped us to plan for emergency situations.”
Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums looks after Monkwearmouth Station Museum, Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens, Washington ‘F’ Pit, Newcastle’s Discovery Museum Great North Museum: Hancock, Hatton Gallery and Laing Art Gallery, Arbeia Roman Fort and Museum and South Shields Museum and Art Gallery, Segedunum Roman Fort, Baths and Museum and Stephenson Railway Museum and the Shipley Art Gallery in Gateshead.