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Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service

Work of water safety initiative praised after busy summer

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The dedicated work of a Tenby team promoting water safety has been hailed following one of the busiest summers on record.

The Tenby Water Safety Initiative is made up of representatives of Pembrokeshire County Council, Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service and the RNLI.

Throughout the summer the group has been providing water safety advice alongside banners and posters supported by social media messaging, highlighting potential dangers of the waters around Pembrokeshire.

Local shops and businesses supported the messaging by displaying posters and stickers in their premises.

Tenby Harbour has been a particular focus, where Water Safety Group members have engaged with the predominantly young people who have traditionally jumped into the water from the harbour walls.

Those wanting to jump have been informed of the dangers, including the fact that boats often cannot see people swimming as they approach the harbour.

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Harbourmaster Chris Salisbury, said: “I would like to thank all the agencies that provided time and input to the Tenby Water Safety group.

“While we have not stopped the jumping at Tenby Harbour it has proved to be a great opportunity to raise awareness and has provided vital safety information around the dangers of jumping into all waters not just Tenby Harbour.

“The information has been delivered in many different formats across the county to best reach the young people of Pembrokeshire and visitors alike.”

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RNLI Lifeguard Manager Chris Rigby said that so manyaccidents that happen around the coast could be avoided so it was great to be part of the Tenby Water Safety Initiative to try to help reduce the the number of people getting into trouble. 

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Chris added: “The Tenby Water safety initiative has demonstrated that Multi Agency work had succeeded in informing members of the public of the dangers in and around the working Harbour of Tenby. 

“It has allowed us to take a non-authorative approach to engaging with tourists, holiday makers, and locals alike and has provided a platform for us to promote the safe use of waters in and around the harbour whilst enjoying the picturesque scenery and atmosphere.”

Station Manager Jeremy Trew, Youth Intervention Manager with Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service said the work between partners will continue to deliver water safety education.

This will also aim to reduce the anti-social behaviour that is sometimes associated with the dangerous use of the harbour area.

Kelly Davies, Senior Practitioner, Pembrokeshire Youth Service and Lead for Tenby Water Safety, commended the efforts of all those involved. 

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“By bringing together experts in the field of water safety and local knowledge we have been able to approach the initiative from an information, factual point of view and have tried to make the message very clear to all who visit Tenby. Enjoy our waters, but do so safely and know the dangers.”

Kelly added: “I would like to thank the Harbourmaster, Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue, the RNLI and Leisure services for their continued support and commitment in raising the awareness of the Tenby Water Safety Initiative.’

In any marine emergency, dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard.

Lead image: Chris Salisbury (Harbour Master), Jeremy Trew (Station Manager – Fire & Rescue Service) Chris Powles (Targeted Youth Team Manager), Jonathan Williams (Senior Youth Worker). (Image: Pembrokeshire Council)

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Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service

Four Welsh fire appliances donated to Ukraine

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As a gesture of support to Ukrainian firefighters, Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service has donated 4 appliances to the fire services in Ukraine.

On Tuesday, 19th April 2022, a fire appliance and an incident response unit left mid and west Wales to join up with a UK wide, fire and rescue, convoy that will soon be travelling across Europe to deliver a fleet of appliances in Poland.

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The UK wide convoy is being coordinated by the National Fire Chiefs Council and the Fire Aid Charity.

A further fire appliance and incident response unit will also be leaving Wales for Ukraine on 3rd May.

Watch Manager Chris Doyle, who will be among the team from Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service that will drive the appliances across the continent, said “Everyone is aware of the tragic events that are happening in Ukraine at the moment and this as small way that we can help our friend and counterparts in Ukraine.

“Our mission is to join up with a wider convoy, that has been organised by Fire Aid and the National Fire Chiefs Council, before setting off across the continent to deliver these appliances in Poland.”

The incident Response Unit and one of the fire appliances being donated by Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service (Image: Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service)

Group Manager Ashley Hopkins, Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service said: “It is heart-wrenching to see and hear of the suffering that the people and communities of Ukraine are enduring. When we sought applications of interest for volunteers from our workforce, to deliver these 4 appliances to Poland, we were inundated by requests to volunteer.

“I hope that the delivery of these two fire appliances and two incident response units will aid the Ukrainian fire services during this terrible time.”

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Lead image: Gary Glew, Watch Manager Timothy Nettleton, Firefighter Mike Davies, Firefighter Rhys Fitzgerald and Watch Manager Chris Doyle (Image: Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service)

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Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service

New firefighting all terrain vehicle launched to help tackle rural fires and rescues

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Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service (MAWWFRS) has procured its first All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV), to assist in firefighting and operations in rural areas.

The Polaris Ranger is an all-wheel-drive vehicle fitted with an ultra-high-pressure pump and a 300-litre water tank.

The vehicle will be stationed at Brecon Fire Station in Powys.

The fire service say the primary use of the vehicle will be to support safe systems of work when fighting wildfires, but it can also be utilised at a wide range of incidents where access is required over rough or hilly terrain.

This is the first firefighting vehicle of its type in Mid and West Wales and the crew from Brecon have undertaken a range of training courses including off-road driving, winching and pump operation in preparation for its use.

Deputy Chief Fire Officer Roger Thomas commented: “Providing this vehicle for crews will assist enhance our ability to manage incidents at traditionally inaccessible areas and will support a safe system of work at a range of incidents.

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“The location of the appliance has been chosen based on risk profiling and I am pleased to see this new appliance going to Brecon, in our Northern Division. Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service is committed to investing in appliances and equipment that further increases the safety of our firefighters at incidents.”

The new firefighting ATV will be taken to incidents on a trailer pulled by one of the fire service’s new Ford Ranger pickup trucks (Image: MAWWFRS)

The ATV will be deployed to incidents on a trailer towed by one of the Fire Service’s new Ford Ranger vehicles, one of six that have been brought into service within MAWWFRS Northern Division which encompasses the counties of Powys and Ceredigion.

The new appliance will also be utilised by the MAWWFRS Community Safety Teams to assist in delivering safety messages within rural communities.

Northern Division Commander, Group Manager Craig Thomas added: “We are very pleased to receive this new ATV into Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service and our crews have trained hard to gain the new skills required to realise its full potential. The new Ford Rangers will also improve our ability to tackle wildfires and other incidents within rural areas.”

(Lead image: MAWWFRS)

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Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service

New Deputy Chief Fire Officer for Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service confirmed

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Iwan Cray, current Assistant Chief Fire Officer, has been confirmed as the new Deputy Chief Fire Officer of Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service.

Following the announced retirement of Chief Fire Officer Chris Davies, who will leave the Service in April 2022, and the subsequent appointment of Deputy Chief Fire Officer Roger Thomas to the role of Chief Fire Officer; Assistant Chief Fire Officer Iwan Cray was appointed by the Authority’s Appointments Committee on Monday 31 January 2022.

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Councillor Elwyn Williams, Chair of Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Authority said: “It is with great pleasure that I can confirm that Assistant Chief Fire Officer Iwan Cray has successfully been appointed as our new Deputy Chief Fire Officer.

“Iwan has a great track record in executive leadership here at Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service and we are incredibly fortunate to be able to appoint an individual of his calibre to the role of Deputy Chief Fire Officer.

“Chief Fire Officer Chris Davies leaves our Service on April 2022 following an illustrious career and I speak on behalf of the Fire and Rescue Authority when I say that we have full confidence that both Iwan Cray and Roger Thomas will form a strong and forward-thinking team, who will drive this organisation forward.”

Assistant Chief Fire Officer Iwan Cray said: “I want to extend my gratitude to Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Authority in affording me the opportunity to become the new Deputy Chief Fire Officer for Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service.

“Whilst I have no doubt that it will be an incredibly challenging position, I am excited to work with our newly appointed Chief Fire Officer Roger Thomas and develop and enhance an organisation that continues to deliver an exceptional service to our communities.”

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(Lead image: Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service)

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