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Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service

Warning of the dangers from carbon monoxide after newly installed alarm activated at vulnerable Pembrokeshire resident’s home

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Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service’s Community Safety Team are urging those with fuel burning appliances, fires, and stoves in the community to install working Carbon Monoxide (CO) detectors following a lucky escape by a Milford Haven resident after a ‘Safe & Well’ visit by the Fire and Rescue Service.

On-Call Firefighters Neil Phillips and Huw Davies who are currently assisting the Community Safety Team with safe and well visits attended a property of a resident in Milford Haven, following a referral from the Pembrokeshire Community Alarm Service.

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The Pembrokeshire community alarm service is an emergency telephone service with special features to suit the visually impaired, hard of hearing and people with mobility and other disabilities.

During the visit, the firefighters fitted a Carbon Monoxide detector, that was linked to the community alarms system, after noting that there was a gas fire appliance within the property.

Later that same day, Milford Haven Fire Station were called to the property after the CO detector started to sound and automatically dialled out to the alarm system. Crews established that there was a problem with the gas fire within the property and safeguarded the resident by working with their utilities company to isolate the fireplace.

Will Stephenson, Crew Manager for Community Safety in Pembrokeshire added: “Carbon monoxide is a silent killer and this incident is a clear example of. how important carbon monoxide detectors are in the home. The team were relieved that they were able to avert a potential tragedy this time and we urge others to consider the risks associated with fuel burning appliances.

“This incident also emphasises the importance of working collaboratively with our partner agencies in our communities, as without that referral the consequences could have been much worse, and also the importance of our retained firefighters carrying out ‘Safe and Well’ visits.”

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Carbon Monoxide is produced when certain fuels are not properly burnt. This includes gas, oil and solid fuels such as coal, coke and wood. Carbon Monoxide can also seep into properties via shared flues or chimneys and can even permeate through brick walls and plaster.

Karen Jones, Head of Community Safety for Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service added: “Carbon monoxide is a highly poisonous gas that has no colour, no taste or smell. Fuel burning appliances such as stoves, fires, boilers and water heaters can produce carbon monoxide if they are incorrectly fitted, badly repaired or poorly maintained, or if flues, chimneys or vents are blocked.

“It is vital that those with such appliances ensure that they are serviced regularly, flues are kept clear, homes are well ventilated and working carbon monoxide detectors are installed in the correct areas of the home and that they are also regularly tested.”

Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service have provided further information on what you can do to prevent Carbon Monoxide poisoning on their website.

A ‘Safe & Well’ check can be completed by the Fire and Rescue Service by calling 0800 169 1234 or via their website referral form.

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Lead image: Neil and Huw at MAWWFRS Pembrokeshire Community Safety Team

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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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