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Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service

New joint fire and ambulance initiative aims to safeguard vulnerable people at home

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THE Welsh Ambulance Service has partnered with fire and rescue services to launch a new initiative to better protect vulnerable people at risk of an accident in their home.

The new system allows ambulance crews to e-refer at-risk patients to their fire and rescue service counterparts in North, Mid and West and South Wales for a Safe and Well check.

Fire crews can then visit the property to mitigate any risks.

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Nikki Harvey, the Welsh Ambulance Service’s Head of Safeguarding, said: “Ambulance crews go to a patient’s property to deliver medical interventions, but often while they’re there, they’ll spot things in the home which raise a red flag.

“It could be that there isn’t a smoke alarm, that electrical sockets are overloaded or that there’s a build-up of fat on cooking appliances, all of which present a fire hazard.

“It could be that the patient has cigarette burns on their clothes or furniture, or that the patient’s hoarding has blocked an escape route.

“The new referral form – which our crews complete on an iPad – streamlines the process completely and makes it easier than ever before to enlist the support of fire service colleagues and safeguard that patient.

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“Anything that we can do collectively to improve patient safety, mitigate the risk of accidents and prevent harm could reduce 999 calls in the future.”

Tim Owen, Community Safety Manager at North Wales Fire and Rescue Service, on behalf of the three Welsh fire and rescue services, said: “The Welsh Ambulance Service and the regional fire services in Wales work together operationally every day.

“This agreement will enable us to extend this work, identifying those most at risk and vulnerable in our communities to make them safer.

“The sharing of information will enable us to develop the principles of the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act, targeting our services to those in most need of support.

“It will also provide a template for promoting future joint working.”

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(Lead image: Welsh Ambulance Service Trust)

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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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