Fire chiefs asked for assurances over equipment

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Oct 12, 2013 in Rat News | Subscribe

FIRE chiefs have been asked for assurances officers will never again have to borrow domestic hose pipes to fight fires, following an incident in Trebanos.

Last month firefighters were forced to ask the neighbour of a house ablaze in Graig Road if they could use their garden hose pipe, because the crew’s vehicle was too big to access the road.

Officers had to walk up the road to reach the property, leaving their vehicle at the bottom of the steep and narrow hill road.

A collection of animals were rescued from the house fire, including two pet rats, two cats and a dog, and senior officers at Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service later hailed officers for using their initiative to tackle the fire.

But some officers have been critical of the incident, saying crews should have had appropriate vehicle and equipment, and that had there been serious injuries, the commanding officer would have faced a serious disciplinary charge.

Plaid county candidate for the Trebanos ward, Rebeca Lewis has now called on the service to keep smaller vehicles at Pontardawe fire station in the event of similar incidents, and Bethan Jenkins AM said she would be writing to the service to ask: “What, if any, other measures senior officers have in place for ensuring there is no repeat of this kind of incident.”

Assistant chief fire officer Derek Masson said: “I would like to commend the crews for displaying real initiative and quick-thinking in tackling this blaze, which was extinguished swiftly, without injury, and without undue damage to property.

“However, we remind the public never to attempt to tackle a fire with a garden hose themselves. Our crews are extensively trained, and were also fully equipped.

“The service is always looking at ways of improving, and I’m pleased to announce that we are introducing a new fleet of smaller, lighter and more agile rural response vehicles across the service area over the next few months.”

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