The Welsh Government has praised the Welsh Fire and Rescue Services for its response to the coronavirus pandemic as well as the service’s high level of expertise in planning for and managing emergencies.
In a letter to Fire and Rescue staff, Deputy Minister for Housing and Local Government, Hannah Blythyn expressed her sincere gratitude to Firefighters and Fire Control staff for their hard work and selflessness during this unprecedented time.
The Deputy Minister expressed the government’s full support and ongoing commitment to protecting the health and safety of firefighters and ensuring the service’s core role was maintained during this crisis by continuing to work in partnership with Chief Officers and senior management to identify and address any problems.
As part of the response to coronavirus, fire services have deployed mass decontamination units to Withybush Hospital in Haverfordwest and Nevill Hall Hospital in Abergavenny to serve as temporary triage facilities. Some firefighters will shortly begin training to drive ambulances to help increase the capacity of the Ambulance Service.
This is not the first time the fire service has stepped up to use their unique and extensive skills and capabilities to help the response to emergencies; with Fire and Rescue Staffand Fire Control staff playing a crucial role during the recent flooding caused by storm Ciara and Dennis.
The Deputy Minister for Housing and Local Government, Hannah Blythyn said:
I want to express my sincere gratitude to every member of the Welsh Fire and Rescue Service for their service. Firefighters have a unique and extensive set of skills and capabilities and are rightly held in very high regard by the public.
Our fire and rescue services have a long and proud tradition of reacting and working swiftly, effectively and above all selflessly in times of crises. There has never been a greater need for us to call on that tradition.
The coronavirus outbreak represents one of the biggest challenges anyone of us have experienced and we know there will be additional pressures put on the service. I am confident the fire service will continue to make a real difference in the response to the pandemic in Wales.