Welsh firefighter praised over aid for Rohingya crisis

Image source, Mid Wales Fire and Rescue Service
Image caption,
Gwyn Lewis has been providing aid for refugees in Bangladesh

A firefighter has been praised for missing Christmas and New Year celebrations to help with an outbreak of disease in a Rohingya refugee camp.

Gwyn Lewis of Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service was sent as part of his work with the United Kingdom International Search and Rescue Team.

An outbreak of diphtheria in refugee camps in Bangladesh has affected more than 3,500 people.

Mr Lewis said he was "proud" to represent the fire service.

It is the eighth time Mr Lewis has been deployed to a disaster area in his work with the International Search and Rescue Team (ISAR), previously going to Malawi, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Japan and Indonesia.

He was sent to Bangladesh on 15 December 2017 in order to provide aid, safe drinking water, food and healthcare to as many as 868,000 Rohingya muslim refugees, who have fled neighbouring Myanmar.

Image source, Mid Wales Fire and Rescue Service

"I am proud to represent Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service (MAWWFRS) during emergency situations such as these, especially as we have the capabilities to bring relief to those suffering in a part of the world where support is limited," he said.

MAWWFRS is one of 15 fire services across the UK which create a Government-supported team for overseas disasters.

Chris Davies, MAWWFRS chief fire officer said: "It is important to remember that the efforts by all of our ISAR members are voluntary.

"To drop everything at a few hours' notice to attend major emergencies on the other side of the World is a truly commendable commitment to the well-being of the global community."