North West Wales

Fire service appeals for more rural retained fighters

Mike Plant
Image caption The situation in parts of rural Wales is "serious" says station manager Mike Plant

Some rural fire stations are relying on firefighters from outside their area to keep emergency engines on the road.

It has led to North Wales Fire and Rescue appealing for more people to train as retained firefighters.

The numbers of the part-time fighters in Wales hit a nine-year low last year, with north Wales suffering the largest drop, from 577 to 390.

Retained firefighters have other jobs and only attend the fire station to respond to emergency callouts.

One Conwy county station manager has described the situation as "serious".

Image caption Cerrigydrudion fire station has struggled with part-time staffing

Mike Plant, who is in charge of the Cerrigydrudion station, said he needs four people to get their pump appliance out and on the road in an emergency - but there were only three retained firefighters in the local area.

"We've had to rely on two additional firefighters from other areas to come in to keep the appliance on the run.

"It is a real need, to appeal to the community to really consider the career of a retained firefighter.

"This is a problem for rural Wales as a whole."

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