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Officials move to reassure public over west Wales ambulance shortage

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  • St John’s Ambulance to assist with workload

  • Ambulance officials say they can cope

  • Welsh Government moves to assure the public

 

EMERGENCY services in west Wales have been told to be mindful when requesting ambulances this weekend due to “a potential of significant shortfall” in ambulance response and availability.

ITV Wales reported on Friday (Jan 22) that they have seen a document that says Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Neath and Port Talbot could all be affected until Sunday.

It has been reported that the police and fire service were informed of the potential problems at a meeting earlier this week.

Any short fall will put more pressure on other emergency services, including Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue who now have co-responder teams in place to deal with medical emergencies when there is insufficient ambulance cover.

The Welsh health minister has been urged to intervene. Plaid Cymru AM, Elin Jones said on Friday that she has written to Mark Drakeford, wanting immediate action to ensure that there is sufficient cover to keep the public safe.

The Welsh Ambulance Trust have issued a statement to media response to the concerns raised.

The statement said: “Resourcing is a dynamic process and we would like to reassure the public that ambulance cover across West Wales is at safe levels this weekend, with sufficient ambulance and rapid response vehicle cover in place.”

The Welsh Government has said there is ‘sufficient’ ambulance cover. A spokesman said : “A further review of weekend cover has been undertaken and officials have received assurance directly from the Ambulance Trust that there is sufficient emergency ambulance service coverage.”

Rob Jeffery, Head of Operations for The Welsh Ambulance Service’s Hywel Dda region said: “We’d like to reassure the public that we make every effort to ensure we use all our available resources effectively to respond to the varying levels of demand across the Hywel Dda and ABMU areas, and indeed across the whole of Wales, and deliver safe and high quality care to the population.

“We are optimising the resources we have available over the coming weekend in the Hywel Dda University Health Board area, this is being supported by increasing our Rapid Response Vehicles and Unscheduled Care Service vehicles which are being made available as well as some St John Ambulance vehicles in support of our operations.

“In the Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board area there is a minimal shortfall of Emergency Ambulances this weekend which is also being bolstered by an increase in our Rapid Response Vehicles.”

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New Quay RNLI lifeboat crew trains with lifeguards

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NEW QUAY lifeboat station hosted a special training evening with the lifeboat crew and Ceredigion’s RNLI lifeguards last week.

Pete Yates, one of New Quay RNLI’s inshore lifeboat helms, worked closely with Ceredigion lifeguard supervisor, Tirion Dowsett, to plan scenarios for the teams to practice working together in casualty care situations.

A large scale scenario included four casualties to be dealt with by the inshore lifeboat crew and two lifeguard teams on a nearby beach, whilst a third lifeguard team and lifeboat crew members dealt with a separate scenario at the lifeboat station.

Pete said: “It was a great evening of training. We had 9 lifeguards and 13 lifeboat crew in attendance.

“The main scenario included casualties suffering from hypothermia and propeller injuries. A second scenario involved a mechanic suffering head injuries in the forepeak of the all-weather lifeboat and requiring extraction on a stretcher.

“On completion of these scenarios we all gathered back at the station where one of our senior crew members sprung a great act at being a diabetic having a hypo, and being suitably angry and aggressive.”

Roger Couch, New Quay RNLI’s Lifeboat Operations Manager, added: “It was great for our lifeboat crew members to work with the lifeguards as it builds a deeper understanding of each other’s roles and encourages teamwork between us. This is of great benefit when dealing with real life casualty care situations.”

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Coastguard rescues dog stuck on cliffs

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LAST TUESDAY (Aug 27), New Quay RNLI’s inshore D-class lifeboat, Audrey LJ, was tasked by Milford Haven Coastguard to assist the Coastguard with a dog stuck on the cliffs near New Quay.

The volunteer crew launched the inshore lifeboat at 1.50pm with four crew members on board and made their way south down the coast.

Brett Stones, New Quay RNLI’s helm said: “We located the dog on the cliffs by Castell Bach, near Cwmtydu. We stood by while the Coastguard team caught the animal. The dog was unharmed and safe with the Coastguard so we were stood down.

“However, while returning to station we were then tasked to a small vessel with engine failure. We towed the stricken boat with three people on board back to New Quay. We rehoused the inshore lifeboat and it was ready for service by 2.40pm.”

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New maintenance Lorries cut carbon emissions

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The Ground Maintenance Team has purchased three new lorries to support ground maintenance services in Ceredigion.

The new lorries will move Ceredigion County Council’s Ground Maintenance Service’s equipment to and from the grounds that they look after. The lorries will also take cut grass away for composting. This provides the most efficient way of maintaining the areas that the team is responsible for.

Councillor Dafydd Edwards is the Cabinet member responsible for Highways and Environmental Services together with Housing. He said: “The new vehicles replace ones which had provided excellent service for almost 20 years. They are fitted with Euro 6 engines which are considerably more efficient and better for the environment.”

The Grounds Maintenance Team is also incrementally introducing electric-powered mowers, blowers, hedge cutters and strimmers into its fleet. This equipment is better for the environment, is easier to use and causes less noise and vibration.

The new lorries support Ceredigion County Council’s commitment to be a net-zero carbon council by 2030.

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