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British Empire Medal awarded for fire and charity work

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In a ceremony held on December 19 in the Council Chamber, Aberaeron, the British Empire Medal was awarded to Paul Thomas of Sarnau.

The medal was awarded for pastoral care to the Fire and Rescue Service in Wales and his extensive charity work.

Mr Thomas worked for the Fire and Rescue Services for 34 years as an operational firefighter and then served as voluntarily Chaplain for Fire and Rescue Services for the last 15 years. The British Empire Medal was presented by Sara Edwards, Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant of Dyfed.

Ceredigion County Council Chief Executive, Eifion Evans, who presided over the ceremony said: “Mr Thomas is fully deserving of the British Empire Medal. He has served communities at home and abroad with great compassion and dedication. His achievements are extraordinary and has certainly had a great impact on the lives of many.”

Mr Thomas established a school and a children’s home in Uganda and is Chaplain to the South Wales Fire and Rescue Service. He holds the post of National Chair to the Fire and Rescue Service Chaplains’ Association of Great Britain and Islands. He is an ordained Elim Pentecostal minister and is part of the leadership team of Mount Zion Baptist Church in Cardigan.

He co-founded and is a trustee of Tŷ Cariad Africa, a UK charity, which raised the funds to convert a donated building in Uganda now called Tŷ Cariad into a children’s home and continues to work tirelessly to improve the work. The charity pays the running costs of the home which helps orphans and vulnerable children.

He has worked with ex-President Jimmy Carter building homes for the homeless in South Africa through Habitat for Humanity.

After receiving his British Empire Medal, Mr Thomas said: “I am delighted to have received this great honour and to have shared the ceremony with my family and friends. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to serve and help people in need.”

The British Empire Medal is awarded to people who have made sustained and high-impact work in their community.

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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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