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Welcome from the Chief

Water Safety

The time of year is once again upon us where schools break up, the weather gets warmer, and everyone starts to relax and unwind for the summer.

As the temperatures start to rise, people start to enjoy the warmer weather by spending more time outdoors going swimming, camping and caravanning - and these activities can be associated with greater risks.

Fresh water swimming has grown in popularity over recent years, with people searching high and low to find the perfect, secluded swimming spot whether it be a lake, reservoir or river.

However, every year 400 people die in drowning incidents in the UK, making it the third highest cause of accidental death in children.

A recent swimming incident at a waterfall in Llanberis led to tragedy when two men lost their lives and another two men were taken to hospital.

One of the biggest reasons for deaths by drowning is 'cold water shock', a danger not many people seem to be aware of, or fully understand. This is a constant problem in the UK, as inland water temperatures never get warm enough, and can cause us to lose our ability to swim and self-rescue.

We worked alongside the Royal Life Saving Society UK to help promote Drowning Prevention Week between 18th - 26th of June. These are some potentially lifesaving tips for swimmers to remember over the summer months:

Be aware of your surroundings and take notice of any warning signs when out and about:
- When running or walking next to open water, stay well clear of bank   edges. They are often unstable and this can create slips, trips and falls
- Try to always walk or run with a friend
- Always let someone know where you're going - take your mobile phone
- Learn swimming and lifesaving skills

Deliberate Fires

Another topic which has been in the public eye lately is the increasing trend of deliberate fire setting across the whole of Wales. In North Wales, this became a problem which had an impact in a number of areas, specifically Wrexham, Blaenau Ffestiniog and Bangor.

We as a Service are fighting a constant battle against deliberate fire setters who are a drain on the valuable time and resources of emergency services.

Not only do these fires cause destruction on a large scale, they endanger the lives of the people in our communities, as well as jeopardising the safety of firefighters..

Over the past 10 years, due to hard work and collaboration with our partner  agencies, we have been fortunate to see a 68% decrease in deliberate fire setting in North Wales - with a substantial drop in the number of all deliberate fires attended recently: from 353 cases between 1st March and 30th April in 2011, to 258 incidents in 2012, decreasing to 166 incidents in 2013, and more recently reducing again to 153 incidents in 2014.

However, we are still prone to spikes in deliberate fires, such as the recent spates experienced in specific areas.

It is imperative that this good work is upheld, and the partnerships we hold continue to combat an issue which is still a problem in our society.

You can help us drive down deliberate fires. Anyone with information on such crimes is advised to call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or contact 101.

Summer Safety

My final message is to be safe this summer during the holidays, in particular if you are going camping or caravanning.

Summer safety is your responsibility - please take extra care when cooking, barbequing, or making campfires. There are a number of steps you can take to ensure everyone keeps as safe as possible - and these potentially lifesaving tips can be found on our website www.nwales-fireservice.org.uk.

Members of the fire and rescue service will be attending various shows and events during the summer holidays and as always happy will be happy to provide advice on staying safe during the summer season. 

Get connected!

If you've not done so already, become a fan of our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter and Instragram to take part in exclusive competitions and keep up to date on the latest news from the Service.

Go to www.facebook/northwalesfireservice, follow our tweets @NorthWalesFire or follow us on Instagram  - northwalesfire.

 

 

 


 

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