Minister finds out more about the work of North Wales Fire and Rescue Service

Posted 25/07/2014 14:10:36

Minister for Local Government and Government Business, Lesley Griffiths AM visited North Wales yesterday (Thursday) to learn more about some of the work carried out by North Wales Fire and Rescue Service.

The first stop during her visit was the Joint Communications Centre in St Asaph.

The Joint Communications Centre is a collaborative facility where North Wales Fire and Rescue Service share an operational floor with North Wales Police. Unique in the UK, the facility was opened in October 2008, the major drivers being the saving of lives and the reduction of serious injuries. It represents an innovative approach to joint emergency service working, placing North Wales at the very forefront of 999 operations. During the visit, staff members at the Joint Communications Centre were able to demonstrate the business continuity measures which were put into place during industrial action.

As part of the visit, the Minister was also able to visit Prestatyn Fire Station to see young people taking part in the new and innovative 'Revolution' programme.

'Revolution' is a two day course aimed at educating 16 - 25 year olds who are at the highest risk of being involved in a serious Road traffic Collision. The Welsh Government provided £118, 809 to fund the course over 2014 and 2015.

The interactive course covers horrendous consequences of fatal or serious injury road traffic collisions on the drivers, their passengers and their family and friends as well as the type of psychological, punitive and financial impacts being involved in a road traffic collision can bring.

Each event also includes engagement with a family member of someone killed in a road traffic collision as well as close quarter engagement with a realistic road traffic collision scene and measures taken to extricate a person from it. Attendees are given a project to complete as a team over the two days of the course.

A number of agencies input into the course with much of the learning based around the five main causes of fatal road traffic collisions in Wales, known as the 'Fatal 5' - speeding, alcohol and drugs, mobile phones, seat belts and dangerous and antisocial driving.

Chief Fire Officer Simon Smith said: "This latest visit by the Minister has given us the opportunity to demonstrate initiatives and working practices that are unique to North Wales.

"The Joint Communications Centre represents an innovative approach to joint emergency service working. Communication is the key to more informed decision making when responding to any incident and is enhanced by a better understanding of how each service works.

"The 'Revolution' course is a proactive and innovative way to tackle the countless number of tragedies we encounter involving young drivers every year. Road traffic collisions are the biggest cause of death among young people, so looking at new ways of raising awareness of road safety is vital. We're thrilled to be working in partnership with North Wales Police and the Welsh Government on the course and very pleased given the support that Minister has provided that she was able to see the impact of the course first hand.

"Our emphasis is on protecting our communities and this visit was an excellent opportunity to showcase just some of the work we do to help make North Wales as safe as possible."

The Minister for Local Government and Government Business, Lesley Griffiths AM said:

"I am pleased I had the opportunity to see the day to day running of the Joint Communication Centre and how the North Wales Fire and Rescue Service work in partnership with North Wales Police.

"Working in collaboration can only provide the best emergency response for the people and communities across North Wales.

"Also, I am pleased Welsh Government is supporting the Revolution project and enjoyed learning more of the project's outcomes.

"We are committed to improving road safety and reducing the number of people killed and seriously injured on Welsh roads.

"Education is the way forward to preventing injuries and deaths on our roads."

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