Elation as bid to downgrade Ammanford fire station is rejected

South Wales Guardian: Elation as bid to downgrade Ammanford fire station is rejected Elation as bid to downgrade Ammanford fire station is rejected

WE DID IT! That was Ammanford’s elated response to news that the downgrading of Ammanford Fire Station had been rejected by the Mid & West Wales Fire Authority.

Residents, local politicians, firefighters and union officials had fought to ensure full-time crews were not replaced by ‘on call’ teams.

And on Monday morning they received the result they had been hoping for.

Cllr Calum Higgins, whose call to reject the proposed downgrading received unanimous support from his Fire Authority colleagues, said there had been "unanimous cross party support".

"I'm very pleased that the Fire Authority decided to put the downgrade option to one side, and did so unanimously," he said.

"It is important to the people in the Amman Valley that they receive the same level of service as they have always received, and that the community should not be put at an increased risk due to the budget changes."

Barrie Davies, brigade secretary of the FBU, said firefighters were "extremely grateful" for the support shown by the local community.

“Ammanford serves such a large community and its crews do so much more than provide emergency services,” he said. "There are a lot of hi-tech appliances at the station which require specialist skills."

He added that the station's proximity to the M4 would make the presence of a full-time crew "essential" in the event of a major incident.

MP Jonathan Edwards, who called a public meeting at the Pensioners Hall on Saturday, said: “In almost two decades in politics I can’t ever recall such a response from the public.”

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