LLANDEILO firefighters have raised money for a firestation in a town with the same name in Australia.

Last month locals pledged to support the volunteer firefighters at their namesake town Llandilo in New South Wales following raging bushfires across Australia.

After an initial plea for help from Llandeilo councillor Edward Thomas, the firefighters arranged a 22 hour cycle at Llandeilo fire station to represent the time it takes to fly to Australia.

Cllr Thomas said: "The community of Llandeilo have responded and it was decided to forecast all the efforts through the fire station. The schools, town council and other groups have each contributed but the biggest efforts has gone to the firefighters of Llandeilo."

From Saturday at 3pm to Sunday at 1pm crew members took shifts each cycling around 80 miles, cheered on by members of the public, who turned out in support.

The weather conditions meant it wasn't an easy 22 hours. While one team was cycling another was dealing with eight emergency callouts as storm Dennis battered the region.

Cllr Thomas said: "I represent Carmarthenshire on the mid & west Wales Fire Authority and I am so proud of Llandeilo's efforts but also proud of the hard work all the other stations have had to put in this weekend."

The combined sponsorship and fund raising has raised around £2,500.

A spokesman for Llandeilo fire station said: "Massive appreciation to all who donated. We and Llandilo Rural Fire Brigade truly appreciate all contributions given by all. Thanks to all who visited over the two days in showing there support in cheering on the crew. A massive thanks to Castell Howell who provided us with food supplies.

"This entire experience has brought the two fire stations closer together, and after keeping in contact throughout this last few months, we look forward to continuing that connection for years to come."

Responding to the event, Llandilo Brigade Captain Rick Burns said: "We at Llandilo Rural Fire Brigade are in awe of the incredible act cycling for 22 hours by our firefighting Sisters and Brothers in Llandeilo Fire & Rescue, raising over £2000 for much needed equipment for our station.

"I wish to pass on the heartfelt gratitude of all our volunteer members, myself and all of the Llandilo community, to not only the great folks of Llandeilo Fire & Rescue, but to everyone in Wales who have gotten behind them in their Herculean fundraising effort for their namesake brigade in Australia.

"We also thank you all for the kind wishes and messages of support that you sent us as we battled through one of the worst fire seasons in living memory and please know this, all your sentiments lifted our spirits in the tough times.”