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Call goes out for First Responders

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Will you answer the call?: Ambulance Service seeks volunteer first responders

Will you answer the call?: Ambulance Service seeks volunteer first responders

WHEN a patient faces a serious emergency, every second counts for them and a simple helping hand from a Community First Responder can make a vital difference to their lives.

First Responders in Wales are volunteers who donate their spare time to attend appropriate 999 calls and provide first hand emergency care to people in their own community.

When a 999 call is made, First Responders are alerted by WAST‘s three control centres and are sent to certain types of calls the same time as an ambulance so they can provide essential care until the vehicle reaches the scene.

The volunteers are trained by the Welsh Ambulance Service to administer basic first aid skills, oxygen therapy, cardiopulmonary resuscitation and the use of a defibrillator.

A network of WAST support staff will train volunteers in life saving skills and how to use the equipment available to first responders.

Before you start training, you will be required to have a CRB check, an occupational health check, and an ID card. When you are given your certificate of compliance, control rooms are alerted to the new teams and will alert the on-call volunteer when help is required.

WAST encourages all teams to be self-running, involving the appointment of a volunteer team co-ordinator to help independently manage each local scheme.

Cwmllynfell First Responder Linda Davies – What makes me proud of the team is that the public have so much faith in knowing that we may be available if needed and even if we are there to hold their hand or make their relatives feel a little safer then I know it is all worthwhile.

If you would like to find out more about joining an existing team or starting one from scratch, please email your regional officer:

Central and West Wales – amb_ [email protected] .

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Community

Tragedy on Teifi: Tributes paid to Leon Vernon-White

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FOLLOWING the tragic incident last week, police have identified the canoeist who tragically lost his life in a river accident in west Wales as Leon Vernon-White. The 24-year-old, originally from Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, was described by his family as a ‘free-spirited’ individual and a ‘character’ who brought joy to those around him.

Leon was reported missing in the River Teifi near Cardigan on Thursday, June 6. His body was recovered near Cardigan Bridge in the early hours of the following morning, after a thorough search by multiple emergency services. The search involved Dyfed-Powys Police, Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service, HM Coastguard, and the RNLI.

RNLI Cardigan Lifeboat also played a critical role in the search, deploying both their D-class and Atlantic 85 lifeboats to scour the river and estuary areas.

Leon Vernon-White was well-known in his hometown of Tewkesbury, where he often entertained locals with his singing and guitar playing on the streets. His family described him as a person who had the remarkable ability to make everyone smile. Despite his mischievous and stubborn streak, he was deeply caring, loving, and loyal. His talents extended beyond music; he was also a jewellery artist and had a keen interest in science.

In a heartfelt statement, Leon’s family expressed their immense loss, saying, “He will be a huge loss, and there will always be love in our hearts for him.” They also extended their gratitude to the emergency services and the support they have received from friends and family during this difficult time.

The RNLI Cardigan Lifeboat station detailed their involvement in the search on their Facebook page. They reported that their crew was paged at 19:52 on June 6 to assist in the search for a missing person in the River Teifi. The search operation saw the Cardigan D-class and Atlantic 85 lifeboats navigating the river, while the Fishguard lifeboat monitored the estuary for any signs of the missing canoeist.

Sadly, after hours of searching, the crew of the D-class lifeboat was involved in the recovery of Leon’s body from the river. The lifeboats were meticulously prepared for service again after the operation, demonstrating the RNLI’s dedication and professionalism even in the face of such tragic outcomes.

The RNLI expressed their deepest condolences to all those affected by this tragedy, echoing the sentiments of a community mourning the loss of a vibrant young man.

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Community

Changes to housing scheme once feared to have been sold to Birmingham backed

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Amendments to previously-granted plans for a Pembrokeshire housing estate, which was once feared to have been sold off to Birmingham City Council, have been given the go-ahead.

Back in 2022, Wales and West Housing and construction partners Jones Brothers (Henllan) Ltd were granted permission by Pembrokeshire County Council’s planning committee for a 50-home social housing estate on land off Maesgwynne Lane, Fishguard.

That permission, subject to the completion of a S106 planning obligation, was finalised in early 2023.

The 1.7-hectare site is being developed into a mixture of one-bedroom flats, one-bedroom bungalows, two, three and four bedroom houses.

Since then, rumours surfaced that the development had been sold off to Birmingham City Council for overflow housing, dismissed by the developers as having “no truth whatsoever”.

Wales & West Housing rubbished the claims saying that they are completely untrue.

“There is no truth whatsoever in this rumour,” a spokesperson for Wales & West Housing said earlier this year.

“We are very much continuing our development of the site off Maesgwynne Lane. We’re working with our construction partners Jones Brothers (Henllan) Ltd to build 50 new homes for affordable rent on the site, as approved by Pembrokeshire County Council’s planning committee.

“The development is being funded by Wales & West Housing in partnership with Pembrokeshire Council and Welsh Government.

“When it’s finished, we’ll be working with Pembrokeshire County Council to let them to local people who are most in need of homes they can afford to rent.”

Birmingham City Council added at the time: “This is not something we are aware of here, so it appears to be an inaccurate rumour.”

Amendments to the previously-granted scheme were recently submitted to county planners by Jones Brothers (Henllan) Ltd, with minor changes to roofing and other visual alterations.

In approving the amendments, a report for planners stated: “The proposed amendments are not so significant as to have a greater impact than the approved scheme; there will be no detrimental impact visually or in terms of local amenity; no third-party interests would be disadvantaged; and there will be no conflict with national or development plan policies.”

The amendments were conditionally approved.  

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Community

Mayor welcomes luxury cruise ship as it visits Milford Haven

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THE LUXURY vessel Star Legend, part of the Windstar Cruises fleet, made a call at the Port of Milford Haven on Wednesday (Jun 12), with its next destination set for Portsmouth on June 14.

Dignitaries, including The Mayor, went on board the vessel to welcome it into port.

Milford Haven Town Council said on Facebook: “The Mayor – Cllr William Elliott and Consort – Mr Lloyd Jones had the pleasure of welcoming passengers off the cruise ship Star Legend, with the Port of Milford Haven.

“The cruise ship is currently being charted with a two week voyage around the British Isles on a cycling tour with the passengers mainly from the US or Canada.

“Delighted to be invited onboard for a tour of the ship and to meet the Captain and Crew.
Have a lovely day in the lovely weather!”

Windstar Cruises is embarking on its largest agent ship schedule in the UK and Ireland this summer. Both of the company’s Star Class yachts, Star Legend and Star Pride, will offer up to 450 places for trade partners between June and August. The ships will visit 11 different ports across the UK and Ireland. The programme includes tours of the respective yachts and brief business updates from the Windstar team.

Augustus Lonsdale, Windstar Cruises’ Head of Sales for the UK & Ireland, commented: “After the success of last year’s ship visit programme, when we welcomed over 250 agents onboard, I’m delighted that so many UK agents will have the chance to come onboard Star Legend and Star Pride this year.

“Windstar Cruises is fully committed to the UK, especially after a record start to the year, and we are continuing to increase sales and visibility within this important market.

“This expanded ship visit programme provides our trade partners with a great opportunity to experience a taste of Windstar’s ‘180 Degrees from Ordinary’ experience for themselves – which will, in turn, help them sell the product.”

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