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​​Welsh Ambulance Service go live as a co-responding station

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Milford Haven: Part of the co-responding station team

Milford Haven: Part of the co-responding station team

MID ​AND WEST WALES FIRE AND RESCUE SERVICE, in collaboration with the Welsh Ambulance Service (WAST) are pleased to start the new year by announcing that Milford Haven Fire Station is the first Station of 2016 to become a co-responder in the Service area.

For many years Mid and West Wales Fire Authority and WAST have been involved in a co – responding joint scheme that aims to provide the earliest possible response to life-threatening medical emergencies.

Milford Haven is the 15th station to take up co-responding duties, the first having been introduced in 1998. Since that time, Fire Service co-responding crews have attended 14, 610 medical related calls. Milford Haven is the first to go live in 2016, with Llanelli, Port Talbot and Builth Wells to follow suit.

Milford Haven have not had long to wait for their first co-responder incident. Yesterday (Thurs) at 1.16pm the crew were called to attend a female in need of medical attention and were on the scene within minutes, closely followed by an ambulance.

Steve Roberts, First Responder Officer at WAST said: “This is exactly what the scheme is designed to achieve and shows how effectively the Fire Service and WAST can work together for our communities”.

Milford Haven Crew Manager, Alun Griffiths said: “As a station we are very excited to be part of this exciting initiative. We have only been doing it for one day and can already see how beneficial the initiative is to our community”.

The Welsh Government and all public service bodies are committed to improving the quality of services provided to the public of Wales. One of the key enablers of improvement is an enhanced level of partnership in Wales to deliver services which better meet local needs and make a difference to the communities we serve.

Greg Lloyd, Head of Clinical Operations at the Welsh Ambulance Service, said: “Every second counts in an emergency.

“If our fire service colleagues can get to a scene before one of our ambulances they can begin to deliver life-saving treatment – that’s only going to improve that patient’s chance of surviving.

“Co-responders play an important role alongside frontline ambulance staff in making sure patients get appropriate help quickly and efficiently, and they’re very much part of the Welsh Ambulance Service family.”

Assistant Chief Fire Officer Rob Quin said: “We are delighted to be able to offer further support to the Welsh Ambulance Service through the inclusion of these additional locations as co-responder Stations.

“The Geography of Mid and West Wales means that we have many largely isolated towns and communities across the region. This partnership is a vital component to reaching those in isolated communities; during 2013/14 alone MAWWFRS co-responder teams attended 1,875 medical emergencies.

“The fact that MAWWFRS have firefighters located in the heart of these communities means that we are in a perfect position to offer help when it is needed. Our role, in supporting the Welsh Ambulance Service to shorten the time it takes to reach people in need of help can make the difference between life and death for many”.

ACFO Rob Quin continued: “I am also pleased to announce that another initiative is currently under development within the Service to equip front line fire appliances with automatic defibrillators; all donated to MAWWFRS by the charity Cariad.

“The medical response trial will see front line fire appliances at Haverfordwest, Milford Haven, Pembroke Dock, Llanelli, Port Talbot and Rhayader equipped with defibrillators.

“For the first time in Wales, the initiative will allow WAST to mobilise MAWWFRS appliances that are equipped with defibrillators to confirmed cardiac arrests. Whilst firefighters will provide an initial response to certain categories of call, Ambulance crews will also be mobilised to these calls taking over from the firefighters when they arrive”.

Charity founder Mr Anthony Hamilton-Shaw said: “Cariad is delighted to be working closely with MAWWFRS, providing the Zoll AED Plus defibrillator and training to front line appliances and personnel. This partnership including the Welsh Ambulance Service will be vital in achieving the aims of the charity to reduce the number of deaths caused by Cardiac Arrest within our communities. Time is critical when responding to a Cardiac Arrest, having defibrillators with trained fire fighters close by can be the difference between life and death within our communities.

“8000 people will suffer a cardiac arrest outside of the hospital environment each year in Wales. Sadly the current survival rate in Wales is just 3%. Working together we can make a difference”.

ACFO Rob Quin concluded: “Primary responsibility for responding to medical emergencies lies with the Ambulance Service, these initiatives will not replace these services but rather enhance them in a practical way by making good use of medically trained and suitably equipped firefighters who are often closer to the scene of an incident than Ambulance crews.”

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The Pembrokeshire man on the Titanic

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ON the morning of April 15 1912, in the North Atlantic some 450-miles south of Newfoundland, the RMS Titanic slowly slid beneath the sea just two hours and forty minutes after hitting an iceberg.

Stories from that night are famous, from the lookouts misplacing their binoculars to the ship’s band playing even as the sea washed over their feet, the sinking of the Titanic holds a special place in the public consciousness and continues to grab our attention some 109 years after the ‘unsinkable’ ship sank.

Over 1500 people lost their lives in the biggest maritime naval disaster at that point.

Among the dead were American and British millionaires, White Star Line employees and countless anonymous immigrants from across Europe who were all seeking a better life in America.

908 crew were on board the Titanic when it left Southampton on its fateful maiden voyage, one of the crew was a man called Charles Essex Edwards, 38, who sometimes gave himself the first name of ‘Clement’.

Charles was born in 1862 to John and Harriet Edwards of St. Martin’s Place, Haverfordwest.

He worked as a carpenter as a 19-year-old man and would end up moving out of Pembrokeshire and going to sea.  By the time he married a lady called Lavinia Ann Poulter, from Llanstadwell, in May 1892 he was living in Newport.

Lavinia, a Pembrokeshire woman herself, was the daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth Poulter who lived on Lawrenny Terrace in Neyland.

By 1895, Lavinia had returned to Pembrokeshire following the death of her mother. Charles and Lavinia’s marriage suffered but Charles would continue visiting Lavinia and stayed at his father-in-law’s house when he was on shore leave.

Although still married in the eyes of the law, Charles and Lavinia were basically separated by 1901.

Charles signed on to work on the brand new RMS Titanic after it had completed its sea trials in Belfast Lough, he gave his address as 7 Brunswick Square, Southampton. He worked on the Titanic as an assistant pantry-man steward who earned a monthly wage of £3 15s on his previous ship the SS Zeeland.

SS Zeeland: The ship Charles worked on before the Titanic

When RMS Titanic left Southampton a massive crowd had gathered to see the newest addition to the White Star Line fleet depart. Charles Edwards was there. He was there when the ship picked up more passengers at Cherbourg and Cobh.

He would’ve been working during the day, his job entailed keeping the ship’s pantries stocked with food and wine, a vital job on a ship with such a high-class passenger list as the Titanic.

He was, more than likely, sleeping when Frederick Fleet spotted an iceberg in the ship’s path at 11:40pm on Sunday, April 14. He would’ve been woken by the noise of metal on ice and the ship shuddering as it was torn open on the starboard side.

As the ‘unsinkable’ ship took on water Charles, as a White Star Line employee, would’ve been given the unenviable task of waking up passengers, informing them of what happened and getting them to put on their lifejackets.

Once the scale of the situation on the Titanic became apparent, the command structure effectively disintegrated.

Captain Edward Smith would’ve cut a forlorn figure as he wandered around near the wheelhouse and his last words to his crew, according to reports at the time were:

“Well boys, you’ve done your duty and done it well. I ask no more of you. I release you.

“You know the rule of the sea. It’s every man for himself now, and God bless you.”

This would’ve been around 2:10am, at that point Charles would’ve faced a literal up-hill battle with male members of the crew only having a 24% chance of survival and many people gathering ‘like bees’ on the stern of the stricken liner which, experts say, raised to a 12 degree angle.

The Pantryman-stewards from the Titanic’s sister ship, the Olympic

Many male crew members elected to stay at their posts as, according to Victorian culture it was better for men to die than to live and be perceived a coward, so the lights of the ship remained on until about 2:18am, just two minutes before Titanic broke apart and began its journey to its final resting place some 12,000ft below on the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean.

But now you know there was a man named Charles Edwards who was born in Haverfordwest and who died when the Titanic sank in the freezing waters of the North Atlantic. His body, if it was recovered, was never identified and we don’t even have a picture of him.

When news of the disaster broke, The Pembroke County Guardian described the tragedy as ‘one of the most appalling calamities in the long history of shipwreck’.

Four men from Maenclochog, it was later revealed, had a lucky escape as their plans to emigrate that April on the Titanic were thwarted by one of their number being unable to travel, so the group decided to wait for their friend. That decision saved their lives.

Pembrokeshire responded to the sinking by raising money for the Titanic Relief Fund, Pembroke Dock raised £12 2s 0d through a collection at the Royal Dockyard and, in Haverfordwest, Sidney White, who would later go on to own The Palace Cinema, hosted benefit performances to packed houses which raised £5 15s.

Lavinia, after a legal battle with Charles’ brother William, was given £192 in compensation for Charles’ death and went on to look after her father at Railway Terrace, Neyland until he passed away.

Lavinia went on to move to Middlesex where she lived until 1934. She left her estate to her chauffeur.

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Marloes pensioner in child abuse images case

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A PENSIONER has been bailed to attend Swansea Crown Court by magistrates sitting in Haverfordwest Law Courts this week.

Derek Lister, 72, of Marloes is accused of making indecent photographs of children.

He appeared before the bench, on Tuesday (Apr 13).

Lister was represented by Redkite Solicitors.

The court heard that between June 2009 and November 2019 in Marloes, Pembrokeshire, Lister allegedly created 3 indecent category A images of a child, 14 indecent category B images of a child and 152 indecent category C images of a child.

He will now appear at Swansea Crown Court on May 11 at 10am for the next hearing after the local court declined jurisdiction.

Lister has pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

Derek Lister: Accused of making child abuse images
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Primary school teacher described as ‘touchy-feely’ on day two of trial

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A HAVERFORDWEST primary school teacher, accused of sexually assaulting his pupils was “very touchy-feely”, Swansea Crown Court heard on the second day of his trial.

James Oulton, 34, of Haverfordwest would put his hands around students’ waists and touch their bottoms, an ex-female pupil said in a video interview played to Swansea Crown Court.

The defendant denies 30 charges of sexual assault at a primary school in Haverfordwest. The alleged offences took place between 2012 and 2018.

On the opening day of the trial, court heard that Oulton said the case was a “witch-hunt” and that he always behaved appropriately with children.

On Tuesday, the jury watched the video interview with one of Oulton’s former pupils, who said he was a “friendly person, very chatty and sociable and quite outgoing and wanted to know everything that was going on.”

She added: “Mr Oulton often wanted to know a lot of details on what we had done over the weekend, where we had been, and also who they had been with.”

“At the time I just thought he was trying to be really friendly but now when I look back at it now, it does seem odd.”

The witness also described the defendant as a “very touchy-feely teacher”.

She added: “If he was marking your work or if you approached him to ask him a question, he would put his hands around your waist or around your bum”.

“If he was standing by his desk, he would, like, motion to his knee, so he wouldn’t ask you directly to sit on his lap but he would tap his knee.”

Swansea Crown Court heard that the witness eventually came forward and told her parents parents after she heard them speaking about Mr Oulton being suspended from his job.

“Did you feel under pressure to say something had happened to you?” asked Mr Clee.

The witness answered “No”

Oulton, of Richmond Crescent, Haverfordwest, previously told the court he had behaved appropriately.

He also believed letters were sent by Pembrokeshire County Council to parents which encouraged “deliberately false evidence” and collusion between pupils.

The trial continues.

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