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The fascinating story of the Haverfordwest firefighter retiring after 42 years service

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A PEMBROKESHIRE firefighter who has been in the service for nearly 42 years is hanging up his hat for the last time this week. Man and boy, Keith Jenkins started at the tender age of 16 as an apprentice mechanic with the then Dyfed Fire Brigade, but now he is on to pastures new with a role in the NHS as a Fire Safety Advisor.

Speaking of his experiences, Keith, who moved from mechanic to retained fireman in 1983, said: “I was on the Pointsman ship fire getting caught in the third explosion, with two other colleagues Firefighter Rex Evans who broke his Collar Bone and Leading Fireman Brian Tytler who had 20% burns to his hands and face. I was so lucky just to get my helmet blown off and slight burns to my tunic.

“I also attended the Amoco Tank 11 fire in the same year, what an experience to see that boil over and flames reach over a 1000 ft high.

Firefighters were burned in the Amoco tank fire

“I joined the Wholetime on Red watch Haverfordwest, in 1985 and my first nightshift I attended the Scoveston Manor House fire, very sad to have experienced such sad scenes that will stay with me for the rest of my life.

Scoveston Farm fire was set to hide a double murder

“Even attending the Sea Empress when she ran aground off Pembrokeshire coast, being used to man the fire tugs with their crews just in case we were needed, many a night we stayed on these fire tugs.

Sea Empress oil spill: A huge operation for firefighters and other agencies involved.

“I would like to say I am saddened to leave MAWWFRS whole time, it has been a privilege and an honour to be part of such a great Service and Team. During my time in the fire service I have been very fortunate to have gained experiences in so many different avenues and fields of this service. I became a fire brigade diver attending many incidents over the years, getting qualified with Northumbria Police for 8 weeks, hardest thing I have ever done.

Pointsman fire, Milford Haven, 1983

“I have worked alongside many great managers and colleagues over the years and been fortunate to have worked in four different commands, which has given me not only great professional development but personnel development too.

“I was in charge of Pontardawe fire station and attended the Gliesion Mine in Pontardawe, where many persons lost their lives in this tragic incident.

“The fire service has been a massive part of my life, serving the community for nearly 42 years, this has been a hard decision for me to make, so at this moment in time I will be continuing working as a Watch Manager in charge of the Partrtime RDS system at Haverfordwest for now.

“I feel this knowledge I have gained will carry me in good stead for the new role I have accepted with the NHS as a Fire Safety Advisor in Hywel Dda Health trust.

“I cannot thank the Fire Service enough for all that they have done for me, I will sincerely miss it.”

Health

Police and drugs advice service issue warning over ‘deadly batch’ of heroin

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POLICE have asked the media to issue a warning over a batch of heroin.

The drug circulating in west Wales, first detected in Llanelli, is particularly dangerous, it has been confirmed.

“We are warning drug users to take extra care following reports of a particularly harmful batch of heroin circulating in the Llanelli area” said a Dyfed-Powys Police spokesperson.

“We have reasons to believe some drugs being distributed and used in the Carmarthenshire area at present have been contaminated with other substances and could be extremely dangerous for anyone taking them.

“We would also appeal to drug users to seek medical attention immediately if they become unwell.

“Please share this information with anyone you believe could come into contact with these drugs.

”In an emergency or if you think someone’s life is at risk always dial 999.”

Earlier this week Barod, the drug and alcohol abuse service reported a dangerous and toxic heroin circulating in Pembroke Dock which a spokesperson described as being ‘potentially deadly’.

To comes as Public Health England issued a formal alert about the risks of heroin containing fentanyl or carfentanyl.

The warning reads: “There is significant evidence from a small number of post-mortem results of recent drug user deaths and from police seizures that some heroin may contain fentanyl or carfentanyl added by dealers.

“These are highly potent synthetic opioids and very small amounts can cause severe or even fatal toxicity.

“Those of you in contact with heroin users should be alert to the increased possibility of overdose arising from heroin cut with these synthetic opioids, be able to recognise possible symptoms of overdose and respond appropriately.”

The fentanyls are a group of synthetic opioids; some have legitimate uses while others are illicit drugs.

Fentanyl is about 100 times more potent than morphine and is a licensed medicine used to treat severe and terminal pain. Carfentanyl is 4,000 – 10,000 times more potent than morphine and principally used as an animal tranquilliser.

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Tenby’s famous walrus ‘Wally’ has been spotted again

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TENBY’S most famous marine animal has been spotted again after fears she had been scared away.

Wally was spotted on Friday evening by the seaside town’s Lifeboat station.

Thought to be a two-year-old male, the walrus’s return comes after it was feared she had been disturbed by people flocking to catch a glimpse of her and “getting too close”

The animal has attracted hundreds of people to the seaside town now that the travel restrictions with Wales have been lifted to coincide with the Easter school holidays.

Wally was last seen on Monday, but  members of the public were warned it was in the animal’s “best interests” to be “left alone” as much as possible and they were urged to “avoid the temptation to get near and disturb” her.

A joint statement was issued by the RSPCA, Tenby harbour master Chris Salisbury, Welsh Marine Life Rescue, Tenby lifeboat coxswain Phil John, British Divers Marine Life Rescue, Natural Resources Wales and CSIP Marine Environmental Rescue said that they were concerned to hear that people had tried to get close by using personal watercraft or paddle and surfboards.

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Police plan to deter badly behaved youths from gathering in Tenby

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POLICE in Tenby responded to community concerns over antisocial behaviour and groups of between 15-20 youths gathering and clashing over the Easter bank holiday weekend. They moved the youths on, seized alcohol from them and stopped matters escalating when there were clashes between the groups. And they have a clear message ahead of this weekend – there will be extra police patrols and presence in Tenby, including on the trains, so this type of behaviour won’t be tolerated.

Dyfed-Powys Police officers used powers under the Antisocial Behaviour Act to disperse groups of youngsters meeting to drink alcohol in and around Tenby, many of whom had travelled by train to the area to meet up.

Based on these scenes from last weekend, plans are in place as part of a joint operation with Pembrokeshire County Council licensing officers and British Transport Police, to address and prevent any further gatherings.

A Section 34 Order is in place covering Tenby, which allows officers to move people out of the area and prevent them from returning for up to 48 hours.

Sergeant Stuart Wheeler said: “Following last weekend we had some concern from the community of Tenby, due to antisocial behaviour related to the groups of youths from Pembroke, Pembroke Dock and Tenby, and subsequently those groups clashing. Alcohol consumption by these youngsters was a factor.

“Proactive action was taken, and we are keen to avoid a repeat of this behaviour this weekend, and have therefore put plans in place. Additional resources have been allocated, which will allow us to respond quickly and prevent matters from escalating.

“Tenby Neighbourhood Policing Team and response officers, will be carrying out high visibility patrols in the area, covering areas known to be popular with youngsters. Pembrokeshire County Council licensing officers will be assisting us in ensuring youngsters can’t buy alcohol in the area by visiting shops and reminding them of the laws around selling alcohol, and if they bring it with them it will be seized. And our colleagues in British Transport Police will be patrolling the train network to prevent problematic groups getting to Tenby by train.”

Police are also appealing to parents and carers to know where their children are, and what they are doing.

Sergeant Wheeler added: “We would like to appeal directly to parents to be aware of where their children are, and prevent them from gathering in large groups. This type of behaviour is distressing for people living and working in Tenby, and we are urging you to be accountable for your children’s actions.

“We understand that the past few months have been difficult, and that children want to see their friends, but remember that only 6 people from 2 households can meet outdoors still. Please do your best to ensure they are adhering to regulations that are in place for all our safety.”

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