Following a meeting with fire officers in Holyhead earlier this year, Ynys Môn AM Rhun ap Iorwerth raised recruitment concerns with the Public Services Minister in the Assembly chamber.
This is not the first time he has raised this issue in the Assembly, having brought it to the government’s attention following the fire at the chip shop in Llangefni last year and the time it took for a fire engine to arrive as Llangefni station was unmanned.
Speaking in the Senedd, Rhun ap Iorwerth said:
“I had an excellent meeting with fire officers in Holyhead recently. They are entirely committed to their work, but it is a cause of concern for them, as it is for me, that the recruitment problem in terms of retained firefighters does create very real problems in terms of providing cover in rural areas such as Ynys Môn. Does the Minister therefore agree that recruitment exercises need to concentrate on the truly local and emphasise that retained firefighters do provide a crucial service for their own communities?”
In his response the Minister endorsed Rhun’s statement in respect of the important role played by retained firefighters in stations such as Holyhead. He also said that he was confident that the recruitment that is being undertaken by the fire and rescue service is delivering what is necessary, after an all-Wales recruitment exercise by the fire and rescue authorities combined had a very high level of applicants.