Two vacancies have arisen on the Executive Committee. Both vacancies are for posts that have no specific area responsibility and therefore applications from WRFA members living anywhere will be considered.

To apply or seek further details, please contact the Secretary/Treasurer by email on johncraig7@btinternet or by telephone on 01793 726343.


The sad news has been received that Kevin Pearson, Chief Fire Officer of Avon Fire & Rescue Service, passed away on 4th November 2017.  CFO Pearson was suspended from duty pending an inquiry into matters brought to light by a Home Office Statutory Inquiry.  It is known that CFO Pearson was diagnosed with cancer shortly before the fire authority suspended him.

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The BBC TV News on the morning of Tuesday 24th October 2017 should contain an item promoting the use of sprinklers to protect schools and their occupants. Dany Cotton, Commissioner of the London Fire Brigade will be interviewed.



It has now been confirmed that both State Pensions and pensions paid under the Fire Service Scheme will be increased by 3% from April next year.


Greater Manchester FRS withdraws from support to Ambulance Service  (13/10) 

Greater Manchester Fire & Rescue Service has recently completed a very successful six months trial to test the efficacy of fire crews trained in advance life support techniques being sent to medical emergencies in support of ambulance service paramedics.  In many cases the fire crew arrived before the ambulance personnel. Independent assessment of the trial has credited the fire crews with definitively saving 63 lives and giving cardiac arrest patients a far better chance of having less neurological damage in dozens of other cases.  There was therefore an intention to extend the trial for two years but this has been blocked by the Fire Brigades Union. The FBU is demanding enhanced pay for attending medical emergencies and until this has been agreed the union has placed a ban on its members providing such life-saving services.

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In collaboration with the Royal British Legion, the BFSA has produced a superb badge incorporating the BFSA badge with the RBL Red Poppy.  This striking, high quality item can be worn as a lapel badge or as a lady’s brooch.

These can be obtained from John Craig, Secretary & Treasurer to the WRFA or direct from the BFSA shop online.  To obtain your badge from John Craig, the price is £10,50 , cheque made out to “John Craig” at 12a Gaisford Chase, WORTON, Devizes SN10 5RX , Tel: 01380 726343.

Why not wear your new badge when attending the WRFA Remembrance Event on 11th November, 2017?  Have you booked yet?  Profit from the sale of the badge goes to the RBL Red Poppy Appeal.

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With great sadness the death is announced of ARTHUR WILLIAM MAYS.  Arthur was one week off his 93rd birthday. The death occurred on 14th September peacefully at his home surrounded by his family.  Arthur was for many years a retained firefighter at Westbury and rose to become the station commander in the rank of station officer.

He ran a very successful funeral director business and was very well known and respected throughout the Westbury area.  He was highly regarded for being a generous man with a highly developed sense of public service.  Arthur was not a member of WRFA but will be fondly remembered by many members of our Association.

The funeral service was held at All Saint’s Church, Westbury on 10th October.  Rest in peace, Arthur.

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With much sorrow the death of RICHARD BURTON is announced.  Richard will be remembered as the Consort to the Mayor of Devizes, Jane Burton, at the WRFA Christmas Lunch in December 2016.  Richard suffered two heart attacks on 19th September and could not be resuscitated.  He had been suffering from prostate cancer in recent years. Richard has a son serving as a firefighter in Dorset & Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service.  The condolences of our Association have been sent to Jane.

The funeral was held on Friday 13th October 2017, at St Johns Church, Devizes.

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GOLDEN WEDDING  (30/09) 50th Anniversary_100

Our Chairman, Chris Wannell, and his spouse of 50 years , Audrey, have just celebrated their GOLDEN WEDDING with a party in Royal Wootton Bassett attended by many family and friends. We congratulate the happy couple and wish them many more years of happiness together.

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The Chief of Houston Fire Department in Texas has come in for heavy criticism for his handling of the way his department dealt with the effects of Hurricane Harvey.  Hurricane_100Despite the massive number of calls for water rescues and other services made to the Houston FD, Chief Samuel Pena, did not recall to duty all the off duty personnel at his disposal.  The on duty staff were not allowed to book off at the end of their shift.  Many of the off duty firefighters who expected the recall that never came responded to their stations anyway and performed good work.  Thousands of people were rescued by fire crews in boats.  Chief Pena held a press conference to defend his decision and the firefighters union made public their anger at the way the department was led during the crisis.  Although Chief Pena pointed out that even if he had recalled the off duty personnel the department lacked enough boats for them to use. The union responded by pointing out that although this was true, the firefighters that responded for duty without being called in many cases brought boats with them.

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With much sorrow the death of WRFA member, Bob (Dan) Gurney is announced. The death occurred at 1.30pm on Thursday 31st August, 2017 in GWH, Swindon where Dan had been a patient for some time.  Our condolences have been passed to his widow, Janet.  The funeral was held at St Philips Church, Beechcroft Road, Swindon on Tuesday 26th September 2017.