News

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DEATH OF LESLEY BETTS  (11/06)

Lesley Betts, widow of Jim Betts and a WRFA member, died in SDH, Odstock on Sunday 9th June 2024. She collapsed recently with a severe infection of the pancreas and spent two weeks in  intensive care.

The family of Lesley Betts have decided not to hold a funeral service. They have been beset by so much tragedy in the last few years that they don’t feel able to cope with the emotional stress of a service.

FIREFIGHTERS CHARITY WORKER STOLE CASH  (22/04)

A Wiltshire woman has appeared before Salisbury Magistrates Court charged with stealing £18,677 that was raised at car washes and other fund raising events held in aid of the Fire Fighters Charity. Natasha Mason from Seend near Devizes was employed by the Fire Fighters Charity to manage fund raising and over a period of time she took possession of monies raised but did not bank all of it keeping some of it for personal use. It is known that money from 23 events was stolen.

Mrs Mason was found guilty in mitigation the court was told that she used the money to gamble which was her escape from an abusive and unhappy marriage. Mrs Mason was awarded a suspended jail sentence and has offered to try to repay the money at £100 per month.

DEATH OF KEN GRIFFIN  (09/04)

The sad news that KEN GRIFFIN has died was followed by details of his funeral. The funeral was held on Monday 15th April at Semington Crematorium. The wake followed at The Pewsham, London Road, Chippenham. Our condolences go to Ken’s family, friends and former colleagues.

DEATH OF MAURICE HANCOCK  (09/03)

WRFA member MAURICE HANCOCK passed away in RUH, Bath on 7th March after a long period suffering ill health. The funeral will be a Christian service at the local parish church. Maurice retired as station commander at Corsham in 1986. Condolences have been expressed to his son, Julian and all the family.

Maurice’s funeral was held 0n Tuesday 26th March, at St Bartholomews Church, Corsham.

SEARCH FOR MISSING RESIDENTS IN SPANISH BLAZE (23/02)

A fire that in many ways echoes the tragic fire at Grenfell Tower broke out at about 5.30pm on 22nd February in the Spanish city of Valencia. High winds and flammable materials used in the construction of this recently built 14 storey block helped the fire to spread very rapidly. A second block was engulfed defeating the efforts of firefighters to prevent fire spread.

Many residents were trapped and had to be rescued by firefighters but 4 are known to have died and the number of casualties is still being recorded. Many of the residents have still to be accounted for and many are missing. It is feared that the death toll will rise well above 4. Early commentators are asking why in 2004 a new residential block cannot be constructed that is fire safe.

LITHIUM BATTERY FIRES  (14/02)

Lithium battery fires are now becoming quite common and they are proving a challenge to firefighters because they present such a fierce and stubborn fire. Manufacturers of firefighting portable equipment have developed FIRE BLANKETS designed to smother lithium fires. The prices range from about £100 for the smaller blankets measuring 4m x 2m to the largest product measuring 8m x 6m and costing about £700

IT GLITCH WITH FIRE PENSIONS FOR MILITARY FIREFIGHTERS  (14/02)

The contract made with Capita to manage the pensions for retired members of the Defence Fire & Rescue Service has run into trouble.  The computer software being used by Capita has bugs that are resulting in many errors in pension payments and delays in paying pensions due to newly retired personnel. Delays of up to 8 months in payments are being encountered. Capita have the contracted to take over the pension arrangements for the entire UK Civil Service with effect from next year