Tuesday, May 11 marked the end of the relationship between Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service and Hywel Dda University Health Board.

The partnership was initiated to enhance the roll out of the Covid-19 vaccine to the communities of Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire.

Since February, community safety staff from Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service have transported 125 passengers over 9,450 miles to ensure they were able to receive their Covid-19 vaccination.

Chris Davies, chief fire officer for Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service said: "Recognising the configuration of our service, the areas we cover and indeed the people we employee, this seemed an ideal opportunity for us to widen our response to the pandemic and support our partners in safeguarding our communities.

"Whilst we already collaborate with the Welsh Ambulance Service Trust, this opportunity enabled us to expand our assistance further within the health arena. This partnership with Hywel Dda University Health Board was the first of its kind for fire and rescue services in Wales and paved the way for a number of similar partnerships for us and the other fire and rescue services in Wales.

"I am extremely proud of our staff who have participated in this collaboration and have made a huge difference to the lives of so many people. Their contribution has without doubt had a positive impact on our response to this global pandemic."

Mydrian Harries, corporate head of prevention and protection for Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service, coordinated the service’s response to this call for assistance.

Mydrian said: "Our communities are at the heart of our core business. Knowing we were in a position to make an impact, we put in place a robust solution in record time, to not only ensure the safety and wellbeing of our staff, but to also safeguard those who were eligible for the Covid-19 vaccination, but may have had barriers preventing them from attending their appointments.

"Using this partnership as template within which we could expand, we have since been able to offer our assistance to other health boards across the service area. Indeed, a group of ten vaccine heroes from our service have joined Powys Teaching Health Board’s vaccination team, playing their part in distributing vaccines at mass vaccination sites in Newtown and Builth Wells. This is another fantastic example of how working together has been vital in our ongoing response to the Covid-19 pandemic.”