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29th June 1916

The destructive fires, three in number, that have occurred in the Amman Valley during the last few days once more calls attention to the urgent need for proper fire appliances. Up to date Ammanford has been content with a hose reel, a ladder and a few hatchets, and a more or less unorganised fire brigade, while at Cwmamman and Brynamman they are dependent upon the mercy of Providence.

This is one of the detrimental results of having a Valley which naturally lends itself to government by one public body, split up into three urban and rural areas, one of which has its being in Llandilo! Of course, there are many other questions which can be and are being dealt with by joint committees such as the Sewerage Board, but how much better it would be if all local affairs in the Valley could be dealt with in that way.

The provision of adequate fire appliances, including steam or motor engine, would be a small matter if the cost of it were spread over the whole area, and there would be some pride taken in the position of fireman, if a property organised brigade were instituted and carried out its practices in various parts of the Valley.

It is evident the Cwmamman people have no high opinion of the Ammanford Brigade, when they prefer to send to Swansea for a fire-engine, and it must be conceded that the motor engine arrived on the scene of the outbreak as soon as, or even sooner than could the Ammanford men with their hose reel.

But, of course, the hose reel without a manual engine would have been useless. In Ammanford, where there is great pressure from the water mains, a hose reel may be sufficient, but outside in such places as the Raven Tinplate Works, where water had to be obtained from sumps in the yard, no pressure could be obtained except by means of an engine.

Really, has not the time come, if the various Councils cannot agree to amalgamate and become one governing body, to seriously approach the question of combining for the purpose of putting the Valley in the position of having adequate protection against the ravages of fire?

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