Firefighters in Mid Wales carried out over 800 rescues in the last year according to new figures released by the Fire Brigades Union(FBU),

The statistics show that between April 2017 and March 2018 fire service personnel in Mid and West Wales carried out 44 rescues from fires and 795 non-fire related rescues - a 4 per cent increase on last year's figures.

In neighbouring Shropshire, firefighters carried out 88 rescues from fires and 506 non-fire related rescues, a 10 per cent jump from the previous reporting period, while nationally more than 45,000 people were rescued by firefighters in the UK in the same period, equating to more than 3,800 rescues a month, or more than 100 rescues every day.

The statistics show there were around ten times more rescues at non-fire incidents than at fires, and the Fire Brigades Union says this reflects the breadth of activities that firefighters now undertake and shows the service provides 'an outstanding response' to a range of emergencies.

Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary said a 4% national increase in rescues showed the need for a 'properly funded' fire service, which has experienced swinging funding cuts of over 20% in some regions since 2011.

“While firefighters continue to protect their communities from fires, these figures show that their role has vastly expanded. The Westminster government needs to properly fund their vital role responding to flooding, hazardous chemical spillages, road traffic collisions, lift rescues and other hazardous incidents," he said.

“Firefighters are rescuing more people year on year, yet this Tory government continues to cut fire and rescue services to the bone. One in five firefighter jobs in England have been cut since 2010 – it’s the hard work of firefighters that is propping up the service.

"These figures make it clear that fire and rescue cuts put the public at risk to more than just fires. This is a matter of public safety.”

For the UK as a whole, nearly 42,000 rescues were carried out at non-fire incidents in 2017-18. This is the highest figure since the FBU began collecting data.