THE service and sacrifice that firefighters have made to keep communities safe over the past 100 years is being marked during a special anniversary.

A year of national and regional events are being planned in 2018, to celebrate the 100 years since the formation of the Fire Brigades Union (FBU).

The FBU is planning the activities to highlight achievements of firefighters and their union, and is now hoping to hear from any readers, former firefighters or anyone who has any fire service memorabilia or stories to tell to get in touch.

North Gywnedd is home to six fire stations located in Caernarfon, Bangor, Abersoch, Llanberis, Nefyn and Pwllheli.

Anglesey is also home to seven fire stations located in Holyhead, Amlwch, Beaumaris, Benllech, Llangefni, Menai Bridge and Rhosneigr .

All of these fire stations have “retained” or “on-call” crews drawn from the communities they serve. Holyhead, Bangor and Caernarfon are also staffed during the daytime by “wholetime” personnel.

Nowadays, some 85% of firefighters nationwide are members of the union.

Before it existed, firefighters were frequently killed or seriously burned as a result of the job. Back then, they had neither breathing apparatus nor fire protective clothing. They were forced to live on stations continuously, with no access to holiday, pensions or sick pay.

In its first 100 years, the FBU has secured rights, protections and safety standards for firefighters.

Events planned include: Heat and Struggle - a documentary by film makers InFocus, narrated by Royle Family actor Sue Johnson, to be screened around the country and Firefighters 100 - the Fire Brigades Union website, which will include historical accounts of some of the most devastating fires.

There will also be a live travelling exhibition, centenary publications and a memorial event at Southwark Cathedral on October 13.

Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary, said: “As we think about the contribution of firefighters over the past hundred years, we want to commemorate the bravery and sacrifice of the many firefighters, members of our union, who have given their lives in the line of duty."

Speaking of the Gwynedd and Anglesey stations Parry Owen Davies of the Fire Brigades Union said: "Collectively, these stations have a long and rich history of serving the people of North Wales by responding to a wide range of emergencies and supporting non-emergency endeavours too.

"As we enter our centenary year, The Fire Brigades Union is delighted to reflect upon the part that it has played in North Wales, supporting its members as they in turn have served their communities."

Anyone who has a firefighter related story or memorabilia please contact the Chronicle 01248 387 418 or email