Two female Powys firefighters will be putting their skills to the test at the Welsh firefighter challenge.

Mid and West Wales Fire Service officers, Donna Vaughan of Machynlleth Fire Station and Lisa Reynolds of Newtown Fire Station, will both be competing in the Welsh Firefighter Challenge, a regional race of the British Firefighter Challenge.

The competition entails a set of tough physical and mental tests, undertaken in full fire kit.


“Originally, Lisa and I were just going to go and watch it this year,” said Ms Vaughan.

“But my competitive mind thought “no, let's just do it”, and with very little persuasion Lisa was on board and we signed up."

“I registered to take part in the Welsh Firefighters Challenge because I enjoy a challenge,” added Ms Reynolds.

“I would also like to inspire people to believe that they can achieve anything if you work hard.”

County Times: Lisa Reynolds of Newtown Station,Lisa Reynolds of Newtown Station, (Image: Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service)

The pair said they are preparing for the challenge with a gruelling routine of weights and cardio sessions but Ms Vaughan said she has plenty of motivation.

She said: “There are a few reasons why I've signed up, I'm very competitive and I like to push myself to see how far my body and mind can take me.

“I also want to show my two young girls, Gracie and Georgie, that we can achieve anything we put our minds to and I also want to make them proud.”

County Times: Donna Vaughan of Machynlleth StationDonna Vaughan of Machynlleth Station (Image: Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service)

Both have said they are looking forward to the hose running event in the competition but are dreading the hammer throw event, which Ms Reynolds said is tricky to train for.

The challenge is a chance for both to show the skills they have in a job they both appreciate.

“I enjoy the adventure and the challenge,” said Ms Reynolds.

“But mostly the appreciation from the people we help, knowing that if we hadn't been there to help, things could have been very different.”

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“As an on-call firefighter, it's the adrenaline rush the alerter gives you, wondering what job you will be going to and how are we going to help the people who need us,” added Ms Vaughan.

“I wanted to be a firefighter for many years but due to work commitments and starting a family, it was put on the shelf.

"However, a year after the first lockdown, I had the opportunity to apply and here we are.”