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Loan helps launch start-up working with TV and film industries | Offers Wales

Andrew Hearn

Two firefighters have set up a company providing fire and water services to special effects companies and art departments operating in the television and film industries, after raising capital for the launch through the loans program startup from the British Business Bank, receiving £50,000.

Cardiff-based Ryan Godfrey and Andrew Hearne, who have over 30 years of combined fire service experience, set up Dragon Fire and Water Services with the aim of using their knowledge of urban firefighting and to change the way services are provided for special effects requiring rain, downpours and fire blanket for television and film productions.

Using a fleet of water carriers, dams and specialized pumping equipment, the duo and their growing team provide services in studios and locations when there is a need for additional security or water for special effects.

Additionally, the company also provides in-shot services where its crews shoot action and action sequences in firefighting scenes or other incidents that require the assistance of emergency services, such than the cutting of cars at road accident scenes.

The duo run Dragon Fire & Water Services from a location on Penarth Road in Cardiff, close to some of Wales’ biggest studios.

Dragon Fire & Water Services is a supplier to Disney Lucasfilm and the BBC, and works with special effects companies such as AnyFX and RealSFX.

“The Welsh creative sector has exploded in recent years and it’s amazing to be a part of it,” said Andrew Hearne. “It’s an exciting time, the industry is clearly getting better and better and there are so many companies and people we’ve drawn inspiration from, many of whom we haven’t met yet, but consider to be real success stories.

“You only have to look at some of the award-winning companies like Wolf Studios, Dragon Studios, RealSFX, ADF and Panalux to see that Welsh companies can be at the forefront of this industry and be true industry leaders.”

He added: “Working with Disney Lucasfilm was a huge opportunity for us, given the status of everyone involved and the project being so iconic, and after that we worked hard to be at the center of any project based or coming. in Wales.”

Money from the British Business Bank has been used to expand Dragon Fire & Water Services’ fleet and equipment supplies, as well as working capital as they scale due to the many opportunities available.

Beth Bannister, senior manager for Wales at the British Business Bank, said: “The fact that Andrew and Ryan have tapped into this growing market and are already working with some of the biggest names in entertainment in the world is really a testament to their vision and work ethic and we are happy to have accompanied them on their journey.”