News

Fire reform anniversary

Published: 28 Mar 2018 09:45

Crews attended over 350,000 emergencies in first five years.

As the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) marks its fifth anniversary, Community Safety Minister Annabelle Ewing has praised the service for its life-saving work.

Key milestones of the single service include:

  • Responding to over 350,000 emergency incidents including more than 100,000 fires
  • £44.5 million invested in new fleet and £17 million on new operational equipment
  • £52.7 million invested in new buildings and refurbishment, including North headquarters in Aberdeen and a control centre in Dundee
  • 100 new firefighters hired in 2017 plus recruitment drive for 300 more posts
  • New water rescue units in Oban and Dumfries with teams increased from 15 to 20

Ms Ewing marked the anniversary at a live water rescue demonstration by the SFRS at Falkirk’s Helix Park. She said:

“Incidents like last week’s major fire in Sauchiehall Street in Glasgow show the sheer bravery of fire teams willing to put themselves in danger to assist others. It is also important to recognise the service’s valuable preventative work, which includes helping the most vulnerable and elderly members of the community stay safe in their own homes.

“Our priority is to protect the front line and the 2018-19 budget provides additional spending power of £15.5 million to allow the SFRS to invest for service transformation, on top of a £21.7 million increase in operational budget this year

“I would like to thank all our firefighters and support staff for their hard work and commitment in responding to the complex and challenging situations they face every day.”

Alasdair Hay is the Chief Officer of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service.

He said: “We have not only established a world-class emergency service – but the foundation to allow us to do so much more for Scotland.

“By protecting our frontline, ensuring equitable access to resources and equipment, and through our tireless prevention efforts we have ensured that Scotland’s communities are safer than ever.

“We are committed to our vision of a more enhanced and resilient Service and by offering to transform, we continue to lead the way in the public sector. We will build on our solid foundations by investing in innovative technologies, and ensuring our firefighters are trained and equipped to protect Scotland.”

Background

The SFRS was created in in 2013 following the merger of Scotland's eight regional fire and rescue services. It is the largest in the UK and fourth largest in the world, with 356 fire stations, 422 pumping appliances and some 8,000 personnel.

Between 2013/14 and 2016/17 the service responded to almost 350,000 emergency incidents including over 100,000 fires. In the same period SFRS conducted almost 335,000 home fire safety visits and installed over 270,000 smoke alarms.