SFRS announce new investment in rural fire services with new Cannich appliance

New Cannich fire appliance
(Left to right) Highland Local Senior Fire Officer Scott Hay, Leader of Highland Council Drew Hendry, Chair of Highland Council’s Community Safety, Public Engagement and Equalities Committee Angela MacLean and Cannich Fire Watch Manager John Dyce

Issued by the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service

Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) today (9 March 2015) announced significant investment in its fleet with the retained station in Cannich taking delivery of a new fire appliance.

The investment, which is in excess of £100,000, underlines the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service’s commitment to providing equitable access to resources and equipment across Scotland and will further enhance service delivery in and around the Cannich area.

Local Senior Officer for Highland, Scott Hay, was in Cannich today with the Leader of Highland Council Drew Hendry and chair of the Highland scrutiny committee, councillor Angela MacLean, to witness the arrival of the new appliance.

And Highland’s most senior fire officer took the opportunity to appeal to the community to match the commitment shown by the service in the Cannich area. He is urging local men and women to help protect the communities in which they live from fire by signing up to become retained firefighters.

He said: “This new investment by Scottish Fire and Rescue Service represents a major commitment to the local community here in Cannich and the surrounding area and we are urging men and women who live here to mirror that commitment by considering becoming retained firefighters.

“We need retained firefighters to help protect our communities and we are looking for people to step up to the mark and join the service. Most employers understand the importance of allowing their employees the flexibility they need to carry out their full time jobs as well as meet their fire service commitments.

“Having a retained firefighter working for you will also have tangible benefits for your company, as well as the local community. For example they may have first aid or health and safety skills which will be invaluable. Other skills include team working and the technical skills to use specialist life-saving equipment. Although there is a commitment by employers it should be manageable.

“The system is very flexible and if there are important commitments at work then these will clearly take precedence over staff’s retained roles.”

LSO Hay added: “We are extremely thankful to our retained crews who already do sterling work across the north and to their employers for their understanding and co-operation.

“Retained firefighters display a tremendous amount of commitment within their communities and it is important for the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service to support those already in the role by trying to attract more people to join.”

Leader of The Highland Council Councillor Drew Hendry said: “This investment in new equipment at the retained station in Cannich is very welcome. It’s vitally important that communities in rural Highland are confident that they have the support that they need in a crisis.

“The Council is committed to helping to provide this community support by releasing staff for retained fire fighter duties which is covered by the Council’s special leave policy. I would encourage other employers across the region to do likewise so that more people can volunteer for retained fire fighter roles.”

To become a retained firefighter you should be eligible to work in the UK and be 18 years or over, preferably live within one mile and work within two miles, or work within eight minutes of your nearest station.

You will be available to respond to emergency calls via pager from your home or place of work at any time of the day or night, if you are on call that week. You will also have the permission from your employer to become an RDS firefighter. You’ll also be expected to attend a two and a half hour training session (drill night) one night a week.

You should be available to attend training courses designed to provide you with the basic training needed to start your role as an RDS firefighter. Your ongoing training and development will be provided at your local fire station. Successful candidates will be subject to a Disclosure Scotland criminal record check.

There is also a financial benefit when you join the retained service with an annual retainer starting at £2158, which is split into monthly payments, together with additional payments for every incident and training night you attend.

SFRS is looking for retained firefighters at the following stations in Highland:

Cannich, Bettyhill, Tongue, Scourie, Kinlochbervie, Lochinver, Applecross, Fortrose, Kinlochewe, Drumnadrochit, Foyers, Kilchoan, Mallaig, Raasay, Uig.

9 Mar 2015
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