Deputy Chief Officer responds to FBU claims in The Herald
04 March 2018
Deputy Chief Officer Bushell says the SFRS will always have "the right resources in the right place at the right time".
The Herald newspaper has today written an article entitled 'Firefighters leader says cuts and a "postcode lottery" has led to deaths'.
Here is our full statement:
Iain Bushell is Deputy Chief Officer for the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service.
He said: "It is thoroughly disappointing to see the outstanding efforts of our firefighters overlooked yet again as they continue to work through unprecedented weather conditions to protect communities.
"As any fire service professional will know, there is no 'postcode lottery'.
"National response times are not a meaningful measure in Scotland because our country includes large inner cities as well as diverse, rural and remote communities.
"The time to incident in Scotland has increased by around just 36 seconds over the past four years.
"But we are never complacent and that is why the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service is proposing to transform to allow us to enhance both the weight and time of response.
"Our firefighters have worked tirelessly to stop fires from occurring in the first place with the total number of fire-related fatalities for 2016-17 decreasing by more than half on the 111 recorded in 1999-2000. The total number of fires has also reduced by 40 per cent compared to 10 years ago.
"The claim that overtime is being used excessively is also untrue. In the past year, our wholetime firefighters worked, on average, one hour overtime per week.
"The people of Scotland can be assured that we always have the right resources in the right place at the right time."