SFRS celebrates five years of protecting Scotland's communities

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Chief Officer Alasdair Hay and Board Chair Kirsty Darwent pay tribute to dedicated staff

_FZR0168 CO With 2 Crew Outside Mid Shot Small

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service family has been hailed as “amazing and committed” - as the national organisation marks its fifth birthday.

The 8000-strong team of frontline crews, firefighters control and professional support staff has worked tirelessly to keep communities safe since the Service launched on April 1, 2013.

Fifth Birthday Tollcross White Watch

SFRS has responded to 350,000 incidents since then - including water rescue and out of hospital cardiac arrest.

Dedicated community action teams and firefighters have also carried out vital prevention efforts including 335,000 home safety visits.

And the unwavering commitment of SFRS personnel has been marked as the Service turns five-years-old today (Sunday, April 1).

Andrew Fenton OC Tollcross

Chief Officer Alasdair Hay said: “This is a major milestone for the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service.

“Over the course of these five short years, we have achieved so much and there is no doubt whatsoever that this is down to our amazing and committed staff.

“I would like to thank them for their unstinting dedication in continuing to protect communities as we brought together eight legacies into the truly outstanding national service we see before us today.”

Richard Bill And John 33 (003)The SFRS has also invested millions of pounds in firefighter and community safety.

This includes a £2.5m state-of-the-art North Operations Control and the £2.7m refurbishment of Stornoway fire station which now has a new training facility.

And the number of water rescue teams has increased from 15 to 20, including at Oban and Dumfries.

An urban search and rescue training facility is also available for firefighters to hone their techniques at the National Training Centre at Cambuslang, with SFRS training colleges located across Inverness, Perth, Portlethen and Thornton.

A new ‘Safe and Well’ house at Cambuslang is also assisting firefighters to spot signs of danger and provide enhanced support to the elderly and the vulnerable during home safety visits.

The SFRS is also seeking feedback from the public through its ‘Your Service … Your Voice’ consultation as it proposes to transform by training and equipping firefighters to respond to severe flooding and terrorism, and assist an elderly population increasingly calling on support to stay safe.

Claire Shaw NewbridgeKirsty Darwent is Chair of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service Board.

She said: “Our commitment to firefighter safety and community safety is clear, with a solid footprint now established across the whole of Scotland.

“Taking all this investment and our achievements together, we now have a strong foundation in place to look to the future and how we can do so much more for our communities.

“Thanks to prevention efforts, fires have gone down - and that provides us with a standing capacity to support our growing elderly population to stay safe but also the ability to respond to severe flooding and terrorism if required.

“We want to lead the way in the public sector. We can lead the way 

in the public sector – and we absolutely should lead the way in the public sector.

“I am so very proud to lead this amazing organisation.”