Firefighter spreads cheer online following movie-style welcome home

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Firefighter Kenny McCartney has underlined the importance of laughter in challenging times … after becoming an online star.

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Watch Commander had just finished work at the Service’s headquarters in Cambuslang.

He collected his four-year-old daughter Sophie from nursery and when he got home, he opened the gate to his home in East Kilbride, Lanarkshire – to a superstar welcome.

His fiancee Kerry was standing on the garden sofa, arms outstretched like Kate Winslet welcoming Leonardo DiCaprio - to the theme tune from the Titanic movie.

Kenny’s smile was big enough to launch a thousand ships as he joined in and threw up his arms.

It was all caught on video by eldest daughter Hannah, 14, and appeared on TikTok, Facebook and Twitter.

The dad-of-three, who also has a baby son called Zac, said: “I’d been working on operational documents and in meetings that day and then picked up Sophie. I had an idea something was going on as Hannah is always on the phone taking videos or doing pranks - usually to embarrass me!

“But I was more than happy to play along as it is good to laugh. I just thought, ‘this looks funny, I’ll play along with it’.

“Zac is as old as lockdown. He was born on March 22 and the country went into full lockdown the following day so Kerry has been at home with our baby son since then which of course is challenging.

“But she has been amazing through it all – and this video just sums up her spirit!”

He added: “I think we can all get a bit fed up just now. You’re not seeing family or friends and people’s mental health can suffer in such circumstances. I hope our family managed to spread a little cheer online.”

Kenny has been a firefighter with Scottish Fire and Rescue Service for 12 years. He now works as a Watch Commander in Response and Resilience, a role he has held for three years. He’s also served over two years at West Service Delivery Area Headquarters in Hamilton, Lanarkshire, and was previously based in Renfrewshire.

View Kenny’s Twitter here:


The SFRS has recently launched its own national Mental Health Strategy to ensure staff are provided with the tools and knowledge to better look after their own mental health and to help spot potential signs in others that they may be struggling.

The strategy was drafted by Deputy Assistant Chief Officer John Miller who recently spoke with Prince William about the efforts of emergency service staff to champion mental health.

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