New fire stations

TWO PURPOSE built fire stations were officially opened on the islands of Fair Isle and Whalsay on Thursday.

The £200,000 Fair Isle station will give the retained crew a dedicated building for the first time since it was set up in 1996.

The island received its first dedicated fire appliance in 2002 following a joint initiative by the National Trust for Scotland, who own the island, and Shetland Islands Council.


Chief fire officer Stewart Edgar, fire board convener Andrew Drever and vice-convener Audrey Sinclair all attended the ceremony.

They later travelled to Whalsay to cut the ribbon at the new station on the bonny isle.

The voluntary unit on Whalsay was first housed in a shed on Symbister beach and moved to a purpose built garage in 1986.

The unit was only upgraded to become a retained station in 2005 and its fire fighting capacity improved with the delivery of a full-size fire engine in 2010.

Chief fire officer Edgar said: “We are very pleased with the investment in these two island communities.

“The opening of these new facilities, both of which are the first dedicated fire stations on Fair Isle and Whalsay, will ensure we continue to provide the highest level of community safety and emergency services for these communities.”

Meanwhile the new Scottish fire and rescue service, which becomes operational on 1 April, announced on Thursday that Billy Wilson had been appointed as area manager for the western isles, Orkney and Shetland.