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High-tech fire engines set for September

The new fire engine with the Conduct equipment on board. Photo: SFRS
Scottish Fire and Rescue Service will carry out driver training in Shetland this week.

TWO new state of the art fire engines are set to come into service in Bixter and Bressay in the third week of September.

Crews at the two stations are already undergoing training to prepare them to use the rapid response units.

Area manager for the Northern and Western Isles Iain Macleod gave the update at Wednesday’s meeting of Shetland’s community safety and resilience board.

He said the islands are the “tip of the spear” as they lead the way with the new vehicles.

They feature ultra high pressure lances which will enable crews to inject a fire suppressant through the wall of a burning building rather than having to enter the building to reach and extinguish the flames.

Macleod said “these can really make a difference” when it comes to fire fighting.

The fire engines are operational with a crew of just four fire fighters.

Members of the meeting also heard that there had been an unusual upsurge in the amount of applications to become retained fire fighters in Fetlar, with seven people putting their name forward.

The island station, which has typically found it hard to recruit, currently only has two crew members on its books.

Macleod said it is hoped that applicants will be able to kick start their training once the current Lerwick fire station at Sea Road has completed its ongoing refurbishment to become a shared space with the ambulance service.

There had been some disquiet among local fire crews over the pooling of resources, with some saying that there had been little consultation with staff.

But Macleod said it is “looking really good” and should be a “great shared facility” once it is ready in September – a view echoed by ambulance service’s Chris Rice.

A report presented at the meeting, which was held at the coastguard headquarters in Lerwick, also revealed that 44 per cent of fire calls received in Shetland in the first quarter of the year related to false alarms.



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