Emergency services / False alarms continue to keep fire fighters busy

AROUND three quarters of fire call-outs in Shetland last year were related to false alarms.

A total of 91 incidents were attended by crews in the 2018/19 financial year, but 75 of these were false alarms.

The figures were revealed at Wednesday’s community safety and resilience board meeting.

Shetland group manager Matt Mason said schools and NHS buildings were among the main offenders when it came to automated fire alarms.


He confirmed that a review is underway on the number of fire appliances that attend certain automatic fire alarms in a bid to reduce the amount of unnecessary blue light journeys.

“Scottish Fire and Rescue Service recognises that high levels of UFAS [unwanted fire alarm signals] can have a significant impact on our staff and their day-to-day employers,” Mason wrote in a report presented to members.

“Evidence suggests that UFAS also has a detrimental impact on businesses and the economy.”

Mason, meanwhile, also revealed that the local fire service has 33 potential new recruits following a recent campaign.

Two awareness sessions were held in Lerwick and Brace in March, while a female-only recruitment event was held in the town in April.

“We recruit about 60 per cent of people that apply,” Mason added.

Fetlar, which only had two retained fire fighters on its books in March, has had four applicants, while Lerwick has had nine and Brae five.