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Councillors show appreciation of emergency services after challenging summer

Lerwick Town Hall. Photo: Shetland News
Lerwick Town Hall. Photo: Shetland News

THE WORK of Shetland’s emergency services over the summer has been praised following an “exceptional” week at the end of July which included two high profile incidents.

Councillors spoke out in praise of the services’ efforts at a meeting of Shetland’s community safety and resilience board on Tuesday.

A woman was found dead in Lerwick in the early hours of 30 July, leading to two people later being charged with murder, while on the same day there was a fatal gas explosion at a house in Brae.

Shetland Islands Council convener Malcolm Bell, formerly Shetland’s area commander with the police force, first paid tribute to the work of his old employers.

“I think it’s worth recording our appreciation of the police for the work they have done over the summer, particularly at the end of July,” he said.

“We are very, very fortunate to have a police force based locally who can handle it.”

Bell, however, added that having the support of Police Scotland staff from the mainland was also “really valuable”.

Board chairman councillor Alastair Cooper also paid tribute to the officers based locally.

“It is important that we were able to handle it and we had the ability to handle it until the troops arrived,” he said.

Councillor Allison Duncan said it was appropriate for the board to endorse the comments from Bell.

Ambulance team leader Angus Galbraith, meanwhile, said there was “quite a bit of follow up work” like welfare checks that his service had to carry out in relation to the incidents.

Bell added it was right to extend his earlier remarks to the ambulance and fire services.

“All of the emergency services have the support of the community,” he said.