The recent three storey Moorfield Hotel fire seems to have pushed the Shetland fire service to its limits.
The fire could have been more quickly extinguished and damage limited if the fire service had an aerial apparatus able to reach higher than the available ladders on the pumps to attack the blaze from above.
The Anderson High School and the Gilbert Bain Hospital are one storey taller than the Moorfield and could pose greater risks.
Orkney has a similar situation with the four storey Kirkwall Hotel and three storey Balfour Hospital.
In July 2018, Aberystwyth fire fighters were able to limit fire damage to the three storey Ty Belgrave House Hotel because they had two available aerial appliances, one of which is stationed at Aberystwyth.
Having an aerial appliance stationed in both Shetland and Orkney should be considered.
Christopher McDowall Johnston