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Emergency services / Fire service says no plans at this stage for height appliance

The call for equipment to allow firefighters to reach greater heights was made after the Moorfield Hotel blaze in late July

The Moorfield Hotel fire. Photo: Georgia Smith/Shetland News

THERE are no plans to introduce a height appliance into the local fire service following the Moorfield Hotel blaze – but the situation remains under constant review.

A call was made in a letter to Shetland News this week that an aerial appliance – a crane-like extension – should be brought to the isles following the Moorfield incident in Brae in which the hotel burned to the ground.

Christopher Johnston said he believed the fire could have been extinguished more quickly if an aerial apparatus was used as it would allow crew to reach greater heights.

An example of a height appliance. Photo: Scottish Fire and Rescue Service

“The Anderson High School and the Gilbert Bain Hospital are one storey taller than the Moorfield and could pose greater risks,” he added.

In response area commander Iain Macleod, who is the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service’s [SFRS] local senior officer for the Western Isles, Orkney and Shetland, said the situation was always under review – especially following challenging fires like the Moorfield Hotel.

But he said there were no formal plans to introduce a height appliance at this stage.

“The SFRS considers the risk profile of every community within Scotland, including the make up and density of buildings and population,” Macleod said.

“SFRS then provides the appropriate levels of equipment and personnel based on that analysis.

“There are currently no plans to introduce a height appliance into Shetland at this time, though these matters are under constant review, particularly following incidents such as that witnessed in Shetland last week.”