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Coronavirus / Brae fire brigade told to self-isolate after confirmed Covid-19 case

Brae Fire station. © Google 2020

EMERGENCY cover is being put in place for the community in Delting after a confirmed case of Covid-19 forced the Brae fire brigade into self-isolation. 

The Covid-19 case was one of the three added to the Shetland tally on Saturday.

Scottish Fire and Rescue Service’s local senior officer Iain Macleod said: “I can confirm that one serving fire fighter at Brae Fire Station in Shetland has tested positive for COVID-19 following routine testing by another agency.

“The fire fighter had no symptoms and therefore attended essential training with other crew members. The subsequent notification of a positive test has meant that all colleagues who participated in the vital training activity will now comply with guidelines on isolation and testing.

“I would like to take this opportunity to wish the fire fighter in question a safe and speedy recovery.”

The fire service said on Monday that cover for Brae and surrounding communities will be provided from Hillswick and Lerwick until further notice.

Chairman of Delting Community Council Alastair Cooper said the confirmed Covid-19 case highlighted the vulnerability of a small rural community from the disease.

Brae’s two fire engines are set to be deep cleaned later on Monday before one engine will be transferred to Hillswick to allow the fire service there to provide cover for the area 24/7.

The second fire engine will be taken to Lerwick to provide further back-up cover from there.

Macleod said: “We have also instructed specialist contractors to perform a thorough clean of both Brae station and its appliances to mitigate any further spread of the virus.

“Our priority is to keep our staff and communities safe throughout this outbreak and we have plans in place to ensure we can maintain the critical services we provide to our communities.

“I would like to reassure the people of Shetland that we stand ready to provide a robust and resilient response to any emergency that may occur.”

Cooper, who is also chairman of Shetland’s community safety and resilience board, said: “What the fire service has done is sensible in the circumstances, I accept they are utilising the kit as best they can within the workforce that they have.

“However, it is worth to remember that this affects not just the fire men, it also affects businesses and the community at large, as they are retained and not full-time firemen.

“This percolates into the community to the people they are working with and their families. So it goes much wider than just x amount of firemen.”

Meanwhile the number of confirmed cases in Shetland remained unchanged at 60 on Monday.

First minister Nicola Sturgeon said there were 255 new cases (of 6.3 per cent of those tested) across Scotland, and warned that “fast and urgent” measures to combat the virus would “almost certainly” be announced within the next 48 hours.