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Emergency services / Local fire service to take delivery of three new appliances

New cutting equipment and thermal imaging cameras are also in line for appliances – but there are financial challenges ahead for the service

THREE new fire appliances worth around £500,000 each will be introduced into Shetland in the coming months.

The news was confirmed at a meeting of Shetland’s community safety and resilience and board on Wednesday – but the stations which they will be delivered to was not revealed.

Local senior officer for Shetland, Orkney and the Western Isles Iain Macleod said it would be a “nice Christmas present” for some local stations.

He said new appliances are also designated for Orkney and the Western Isles.

Macleod also told board members that investment is going into new “heavy duty” electric cutting equipment for road accidents, and thermal imaging cameras.

The board heard that in time all Shetland appliances should have this gear.

Macleod said a thermal imaging camera for example would cost around £2,000 to £3,000.

But the meeting also heard of the impending financial challenge on the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service due to the Scottish Government’s spending review.

Macleod said the national fire budget stands to take a hit of between £12 million and £18 million.

On top of this is the price of running the fire service – fuel costs have increased by 60 per cent and electricity by 30 per cent, Macleod said.

However he reassured the board that he is not aware of any threat to the local service in Shetland.

Macleod said the team in Shetland is relatively small – with 14 stations and around 150 staff – and he could not envisage how this model “could be further eroded in order to make savings.”

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