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Emergency services / Five new firefighters join the ranks

Back row: station commander Jim Riggins, watch commander Davie Lang, firefighter (FF) Guillermo Rotolo, FF Mark Dennis, FF Kieran Fraser, watch commander Alan Edwards. Front Row: FF Gary Laurenson and FF Graham Willmore. Photo: Dave Donaldson

THE SCOTTISH Fire and Rescue Service has welcomed its newest firefighters to the Shetland service.

The five new firefighters will take up posts in Bixter, Fair Isle and Scalloway following completion of an initial fire recruit course.

On call firefighters help to provide a vital emergency fire and rescue service to their local communities, 24 hours a day.

However, the role of an on call firefighter is not a full-time role.

They report to the community fire station to respond to an emergency call-out, from their home or their primary place of work, during their agreed on-call hours.

The news of five new recruits will be a boost given that there have been challenges in the past with staffing numbers at certain stations.

Trainees during an exercise at the Lerwick fire station. Photo: Dave Donaldson

Figures for July to September 2023 showed that the Scalloway station for example had 21 per cent availability, with five crew, and Bixter 13.27 per cent with four crew members.

However some stations such as Sandwick, Unst and Whalsay had near 100 per cent availability during this period.

Station commander James Riggans said: “If you are looking for a new challenge and feel like you want to become part of our team, we are always recruiting on-call staff across Shetland.

“The role is very varied, and we train our staff to respond to all types of emergency situations that we may encounter across the isles.

“They have started a journey into a hugely rewarding career and will continue to develop these skills whilst learning new ones.”

Local senior officer Scott Gibson added: “I am absolutely delighted to see the latest cohort of trainees successfully pass their initial training to become on-call firefighters within their local communities.

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“The commitment and dedication they have shown to achieve this standard and learn the skills required to help those when they need it most will prove to be a huge benefit across Shetland.

“We are always on the lookout for motivated individuals to join the service who are looking to be part of the team and provide an essential service in their local area.

“Congratulations again to them all and I look forward to welcoming them to Scottish Fire and Rescue Service in Shetland.”

For more information or to apply people can visit their local station or visit the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service website.

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