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Community / New fire service scheme encourages bikers to donate old helmets

A biker safety event will also be held at the Brae fire station on Saturday to coincide with the Simmer Dim rally

Watch commander Colin Nicolson and firefighter Joel Bradley. Photo: SFRS

A PILOT scheme aimed at motorcyclists is set to be launched in Shetland by the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS).

The scheme is asking bikers to donate their old helmets to fire stations for use in essential casualty care training.

The project will see 28 helmets – between five and eight years old – gifted to Shetland’s stations, where they will be used for helmet removal training.

Manufacturers recommend replacing helmets after a certain period of time to maintain effective protection.

It is hoped that the new scheme not only provides stations with a valuable training aid, but incentivises riders to renew one of the most important items of safety equipment they wear, making them safer in the process.

The scheme will be launched alongside a partnership event at the Brae Community Fire Station on Saturday (22 June) focused on biker safety.

The event, which will run from 9am to 5pm, will coincide with the Simmer Dim Rally, which will see hundreds of bikers descend upon the island this week.

Ewan Anderson, an on-call support watch commander, is leading the trial and is hoping that the scheme could expanded across 2024 into 2025.

“As firefighters, we want our training to be as realistically as we possibly can,” he said.

“The donation of more modern helmet styles helps us prepare for every possible scenario we may encounter at incidents.”

The event is being delivered in partnership with Scottish businesses including the Aberdeen-based Shirlaws, which is offering helmet fittings and is also supporting riders in buying modern helmets to replace donated items.

Anderson added: “We’ve found an amazing partner in Shirlaws, a company that obviously shares our commitment to public safety.

“They been very generous and have donated four brand new helmets in a range of sizes for us to use with our training kit.

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“This maximises our learning and gives our crews the best quality training we can.”

Bikers and non-bikers alike can head along to Brae station on Saturday to learn about the new scheme and learn life-saving skills including helmet removal, CPR and how to use a defibrillator with the Scottish Ambulance Service.

The fire service added: “The event will showcase cutting edge safety equipment with a helmet sizing workshop and a display of new airbag technology which can be fitted in bikers protective clothing and is proven to reduce injury in the event of a crash.

“There will also be motorcycles on display from Triumph and KTM from Shirlaws’ fleet.”

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