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Assurances over Scottish Fire and Rescue Service cover for Assynt amid recruitment push

By Caroline McMorran

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A NORTH Highland fire unit is “off the run”, a community stalwart has said.

Liam Taylor, chairman of Assynt Community Council, told colleagues at their meeting last month that a member of the fire crew had retired, meaning there were now too few local crew members to enable the fire engine to leave the station.

New recruits are on track to join the fire unit at Assynt.
New recruits are on track to join the fire unit at Assynt.

The community council has previously urged Scottish Fire and Rescue Service to do more to recruit firefighters in its area.

Mr Taylor said he had met with Scottish Fire and Rescue Service station commander Aldene Woodward.

“There are people who have been approved and who will be going to training,” said Mr Taylor. “Hopefully by October or November, the truck should be back on the run.”

Scottish Fire and Rescue Service senior officer for Highland Derek Wilson said: “Retained crewing gaps affecting Lochinver Fire Station are being addressed with a combination of bringing in watch commanders from other locations to provide flexible cover when required as well as a local recruitment drive to boost staff numbers.

“The community will be fully protected through our robust strategic planning which ensures cover is maintained at all times and every emergency is attended.”

He added: “There’s no such thing as an average firefighter so anyone living locally who is interested in becoming a retained on-call firefighter contact the local station or apply via the My Job Scotland website.

“We want to reach out to diverse groups to consider a career with SFRS and also employers who feel this is something their staff and their business could benefit from.

“We will continue to provide home fire safety advice, as part of our national ‘Make the Call’ campaign, to help keep the community safe and reduce the risk of fires occurring in the first place.”

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