Scottish Fire and Rescue Service

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Scottish Fire and Rescue Service
Seirbheis Smàlaidh agus Teasairginn na h-Alba
Scottish Fire and Rescue Service logo.svg
Operational area
CountryScotland
Agency overview
Established1 April 2013 (1 April 2013)
Employees8,281 (2016)
Facilities and equipment
Stations 357
Engines 427 (2021)
Ladders 25 (2021)
Website
www.firescotland.gov.uk OOjs UI icon edit-ltr-progressive.svg

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS; Scottish Gaelic : Seirbheis Smàlaidh agus Teasairginn na h-Alba) is the national fire and rescue service of Scotland. It was formed by the merger of eight regional fire services in the country on 1 April 2013. It thus became the largest fire brigade in the United Kingdom, surpassing the London Fire Brigade. [1]

Contents

Consolidation

After a consultation, [2] the Scottish Government confirmed on 8 September 2011 [3] that a single fire and rescue service would be created in Scotland to replace the eight existing local authority fire and rescue services.

Following further consultation [4] on the detailed operation of the service, the Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Bill was published on 17 January 2012. [5] After scrutiny and debate by the Scottish Parliament, the legislation was approved on 27 June 2012. [6] The Bill duly received royal assent as the Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Act 2012. This Act also created Police Scotland in place of the previous eight regional police forces. The mergers were effective from 1 April 2013. Eight months after the consolidation, an internal report said the reorganisation had not negatively affected operational response. [7]

The eight services that were merged are:

The number of control rooms handling 999 calls was also reduced from eight to three.

The consolidation of regional call centres has reportedly resulted in a number of dispatching errors. For example, a crew from Beauly was sent to a blaze 10 miles away in Dingwall as the dispatcher was allegedly unaware Dingwall had its own fire station. [8]

The service is headquartered in Cambuslang, South Lanarkshire, on the south-eastern outskirts of Glasgow, incorporating a national training centre, opened in January 2013. There are a further three service delivery centres in the east, west and north of the country. [9]

Structure

Scottish Fire and Rescue Service Headquarters, Cambuslang Cambuslang4.jpg
Scottish Fire and Rescue Service Headquarters, Cambuslang

On 16 August 2012, the Scottish Government confirmed the first chief fire officer of the new service would be Alasdair Hay, then acting chief fire officer of Tayside Fire and Rescue Service, following an open recruitment exercise. [10]

Pat Watters, former president of the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities, was also announced as chair of the service, an appointment to run for three years from September 2012. [11]

Members of the SFRS Board appointed in October 2012 were Watters, Bob Benson, James Campbell, Kirsty Darwent, Marieke Dwarshuis, Michael Foxley, Robin Iffla, Bill McQueen, Sid Patten, Neil Pirie, Martin Togneri and Grant Thoms. [12]

Chief officers

Operations

SFRS firefighter douses flames at the Glasgow School of Art fire in May 2014 JMH 5247 2.jpg
SFRS firefighter douses flames at the Glasgow School of Art fire in May 2014

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service attended 25,002 fires in 2014/15. The service also delivers a preventative programme, with 65,343 free home fire safety visits conducted in 2015/16. [13]

As well as fighting fires, the service attends tens of thousands of specialist services such as road traffic collisions, water rescues and flooding incidents. In 2014/15, it attended 10,740 non-fire incidents. [13]

Water rescue

Fair Isle community fire station Fair isle station.jpg
Fair Isle community fire station

After the 2013 merger of SFRS and the abundance of rivers and lochs, it was decided a generalised and revised Water Rescue capability should be established. The result of this is a Mercedes Sprinter van containing water rescue equipment, welfare facilities, and trailering a rigid permanently inflated boat for immediate deployment. Twenty of SFRS' stations have one of these dedicated Water Rescue Units. [14] The Water Rescue Units regularly respond to flooding, difficulty in water, and water-related rescue incidents. [15]

The service is the primary emergency service for the rescue of persons from the River Clyde in Glasgow and works alongside other emergency services during flooding events to ensure the safety of communities and rescue people in difficulty, with specialist swift water rescue teams positioned on major waterways and areas of activity. Firefighters are routinely called out to water, flood and boat rescues. For example, during Storm Frank in December 2015, SFRS received 350 flood-related calls in the space of six days. [16]

Wildfires

In 2015, SFRS were called out to 78 wildfire incidents in total, with over half of those taking place in the north of Scotland. [13]

Medical emergencies

In 2015, a national trial was launched, in partnership with the Scottish Ambulance Service, which has seen firefighters at certain stations receive enhanced CPR training aimed at increasing survival rates for people who suffer out-of-hospital cardiac arrests. [17]

In 2007, Grampian Fire & Rescue Service in partnership with the Scottish Ambulance Service launched two Community First Responder Vehicles at Braemar and Maud [18] fire stations, firefighters at these specific stations trained at First Responder levels can be pagered by the North SDA on request of the Scottish Ambulance Service.

Line rescue

Line or rope rescue is a type of technical rescue involving the use of ropes, harness, anchoring and hauling devices to assist rescues at height or below ground level at urban and structural locations. While many crews are trained to a safe working at height (SWAH) standard, line rescue crews are trained to a more advanced capacity to deal with more complex technical rescues at the likes of open structures, utilising horizontal and vertical stretcher lowering and raising.

Four stations contain these Line Rescue Units (LRU), strategically placed across the country in Altens (Aberdeen), Lochgelly, Tollcross (Edinburgh), and East Kilbride. [14]

Fire stations

Currently the Scottish Fire & Rescue Service operate 356 fire stations throughout Scotland. Scotland's fire stations are crewed in six different ways:

Northern Service Delivery Area

The Northern Service Delivery Area incorporates all of the fire stations of the former fire & rescue services of Grampian (GFRS), Highlands & Islands (H&IFRS) and Tayside (TFRS). It has 1.2 million residents and operates 164 fire stations. [19] The Northern Service Delivery Area headquarters is located at Dyce fire station on the outskirts of the city of Aberdeen. For ease of operations and multi-agency interaction, the Service Delivery Area is further sub-divided into smaller Local Service Areas structured in line with local councils; they are:

East Service Delivery Area

The East Service Delivery Area incorporates fire stations of the former Central Scotland Fire & Rescue Service (CSFRS), Fife Fire & Rescue Service (FFRS) and Lothian & Borders Fire & Rescue Service (L&BFRS). It has 1.6 million residents and operates 65 fire stations. [20] The East Delivery Service Area Headquarters are located at Newbridge, to the west of Edinburgh. The facilities at Newbridge also house the workshops and Asset Resource Centre. In 2020, a new state of the art training facility was opened at Newbridge, which replaced the former one at Thornton, in Fife. For ease of operations and multi-agency interaction, the Service Delivery Area is further sub-divided into smaller Local Service Areas structured in line with local councils; they are:

Western Service Delivery Area

The Western Service Delivery Area incorporates all the fire stations of both the former Dumfries & Galloway Fire and Rescue Service (D&GFRS) and Strathclyde Fire & Rescue (SFR). It has 2.4 million residents and operates 127 fire stations. [21] The Western Service Delivery Area headquarters is located at Hamilton Fire Station to the east of Glasgow. For ease of operations and multi-agency interaction, the Service Delivery Area is further sub-divided into smaller Local Service Areas structured in line with local councils; they are:

National Training Centre

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service National Training Centre opened in January 2013. The facility in Cambuslang features a mock town with realistic motorways, railway tracks and buildings, including a multi-storey tenement structure. [22]

See also

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Subdivisions of Scotland</span> Present or former administrative subdivisions of Scotland

For local government purposes, Scotland is divided into 32 areas designated as "council areas", which are all governed by single-tier authorities designated as "councils". They have the option under the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1997 of being known as a "comhairle" when opting for a Gaelic name; only Comhairle nan Eilean Siar has chosen this option, whereas the Highland Council has adopted its Gaelic form alongside its English equivalent informally.

The Highlands & Islands Fire & Rescue Service was the statutory fire and rescue service for northern Scotland, covering the council areas of Highland, Orkney, Shetland, and the Western Isles, and so covering a major part of the Highlands and Islands area. It was the fire service covering the largest geographical area in the United Kingdom, and had its headquarters in the city of Inverness. It was established in 1975 and was amalgamated into the single Scottish Fire and Rescue Service in 2013.

Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service is the fire and rescue service for the ceremonial county of Bedfordshire in England, consisting of the unitary authorities of Bedford, Central Bedfordshire, and Luton.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Essex County Fire and Rescue Service</span> Regional fire and rescue service in England

Essex County Fire and Rescue Service (ECFRS) is the statutory fire and rescue service for the county of Essex in the east of England, and is one of the largest fire services in the country, covering an area of 1,338 square miles (3,470 km2) and a population of over 1.7 million people.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Fife Fire and Rescue Service</span>

Fife Fire and Rescue Service was the statutory fire and rescue service for the area of Fife, Scotland. It was amalgamated into the single Scottish Fire and Rescue Service in 2013.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Dumfries and Galloway Fire and Rescue Service</span>

Dumfries and Galloway Fire and Rescue Service was the statutory fire and rescue service for the area of Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland. It was amalgamated into the single Scottish Fire and Rescue Service in 2013.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Strathclyde Fire and Rescue Service</span>

Strathclyde Fire & Rescue was, between 1975 and 2013, the statutory fire and rescue service for the area of Strathclyde, Scotland. It was the largest fire and rescue service in Scotland, and one of the largest in Europe. Its territory ranged from the densely populated Glasgow to remote rural and island communities. It was amalgamated into the single Scottish Fire and Rescue Service in April 2013.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue Service</span>

Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue Service was a Local Authority fire and rescue service covering an area of 2,500 square miles (6,500 km2) of south east Scotland, and serving a total population of 890,000. It was amalgamated into the single Scottish Fire and Rescue Service in April 2013.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Grampian Fire and Rescue Service</span>

Grampian Fire and Rescue Service was the statutory fire and rescue service for the area of Grampian, Scotland from 1975 until 2013. It was amalgamated into the single Scottish Fire and Rescue Service in April 2013. The service provided emergency cover for residential areas, as well as providing it for a local Industrial harbour, oil and gas terminals and a commonly used heliport.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Central Scotland Fire and Rescue Service</span>

Central Scotland Fire and Rescue Service was the statutory fire and rescue service for the area of Central Scotland, Scotland between 1975 and 2013. It was amalgamated into the single Scottish Fire and Rescue Service in 2013.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tayside Fire and Rescue Service</span>

Tayside Fire and Rescue Service was, between 1975 and 2013, the statutory fire and rescue service for the area of Tayside in Scotland. It was amalgamated into the single Scottish Fire and Rescue Service in 2013.

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service</span> Statutory fire and rescue service

Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service (NFRS) is the statutory fire and rescue service for the county of Norfolk in the east of England. The county consists of around 870,100 people, covering the 4th largest area in England with 2,074 square miles including 200 miles of inland waterways, 90 miles of coastline and 6,125 miles of roads. The county city is Norwich with other major towns including Great Yarmouth, King's Lynn and Thetford. Norfolk has one of the 20 Urban Search and Rescue teams across England and Wales which were set up in response to the 9/11 attacks. The teams, including Norfolk, have the capacity to deal with two simultaneous incidents across the UK.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue Service</span> Fire and rescue service of England

Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue (LFR) is the statutory fire and rescue service serving the non-metropolitan county of Lincolnshire in the East Midlands Region of England. This does not include North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire, which are covered by Humberside Fire and Rescue Service.

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service</span>

Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) is the statutory fire and rescue service covering the county of Suffolk in East Anglia, England. It was formed in 1948 as the Suffolk & Ipswich Fire Service, before changing after the 1974 Local Government Review to 'Suffolk Fire Service'. Following the 2004 Fire & Rescue Services Act, the service name was changed to Suffolk Fire & Rescue Service to better reflect its role. Suffolk has a population of 760,556 and covers 1,466 square miles (3,800 km2). The county town is Ipswich with other major towns including Lowestoft, Bury St-Edmunds, Felixstowe and Newmarket.

The Scottish Fire Service College, later known as the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service College Gullane, was a training facility located in East Lothian that operated from 1954 to 2015. A former hotel building, it was used for the initial training for new recruits from across Scotland and also for other specialist training. The facility at Gullane closed in 2015, shortly after the eight separate Scottish fire services merged in April 2013 to form the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS), and a new national specialist training centre opened in Cambuslang.

References

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  4. "Research report on consultation". Scottish Government. 16 December 2011.
  5. "Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Bill". Scottish Government. 17 January 2012.
  6. "Police and Fire Reform". Scottish Government. 27 June 2012.
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  8. "All at sea". Private Eye . London: Pressdram Ltd. 10 February 2017.
  9. "Your Area". Government of the United Kingdom. Retrieved 6 January 2017. three service delivery HQs
  10. "Alasdair Hay named as new chief for merged Scottish fire service". BBC News. 16 August 2012.
  11. "First new Police Authority and Fire Service chairmen appointed". BBC News. 31 August 2012.
  12. "Scottish Fire and Rescue Service" (Press release). Scottish Government. 17 October 2012. Retrieved 19 April 2012.
  13. 1 2 3 "Fire & Rescue Statistics 2014-15" (PDF). 15 December 2015. Retrieved 19 April 2016.
  14. 1 2 "Review of Specialist Equipment" (PDF). scottishborders.moderngov.co.uk. 8 October 2014.
  15. "Water Safety".
  16. Hannan, Martin (6 January 2016). "Fire crews worked 'flat out' after the flood devastation". The National . Retrieved 19 April 2016.
  17. "Firefighters to respond to cardiac arrest cases". BBC News. 29 October 2015.
  18. "Enhanced Medical Role for Fire and Rescue Service | Scottish Government". www.wired-gov.net. Retrieved 7 March 2022.
  19. "North". Scottish Fire and Rescue Service Website. Retrieved 15 December 2022.
  20. "East". Scottish Fire and Rescue Service Website. Retrieved 15 December 2022.
  21. "West". Scottish Fire and Rescue Service Website. Retrieved 15 December 2022.
  22. "New fire training centre simulates burning buildings and train crashes". STV News . 25 January 2013. Archived from the original on 9 September 2017. Retrieved 19 April 2016.