New opportunities for rural firefighters
Rescue service will appoint two posts in theTrossachs
One of Scotland’s first full time rural firefighters will take up post in the Trossachs early in the new year - and could spark the reestablishment of local fire cadet units.
The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service is appointing 50-60 rural full-time posts over the near three years.
New staff will work alongside retained and volunteer firefighters in rural communities.
Their responsibilities will include training and support for colleagues, prevention and protection work in communities, and the creation and delivery of cadet schemes.
Two of the positions - described as “high value, well paid and skilled” will be introduced in Stirling to cover the Trossachs area and the first has already been allocated, with the second expected to be introduced next year.
At a meeting of Stirling Council’s public safety committee recently, Scottish Fire and Rescue’s senior officer for Stirling and Clackmannanshire Roddie Keith said: “In the first wave we have successfully recruited one for north of the Trossachs including Killin, Tyndrum, Crianlarich and Callander.
“The successful candidate will be selected, trained and in position by January/February and will be a fantastic addition to our structure and the way we work and provide a single point of contact for several retained fire stations.
“We are really looking forward to that provision being in place.
“This new post will provide resilience for our operational response and support for existing crews. It will also be a first point of contact for partnership working in the area covered.”
Mr Roddie said there was also excitement about the reintroduction of cadet schemes to the SFRS.
“The cadets were a great asset for so many reasons, providing activities and benefits for children and young people, and helping with recruitment and education. This gives us the potential for great opportunities.
“Part of the remit of the RFTP post is setting up cadet units. The SFRS is still working on how cadet units will work.”
The committee heard that the SFRS board would be looking at a number of options regarding cadets including age range, how they would be delivered and where in Scotland the units might be established.
Asked by Councillor Graham Lambie if there was hope that the former Balfron Fire Cadets unit could be reestablished, Mr Keith said: “I am very aware there was a cadet scheme in Balfron and also that Balfron has one of the area’s major high schools.
“This would make them a strong candidate for a cadet unit but we will have to wait for further details.”
More than 60 youngsters, including in Balfron and Tillicoultry, were affected when the then area fire board effectively closed the cadet scheme in 2009.
In its place, fire service chiefs introduced a different type of project, based in Falkirk and aligned with the National Young Firefighters scheme.
The move caused a political row and a last ditch attempt to save the set up from being scrapped failed.