Fire­fight­ers praised for vi­tal work

The Oban Times - - Districts -

LOCHABER fire­fight­ers have been hailed for their un­wa­ver­ing com­mit­ment in pro­tect­ing ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties.

Re­tained Scot­tish Fire and Res­cue Ser­vice (SFRS) crews at Locha­line and Fort Wil­liam met with MSP Annabelle Ewing, deputy chief of­fi­cer Iain Bushell and lo­cal se­nior of­fi­cer John Mac­Don­ald on Tues­day Au­gust 1.

Speak­ing af­ter the visit, Min­is­ter for Com­mu­nity Safety and Le­gal Af­fairs Annabelle Ewing, said: ‘The work done by the re­tained duty sys­tem and vol­un­teer fire­fight­ers is ex­cel­lent and vi­tal in keep­ing our re­mote and ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties safe. Re­tained fire crews are at the very heart of their com­mu­ni­ties, which is so clearly demon­strated here at Locha­line where the school and sta­tion share a cam­pus.’

Locha­line Fire Sta­tion watch man­ager Les­ley Jones leads a nine-strong crew, made up of five women and four men.

Les­ley, a 62-year- old grand­mother who has racked up more than 20 years with the SFRS, said: ‘ We are fire­fight­ers who pro­vide a ser­vice by the com­mu­nity, for the com­mu­nity and work as part of a team. We have drive and ded­i­ca­tion.’

Fort Wil­liam watch man­ager Chris Find­lay has been a fire­fighter since 1988 and has played a lead­ing role in help­ing tackle hun­dreds of in­ci­dents in­clud­ing ma­jor wild­fires.

He added: ‘For many it’s not just a job but a call­ing. In a small com­mu­nity, the peo­ple you help can some­times be peo­ple you know which makes it all the more worth­while.’

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