Firefighters praised for vital work
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.’