04 September 2014

Firefighters at Galashiels fire station have reacted angrily to the announcement that the number of officers will be cut from 44 down to 28.

They have warned the Border Telegraph that the move “will put lives at risk”, as there will no longer be a dedicated crew for the Incident Support Unit and water rescue teams will be cut from six to four.

Speaking to the local newspaper, a firefighter based at the fire station said: “There are a lot of safety issues which are being overlooked.

“It goes against guidelines to only have four trained firefighters involved in a water rescue – we are told that if more trained firefighters are required we would have to wait until they were sent down from Edinburgh or Bathgate.

“If we try to carry out a rescue when there isn’t enough of us we would end up in trouble – if the police jumped in to try and help they could end up in trouble and in danger if they hadn’t been trained.”

The affected officers will be offered positions at other stations in Edinburgh or Hawick.

Source: Border Telegraph

In a bid to remove potential fire hazards, commercial buildings and non-domestic premises in Scotland are already forced to carry out a fire safety risk assessment under the Fire (Scotland) Act 2005, in conjunction with the Fire Safety (Scotland) Regulations 2006, if the assessment is thought to have been carried out to an insufficient extent, the enforcing authority has the power to prosecute the Dutyholder.