NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Concern at more Aberdeen fire engines stood down

Fire engine

Fresh concerns have been raised over a shortage of fire engine cover in Aberdeen.

It follows confirmation that two more of the city's six full-time fire appliances were stood down this week.

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service said the two appliances were stood down overnight on Monday into Tuesday between 18:00 and 08:00.

There were similar occurrences in the city in recent weeks, raising Fire Brigades Union concern about safety.

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service said appliances had been taken off the run for a number of reasons.

David Farries, deputy assistant chief officer for the North Service Delivery Area, said: "Appliances have recently been taken off the run in Aberdeen city due to a combination of circumstances including providing crews with new and additional specialist training in swift water rescue, rope rescue and driver training.

"I can confirm that one appliance at Altens Community Fire Station and one appliance at Central Community Fire Station were stood down overnight on Monday into Tuesday."

'Seconds matter'

He added: "We continue to recruit wholetime firefighters to protect our communities.

"The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service exists to save lives and continues to attend at every emergency."

Fire Brigades Union North (FBU) area organiser Leon Murray told BBC Scotland: "It's something we're becoming quite accustomed to.

"We need all our fire appliances all the time. When a fire happens it's seconds that matter."

A Scottish government spokesman said: "Provision of fire appliances is an operational matter for the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service.

"Last year the Scottish government increased the overall SFRS operational budget by £21.7m, supporting investment in vital equipment and resources, and have increased the spending capacity by £15.5m in 2018/19."

More on this story