Lewis Macdonald : Fire Engines “off the run” 340 times in 305 days
26 September 2018
Shock new figures obtained under freedom of information laws have revealed that Fire Engines in Aberdeen have been “off the run” 340 times in 305 days.
North East Labour MSP Lewis Macdonald has written to the Chief Fire Officer Alasdair Hay to raise his concerns after the figures showed that 81% of these incidents were due to staff shortages - more than anywhere else in Scotland.
The Aberdeen figures compare to 68% in Edinburgh, 49% in Glasgow and 44% in Tayside.
Lewis Macdonald said:
“These figures show the real impact of the Scottish Government’s drive toward centralisation of emergency services.
"It’s particularly concerning to find that more fire engines have been off the run here due to shortages of firefighters, than anywhere else in Scotland.
“When a fire happens every second can count, so it’s vital that when fire engines are needed there is no undue delay.
“When there are not enough fire engines in Aberdeen vehicles are pulled in from the surrounding rural areas.
"In some cases, fire engines have come all the way from Dundee or Inverness.
“The firefighters trade union have rightly asked the question: What will happen if there are two major incidents in the North of Scotland at the same time?
“I am calling for a meeting with senior management to find out what they are doing to address these issues, so that the safety of firefighters and the communities they serve is not compromised.”