Firefighters visit more than 100 Orkney homes

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LSO Fraser Burr has called for members of the public to become Retained Duty System (RDS) firefighters

Firefighters have visited more than 100 Orkney residents since the beginning of the year to ensure they are living safely within their homes.

Dedicated crews carried out a total of 105 Home Fire Safety Visits (HFSV) where they checked or installed smoke detectors and provided advice on what to do in the event of an emergency.

More than 80 of these visits were at the homes of vulnerable residents who require support.

The figures were revealed in a report to Orkney Island Council on Tuesday, April 25 by Local Senior Officer Fraser Burr.

LSO Burr said: “While the continued drop in accidental dwelling fires is welcome, we will continue to actively encourage residents to have a free Home Fire Safety Visits to further reduce the potential for fire within the home.”

Firefighters installed 30 smoke detectors during the 105 visits. LSO Burr added: “Smoke detectors can and do save lives by alerting people to the presence of smoke and flames at an early stage, giving them vital time to get to a place of safety and call the emergency services.”

Anyone seeking to arrange a free Home Fire Safety Visit can contact SFRS on the freephone number 0800 073 1999, by texting ‘FIRE’ to 80800 or by filling in a form at www.firescotland.gov.uk

Speaking after the meeting, LSO Burr repeated his call for members of the public to become Retained Duty System (RDS) firefighters.

A total of 16 new applicants have stepped up and are at varying stages of the recruitment process to become RDS firefighters at a number of Orkney stations, including St Margaret’s Hope, Hoy, Kirkwall and Rousay.

Additionally, the SFRS will be hosting its first ever initial recruits course in Kirkwall as it is takes steps to make it easier for applicants to go through the recruitment process in remote areas.

LSO Burr said: “The response to a robust local recruitment drive has been most positive however there have been challenges, particularly in relation to the Island of Hoy which still has only four crew members. 

"We are now looking towards future solutions that are more responsive and more flexible to the needs of our rural communities while maintaining community and firefighter safety.

“But, until then, we will continue to work closely with community groups and community councils to encourage members of the community to come forward.

“Those who become retained firefighters are given a fantastic opportunity to broaden their horizons by learning new skills and working as part of a team.”

Anyone interested in becoming an RDS Firefighter can visit www.firescotland.gov.uk/work-with-us to view the role requirements and see how they can formally apply for a post on the myjobscotland website.

HFSV

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