Chief Officer pays tribute to crews after extreme weather response

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Last week, Scotland faced some of the most difficult and challenging weather conditions as the so-called Beast from the East brought large parts of the country to a standstill.

As blizzards and drifting snow left roads impassable and communities isolated, firefighters worked in tandem with partner agencies and volunteers with specialist vehicles able to overcome the hazardous conditions and reach those in need.

This included offering support and safety advice to hundreds of motorists stranded overnight on the M80.

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Alasdair Hay, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service Chief Officer, paid tribute to the resilience and dedication of crews and volunteers that went above and beyond during these extreme weather conditions to keep people safe and protect communities.

In a statement released to all SFRS staff today, Chief Officer Hay said:

Last week, Scotland experienced unprecedented weather conditions when, for the first time, a RED warning was issued for snow.

This warning brought with it the biggest snowfall in 20 years, cutting winds and freezing temperatures and large parts of the country ground to a halt.

Homes, schools, airports, businesses, road and travel networks were all severely impacted with many advised to stay at home where possible.

Chief Officer

We, however, did not stop.

In a true display of dedication and professionalism that is synonymous with the fire and rescue service, colleagues across Scotland went above and beyond to ensure that we could continue to operate to the very high standards that we always do.

I am aware that many of you walked miles to work in the snow, whilst others stayed on stations after shift to be sure they were available for the next one.

Others volunteered their time - working longer hours to keep the people of Scotland safe. And, as an organisation, we were able to use our resources to assist our emergency service partners.

As ever, I'm extremely proud of how SFRS has operated during this very difficult period. Crews continued to respond to traditional incidents but also did whatever it took to keep people safe. Whether that was volunteering time, handing out blankets to motorists, providing 4x4 services, our teams rallied behind Scotland at its time of need.

I would like to take this opportunity to extend my personal gratitude to each and every one of you that make up the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service. Your professionalism and can-do attitude has been exemplary.

Thank you.

Alasdair Hay
Chief Officer