We will update this section regularly as we continue to engage with you and listen to your questions and views. Keep checking for the latest questions and answers.


Is this just cuts by another name?

Not at all. 

This is a safe and planned transformation of the way we deliver our service that better meets today’s risks. Transformation helps us avoid cost-driven cuts by re-focusing how we do things. 

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How can you say this isn’t a cuts programme when you are looking at cutting firefighter, station and appliance numbers?

We are proposing a transformation programme.

This is about doing things differently. This is about using our people, infrastructure and equipment more flexibly and efficiently. If we do that, then we can do more with a different set of assets.

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Who is asking you to take on a wider role?

We are in the business of saving lives. We know SFRS is valued by the people of Scotland and we can do so much more to ensure their safety and wellbeing. With transformation we can take on a wider role and remove demand across public services.

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You have a lot of senior officers leaving the service, do you have the capacity and experience to deliver transformation?

Yes. We have strength in depth with highly experienced uniformed and non-uniformed officers, many of whom have any have already proven their ability through the delivery of highly successful reform. In addition, our transformation programme would be underpinned by robust and programme management ensuring there are no single points of failure within project delivery.

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Many fire stations have very few call outs, why do you not just close them to save money?

Once you close a station – particularly in more rural areas - it is difficult to get it back again and you can’t simply create a fire and rescue service when the need arises.

That said, we do have to look at our national footprint – particularly in urban areas - to see where the data tells us we can operate differently i.e. stations with low turn outs, high levels of false alarms and a high concentration of surrounding stations.

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Have you driven all efficiencies out of the Service – what have you outsourced?

We have delivered £52.3m of recurring annual savings by reducing duplication and driving efficiencies through our procurement processes. This saving represents over 17% of the combined budgets of the eight legacy services. We will always look for new and innovative ways to deliver our enabling services.  

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Do you have Scottish Government support?

The Scottish Government’s Fire Framework sets out its expectations for SFRS to pursue the continued transformation of the Service.

The Government has also provided us with additional spending power of more than £15m to support our investment in transformation. This clearly underlines their support for our vision.

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Has the Scottish Government committed to funding a four year transformation programme?

The Scottish Government has not set out a long term funding commitment for SFRS. We will continue to make the case for the right resources to support the four year transformation programme. 

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Do you have FBU support?

Our significant progress to date has been achieved through open and honest partnership with the FBU in Scotland – this is an approach we hope will continue.

Our vision is very much aligned with that of the FBU, but they face difficulties achieving this in other areas of the UK.

In Scotland, we are in the unique position to deliver exactly what they are looking for now – while doing the right thing for firefighters and the public.

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Do you know what the public want?

We exist to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the public. We are their fire and rescue service. We have conducted an independent opinion survey to clearly understand their needs and expectations.

They told us that the take great security from knowing the SFRS is there but also believed we should keep them safe from more than just fires – this wider role is wanted by 89% of those questioned.

Our public consultation further gives the public a voice on the future of their service.

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