SFRS confirms appointment of South Lanarkshire's local senior officer

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Area Manager Alan Fairbairn will continue in post having served in a temporary capacity since 2013.

Alan Fairbairn LSO SL (cropped)

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) has appointed its local senior officer for South Lanarkshire.

Area Manager Alan Fairbairn will continue to lead the area’s SFRS team having been officially named in post after serving in a temporary capacity since 2013.

The local senior officer is the dedicated link between the service and South Lanarkshire Council and commands an area with 12 operational fire stations serving both large towns and rural communities.

He said: “We have an excellent team here in South Lanarkshire and I’m delighted to get the chance to continue working with them and our partner agency colleagues.

“This is a complex area – some of our communities are remote while others are part of one of the biggest urban areas in the UK and we’ve got small villages and large towns, various waterways, rural roads and major motorways.

“It means our crews face a wide range of incidents and whether they serve on the wholetime or retained duty system they’re always ready to respond when needed.

“They also do a huge amount of work to prevent incidents from happening in the first place and this relies on having strong and effective partnerships with both our fellow professionals and members of the public.

“As local senior officer I can ensure everyone that we’ll continue to reach out to people who could be at increased risk and do everything we can to prevent tragedies in South Lanarkshire.”

Area Manager Fairbairn joined the fire service in 1991 and was first posted to Clydebank Community Fire Station before serving with frontline crews and in management roles at stations across Greater Glasgow.

He spent three years as an instructor in the use of breathing apparatus and marine firefighting, becoming a member of the service’s offshore response team.

In 2005 he became Strathclyde Fire & Rescue’s head of learning and development, designing training programmes to equip firefighters and commanding officers for the full range of emergencies faced by the modern fire and rescue service. 

He was in charge of Renfrewshire and Inverclyde prior to the launch of SFRS in April 2013, when he assumed the role of local senior officer for South Lanarkshire.

Deputy Assistant Chief Officer Paul Connelly, the head of service delivery for the west of Scotland, said: “Alan has played a crucial role as South Lanarkshire’s local senior officer and I’d like to congratulate him on being confirmed in post.

“He has a wealth of operational, training and leadership experience gained over 24 years, including leading a European research project studying fire service capabilities across the continent.

“Today’s fire service constantly works to prevent emergencies and having acted in post for the past two years means Alan has already developed strong working relationships with South Lanarkshire Council, the police, NHS Lanarkshire and other partners in the area.

“As head of service delivery for the west I’m looking forward to continuing to work with him and my other local senior officers to deliver real success for every community.”