Spotlight on Orkney's retained firefighters

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Over the next week we will be going behind the uniform, and getting to know some of the dedicated individuals standing on the frontline to protect Orkney's communities. 

RDS Collage

Check in every day for a look at the lives behind the badge and learn more about what it takes, and how you can benefit, from becoming a retained firefighter.

LSO Fraser BurrAnd it is now easier than ever to become a retained firefighter in the Orkney Isles, thanks to a new recruits course.

Retained Duty System (RDS) firefighters no longer have to travel to mainland Scotland to hone their skills – meaning they can stay closer to their families and jobs.

Recruitment of retained firefighters in rural communities such as the Orkney Isles has proven to be a challenge.

However SFRS has been working to eliminate long travel distances for island residents.

Now more people are being encouraged to step up for their communities and learn new skills by becoming a retained firefighter.

Fraser Burr is the Local Senior Officer for the Western Isles, Orkney and Shetland.

He said: “We have listened to the needs of the community.

“These localised training courses should encourage more people to come forwards, providing a service for the community by the community

“By hosting training exercises here in Kirkwall, we have shown that we are working on solutions that are more responsive and flexible to the needs of our rural communities while maintaining their safety and that of our firefighters.

“However we need the communities themselves to step-up.

“We will continue to work closely with community groups and community councils to encourage residents from all walks of life 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 to view the role requirements and see how they can formally apply for a post on the myjobscotland website.

Anyone can arrange a free Home Fire Safety Visit by calling SFRS on the free phone number 0800 073 1999, by texting ‘FIRE’ to 80800 or by filling in a form at