The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service has launched a consultation seeking to gather public opinions on the safe and planned transformation of SFRS to meet modern risks.
The UK’s largest fire and rescue service wants to find out everyone’s views as it prepares to bring in sweeping changes designed to support firefighters to do more to protect Scotland’s communities.
The ‘Your Service … Your Voice’ consultation was launched on February 13 and will run until April 28.
We recently took to the streets and town centres of Scotland – and shoppers in Stirling’s Thistle Centre were only too happy to share their views.
Local woman Catherine McEwan (pictured left, right side), 68, a retiree, said: “These are very different times we live in – you can see it all around you every day and in the news.
“I can see the logic behind the role change and I think they should be paid to suit what they do.
“I think it is very important that people can have their say – I certainly would.”
Her sentiments were echoed by close friend Liz Bannatyne, 72, from Alloa, who added: “It’s obvious this is very important and I’m glad people are being given the chance to give their thoughts.
“Firefighters do a job other people can’t do – I have a lot of respect for them- and I think people should give their two cents.”
Tradesman John Docherty (right), 50, said: “If the risks are different then the job needs to be different, I know they had already been doing some medical roles and I think it makes sense in all honesty.
“As for people having their say, well people will be the first to complain if something happens that they aren’t happy with - so now’s your chance to say something.”
John’s colleague Peter Crawford, 51, from Glasgow, also felt that the role of firefighters had to change if the risks they faced were different.
He added: “You do see it in the news – look at London where the firefighters there didn’t know what they were walking into. They should be trained to handle that kind of thing and paid to suit it. I’d like to have my say in that.”
Ann Graham, (below, left) 75, secretary of Stirling Community Council, said she was well aware of the need for transformation – and fully supported it.
She said: “I have heard and seen a lot from the fire service through the community council and I think that it is right that things need to change.
“You can say that this and that might not happen here in Scotland but the fact is you just don’t know – they need to know how to handle all these different situations.
“I will be encouraging people to take part in the consultation, most certainly.”
Elaine Smith (above right), 75, who is also retired and from Stirling, has a unique insight into the difficult conditions firefighters face, and compared it to the experiences of her son who has fought across the world for the British Army.
She said: “They need to be able to handle whatever comes at them – the things they see and have to do can be very, very hard. They need to be trained and recognised for this.”
To view and take part in the consultation visit: