Firefighting just one of the life saving services provided by SFRS

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The national Scottish Fire and Rescue Service builds on a long tradition of rescue

Hydraulic Cutting (cropped)

Since the formation of the Edinburgh Fire Engine Establishment in the aftermath of the devastating 'Great Fire of Edinburgh' in 1824, Scotland's firefighters have been at the frontline in the battle against fire.

However, firefighting is only one service provided by the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service in their work to protect the public. Rescue is integral to its activities, from attending road traffic collisions to recovering people who have fallen into water or become trapped in a building.

All fire appliances carry sophisticated hydraulic equipment that can cut open a damaged vehicle in seconds, whilst line and water rescue crews have specialist equipment and training to save people in danger. 

Our rescue capabilities continue to evolve. The heightened risk of flooding in recent years has led to the acquisition of a large number of submersible pumps that can move water efficiently. Some Scottish Fire and Rescue Service vehicles now have snowplough attachments, so that access to fire stations and other essential services can be maintained in harsh winters.

Many of the rescue activities in which Scottish Fire and Rescue Service crews are involved are major operations and receive extensive coverage, whilst others may seem less noteworthy and would be seen as business as usual call outs for our crews. For example, shortly before 8pm yesterday (Thursday 22nd August), a crew from Livingston were called to rescue a two year old girl who had become trapped in the bathroom. This afternoon (Friday 23rd August), a crew from Tollcross were mobilised to assist an elderly man who had fallen in his home in the Mayfield area of Dalkeith. These small rescue operations, coming to the aid of young and old alike, rarely make the headlines, but they nevertheless show how the prompt response and professionalism of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service can make a difference in someone’s life.