New station for Leadhills volunteer crew

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Firefighters protect rural communities on either side of the South Lanarkshire and Dumfries and Galloway boundary.

Leadhills Crew

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) has officially opened the new home for its volunteer crew protecting rural communities on either side of the South Lanarkshire and Dumfries and Galloway boundary.

Leadhills Community Fire Station serves the small village of Leadhills in South Lanarkshire as well as nearby Wanlockhead in Dumfries and Galloway’s Nithsdale area.

Chair of the SFRS Board Pat Watters and Assistant Chief Officer (ACO) Dave Boyle, the director of service delivery for the west of Scotland, officially declared the new station open at a ceremony attended by elected representatives from both authorities.

Mr Watters said: “Rural and remote communities throughout Scotland depend on firefighters who provide an absolutely essential emergency service and it is a great pleasure to unveil the new Leadhills Community Fire Station.

“This new facility is a significant improvement for our volunteer crew based here and it provides them with a modern base of operations.

“We have made clear our commitment to ensuring every community has the fire and rescue resources it needs and this investment in Leadhills shows that promise being delivered for both South Lanarkshire and Dumfries and Galloway.”

The new community fire station is a refurbished single-storey building that was provided to SFRS by landowner Leadhills Estate.

Refurbishment to turn the property into a fire station commenced in January 2013 and the SFRS crew began using it last summer, with improvements continuing until earlier this year.  

ACO Boyle added: “The new Leadhills Community Fire Station is a real asset for our firefighters as it offers them facilities that just weren’t available before.

“Volunteer units are made up of committed men and women who give up their own time to protect their communities and we know they are extremely highly valued by the people they serve.

“Having a working appliance bay, drying area and station office makes a difference to crews and we appreciate Leadhills Estate providing this building for the use of the volunteer unit serving this area.”

Like their colleagues on the wholetime and retained duty systems, the units’ firefighters work closely with fellow responders from other emergency services to maximise the chance of a positive outcome for casualties and others who find themselves in danger.

Area Manager Alan Fairbairn, the SFRS local senior officer for both South Lanarkshire and Dumfries and Galloway, said: “With skills including firefighting, road rescues and emergency trauma care our volunteer units respond to a very wide range of emergencies.

“They have an all-terrain vehicle that functions as a fire appliance but the equipment it carries, including medical items, obviously means it can be a vital resource at other types of incidents.

“Having a working fire station at Leadhills is a great benefit to the team and gives them the best possible base from which to carry out their vital role in both South Lanarkshire and Dumfries and Galloway.”

A spokesperson for Leadhills Estate said: "The Trustees of Leadhills Estate are delighted to be in a position to assist the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service find new premises for the Leadhills community crew.  

"Not only is the new location more suitable to their needs, it also ensures this historic building, right in the heart of the village, will be given a new lease of life.

"The Trustees would like to pay tribute to the fire service for the valuable contribution they make keeping the community safe."