Senior firefighter appeals to communities to help protect their hometowns

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By Jamie Milligan

Scott Irving Pic 2

 

A senior firefighter is urging the people of Annan and Gretna to step up and protect their hometowns.

Dumfries and Galloway Station Commander Scott Irving is Annan born and bred.

Scott began life as a retained firefighter in 1997, protecting his community.

Having previously worked as a welder and in the care sector, Scott found the retained role played to his strengths.

He is now appealing to others to follow in his footsteps and become retained firefighters with the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service.

Retained firefighters respond to emergencies via an on-call pager system and often balance the role with alternative employment.

Communities the length and breadth of Scotland are protected by retained firefighters.

Scott explained: “Annan is a small town with a population of around 10,000 people, so you know everyone - and everyone knows you as a retained firefighter.

“I found the role appealed to the skills I had, but there was a real sense of doing it for the community as well.

“At the end of the day, it could be your house, it could be your neighbour’s, your friend’s – you just never know.

“This is a national service delivered by local people, for local people.

“I’ve no regrets and would recommend this job to anyone.”

Scott continued: “There’s no doubt it’s a big challenge. The main reason for that is the level of commitment required, but the Service is flexible with what it asks for.

“If you want to be part of a great team, learn new skills and make a difference then this is the job for you.”

Annan and Gretna Fire Stations will host recruitment information sessions this weekend.

According to Scott, the role of the retained firefighter is essential for communities like Gretna and Annan.

He explained: “Gretna, in particular, is a commuter town with people using it as a base to get to and from work.

“The way people live their lives and work has changed, with less people spending all their time close to home.

“The Service realises this and is working to address it, but if we want to continue to deliver a first class service to these communities then we need to get more people through the door.

“The recruitment events give people the opportunity to come along and find out about the role.

“I realise this is a busy time of year for everyone, but I’d urge anyone who’s ever thought about this opportunity to come along and have a chat.

“This is a great job and is a vital service for the local community.”

Annan Fire Station will host an open recruitment session on Saturday between 1pm and 4pm.

Gretna’s info session will take place on Sunday between 11am and 2pm.

For more on for what it takes to become a retained firefighter visit www.firescotland.gov.uk/work-with-us/retained-firefighters.aspx

 

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