Trio of long-serving Perthshire firefighters celebrated
23 September 2020
A hat-trick of long-serving firefighters have been praised for helping to protect their Perthshire community … for a combined century.
Scottish Fire and Rescue Service Watch Commander Colin Paul and Crew Commander Michael Belford have both served the village of Auchterarder for more than 35 years each.
Watch Commander Paul doubles as a local mechanic and is due to retire next month.
Crew Commander Belford is a greenkeeper and put off his retirement to aid his colleagues in the wake of COVID-19.
Firefighter Robin Bain is a self-employed sign writer and has also responded to emergencies in his hometown for more than 30 years.
All three firefighters are part of the SFRS retained duty system and were recently honoured during a socially distanced event at their village station.
The trio have already assisted with proactive recruitment efforts, which has resulted in a number of interviews with prospective candidates.
Retained firefighters protect communities across Scotland by responding to emergencies via an on-call pager system.
Many balance the role with primary employment and family life.
Alan Robertson is the trio's Station Commander.
Paying tribute, Station Commander Robertson said: "All three firefighters have shown total commitment to their local area.
"They all typify the role of the retained firefighter by being there for their community.
"Their commitment has been impeccable and I would like to thank all three firefighters for their service.
"Watch Commander Paul is due to retire next month and Crew Commander Belford was due to have retired already but stayed on once COVID-19 occurred."
Not content with protecting their friends and neighbours for well over three decades, all three firefighters have helped to bolster their station's headcount by carrying out a proactive local recruitment campaign.
Station Commander Robertson added: "They did it all off their own backs.
"We have people coming in for interview as a result of their efforts and it's a fantastic position to be in.
"Once again, the commitment is impeccable."
The SFRS is currently on the look-out for retained firefighters in areas across Scotland.
Retained firefighters must be aged 18 or over, live within five to eight minutes drive of their local station and have the permission of their primary employer before joining the SFRS.
For more on what it takes to join our retained ranks visit
To view current opprtunities visit