*picture above courtesy of the Daily Record
The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and Police Scotland are going to war - to raise money for the vulnerable and the elderly.
The emergency service partners work closely together on a daily basis in order to keep communities across Scotland safe from harm.
But, for once, they will stand on opposite sides at a tug-o-war match to be staged at the West Lothian Highlands Games on Saturday, 28 May at 2pm.
And it is hoped the fun sporting epic will raise money for the Cyrenians who support the elderly and the vulnerable.
The event was organised thanks to the efforts of firefighter Scott White.
He said: "It will be fun and friendly and we hope to have the full support of our communities.
"However, I should point out that the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service are experts in rope rescue - so Police Scotland could have their work cut out!”
Scott, 44, is a martial arts teacher based at the SFRS station in Bathgate as a retained firefighter.
He came up with the charity fundraiser after carrying out a Home Fire Safety Visit at the home of a vulnerable member of the community.
Dedicated Scott checked and installed smoke detectors and provided safety advice but felt that the resident was in need of further assistance.
He said: "The Fire Service supports vulnerable members of the community through the provision of Home Fire Safety Visits which helps to keep them safe.
"But I wanted to do more and, after initial inquiries, I learned about the Cyrenians charity. The work they do in supporting people to transform their lives is incredible.
"I thought it would be good to help them continue that work through a charity event.
"Firefighters have to be fit and healthy in order to protect the public and so do our Police Scotland partners so it was natural to invite them to compete in this tug-o-war event. We are very grateful to the West Lothian Highlands Games for their support."
*picture below courtesy of the Daily Record
SFRS tug-o-war team from our Bathgate station: Scott White, Gary Barker, Gordie Adams, Sean Stutt, Ryan Yule, Douglas Alan, Austin Cooper and Michael Kean
Constable Chas Ferns of Police Scotland said: "We routinely work side by side with our colleagues in the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service to provide emergency support for our communities.
"So we are really delighted to throw our weight behind this charity event and help them raise some cash for a worthy cause.
"They need to remember though - we're not called the 'strong arm of the law' for nothing!"
A charity spokesman said: “Cyrenians would like to thank Police Scotland and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service for promoting us as beneficiaries of this - sure to be closely-contested - tug-o-war event, and would like to thank them for their own efforts throughout Scotland's communities.
"Cyrenians have two very active services in West Lothian. Our befriending service helps older people who may find themselves isolated and alone and assists them in regaining some independence by re-connecting with their local community.
"The service is currently in urgent need of volunteers.
"Cyrenians also run the Pre-Sync-27 Recovery Hub in Bathgate. The Hub assists individuals in their recovery following addiction."
Alex Linkston is chairman of the West Lothian Highlands Games, staged at Meadow Park in Bathgate.
A fire engine will be there and children and parents can speak to the firefighters.
Alex said: "We are delighted that the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and Police Scotland are staging this contest at our Highland Games.
"We always seek to support our emergency services and our charities wherever possible.
"I wish both teams the very best of luck and I encourage everyone to assist the charity effort on behalf of the Cyrenians so that they can continue their valuable work.”
The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service team are:
- Scott White: 5ft 11", 16st, age 44
- Gary Barker: 6ft 1", 17st, age 47
- Gordie Adams: 6ft 2", 18st, age 33
- Sean Stutt: 5ft 9", 13st, age 29
- Ryan Yule: 6ft 2", 14st, age 31
- Douglas Alan: 5ft 11", 17st, age 54
- Austin “The Cannon” Cooper: 6ft, 16 st, age 34
- Michael Kean: 5ft 6", 12st, age 20
The Police Scotland team are:
- Fergus Middleton: 6ft 2in, 17st, age 38
- Liam Arbuthnott: 5ft 11in, 14st, age 30
- David McGowan: 5ft 10in, 13st, age 32
- Scott Doull: 5ft 8in, 13st, age 29
- Gordon Waters: 5ft 11in, 14st, age 33
- Scott Boyle: 5ft 10in, 14st, age 30
- Stewart Strath: 6ft 3in, 15st, age 42
- Michael Bell: 5ft 10in, 14st, age 35
To arrange a free Home Fire Safety visit contact SFRS freephone number 0800 073 1999, text ‘FIRE’ to 80800 or fill in the form at www.firescotland.gov.uk