New fire chief for Shetland, Orkney and Western Isles

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Local Senior Officer Fraser Burr takes over from recently retired LSO Billy Wilson

LSO Fraser Burr

A new fire chief has been appointed for the Orkney, Shetland and Western Isles.

Fraser Burr formally took over the reins as Local Senior Officer (LSO) for the major Scottish islands at the end of last week.

The experienced firefighter is looking forward to building upon the strong foundations laid by predecessor Billy Wilson.

And he has vowed that he will deliver on behalf of communities.

The LSO said: “I am very enthusiastic about working with local people – because they absolutely need to sit at the heart of our efforts.

“The important thing is that our communities are left in no doubt that we are working tirelessly to protect them.”

He added: “To be honest, I have not stopped smiling since my appointment because I am working to help protect one of the most beautiful areas of Scotland.

“The islands are stunning, each in their own unique way - and I am fully aware that they each have their own unique needs.”

His appointment comes shortly after a visit by Cabinet Secretary Michael Matheson in July.

Mr Matheson was given a glimpse of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service’s new purpose-built training centre at Stornoway Airport.

He was welcomed to the new facility by Chief Officer Alasdair Hay and Chair of the Board Pat Watters.

Meanwhile, a multi-million upgrade of Stornoway Fire Station is underway.

And in June, the SFRS sealed a partnership with Highlands and Islands Airport Limited (HIAL).

The move will see firefighters at HIAL airports across Barra, Islay and Tiree called on to assist SFRS crews dealing with breaking emergencies close to those airstrips.

And, in turn, SFRS crews can be drafted in to support airport fire crews in the event of unforeseen circumstances or any major incidents at the HIAL airports.

Mr Burr welcomed the investment and told how partnership working is crucial in achieving his aims.

He said: “There can be no doubt about the commitment of our national service to protecting people here and across the diverse communities throughout the whole of Scotland.

“This is highlighted both through the recent major investment as well as some very solid partnership working to enhance protection even further at times of emergency.

“I'd like to pay tribute to those foundations laid by my predecessor Billy Wilson.

“I will be continuing to link up with new partners and building on existing partnerships, looking at how we can contribute more for the benefit of our communities.”

He added: “Prevention of fire is a key focus of the service - but we'll be looking at new ways in how we can broaden our service to consider how we can work to prevent other types of harm.”

The married dad-of-two and keen rugby coach has had an extensive career.

He joined the service in 1988 before rising to become a Group Manager and Head of Community Safety.

Mr Burr was then appointed Prevention and Protection Regional Coordinator, within the newly formed Scottish Fire and Rescue Service.

And he led the Research and Development Department as Area Manager within Asset Management before being appointed LSO.


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