Firefighters bang the drum to raise money for charity

Five firefighters have released a charity song to bang the drum about their work in a remote community in Scotland.

The crew at Dunvegan Community Fire Station on the Isle of Skye have recorded "Things Are Hotting Up" as part of a community album raising funds for charity Alzheimer Scotland.

The song and accompanying music video offer a humorous look at their day to day lives. It was the idea of John Shurmer-Smith, a former international touring musician who now balances life as on call firefighter with supporting local community arts projects.

John, better known by his stage name Louis Barabbas, said: "Though the project was a lot of fun, the idea was borne out of quite a challenging situation, namely on call crew shortages. We’re always looking for ways of promoting the work we do in an engaging way.

“In many ways, being part of a fire crew feels a lot like being in a band again."

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) is calling on people from all backgrounds and communities across Scotland to consider a career as an on call firefighter.

John added: “There’s maybe a sense the image of firefighters is quite stoic, quite macho. But my experience is anything but, it’s a community job, it’s about caring for people and it couldn’t be more human."

Like fellow on call firefighters across Scotland, the Dunvegan crew balance their emergency response role with other employment and family life. They respond to 999 calls via pagers to support their neighbours in times of need.

Station Commander Karla Stevenson said: "I’m very proud of John and the Dunvegan crew for coming up with such an imaginative way to promote the talent and diversity of on call firefighters. It was a privilege to play a small part in this.

"Our crews, especially on call personnel, are so vital to island communities like Skye and this video is a perfect example of our community involvement."

John is joined in the crew at Dunvegan by Watch Commander Alasdair Maclean, Crew Commanders Miriam Ascher and Scott Maclucas-Paton and Firefighter Iain MacPhie.

The song is part of a community album released by local charity SEALL, which works to promote music and art projects in Skye and Raasay.

The album was funded through Creative Scotland's Culture Collective initiative and all proceeds will go towards supporting the work of Alzheimer Scotland.

If you’d like to join the on call band at SFRS, visit the on call firefighter pages of our website.