On Call Firefighter receives Employer Recognition Award

An on call firefighter from the Isle of Lewis has been one of the first to receive an Employers Recognition Award from the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service.

On Call Firefighter receives Employer Recognition Award

Crew Commander Kevin Macrae, based at Port of Ness Community Fire Station, has been an on call firefighter for nearly 25 years.

He also runs his own business, Kevin Macrae Electrical where he employs three people. One of his employees, Alasdair MacLeod – is also an on call firefighter - he’s a Crew Commander at South Lochs Community Fire Station.

Kevin, who started his business 23 years ago, is always looking to promote the on call firefighter role and when Alasdair joined his electrical business, Kevin was keen to get him involved.

He said: “You learn a lot from on call, team work and lots of new skills. We are always looking for people to join and having that support helps to keep the appliance on the run. It’s all to help the local community, which is the main goal.”

Both Kevin and Alasdair could be out working on their day jobs within the island and get an on call shout. They also help out in other areas across the island, where they are on standby.

Kevin said: “We do work together and we could both get called out at the same time, and we’d have to go back later at night to finish a job. People are understanding though and I’ve never had a problem. They know we’re helping people in need.”

Kevin has already received a Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) 20 years Long Service Good Conduct Award. He was presented with his Employer Recognition Certificate (Gold Award), which recognises support for local fire stations for more than 10 years, at a ceremony in Stornoway.

He said: “It’s part of my life and I don’t feel like it’s an effort for me. I like that I can help to keep the appliance on the run and help in my community.”

Area Commander Scott Gibson is SFRS Local Senior Officer for the Western Isles, Orkney and Shetland. He said: “We are delighted to be able to recognise the efforts of local businesses, such as Kevin Macrae Electrical. Kevin supports one of his employees to perform their role as an on call firefighter, as well as being an on call firefighter himself.

 “Our staff who are dedicated to keeping their communities safe, combine their firefighting role with their primary employment.

“This award represents our gratitude for the years of service and support to allow us to work to keep people safe.”

Employers show their support for the Service by releasing their employees - who are also trained on call firefighters who carry a pager - to attend to emergencies and to help their local communities at a time of need.


Editor’s Note:

On Call Firefighters - About the Role

  • The role of the firefighter involves far more than fighting fires and can include partnership, prevention, and education.
  • Our on call firefighters often balance responding to emergencies via a pager with primary employment as well as family life.
  • Becoming an on call firefighter can help you give back to your community while earning a second income.
  • You will learn transferable skills.
  • On call firefighters bring with them a wide range of experience from other roles which can include sheep farmers, joiners, hoteliers, administrators.

For more information on becoming an On Call Firefighter