Firefighter Numbers

How many posts are you looking to remove?

Our current wholetime firefighter numbers are based on an outdated model.

By operating more efficiently and effectively, we can actually deliver more with just a small reduction in wholetime posts – circa 200-300 across the whole of Scotland.

It’s important to note that we will, at the same time, be creating new wholetime manager positions to strengthen the safety of our rural communities – circa 60-100 positions.

This is simply re-balancing, and we will continue to recruit both wholetime and RDS firefighters. 

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How will you achieve it?

There will be no compulsory redundancies.

We will achieve it through more efficient crewing models and duty systems, an improved allocation of fire appliances across the country, and use of the latest technology.

Our retirement profile allows us to phase in the changes in a safe and planned way

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How can you possibly do more with fewer firefighters? 

By operating more efficiently we can release significant amounts of capacity to address new risks. This capacity is currently tied up in preparation for risks that are significantly diminished or no longer exist.

By better utilising our people and resources, and embracing new technologies, we can deliver not only our current role more efficiently but expand our role into new areas of response and prevention.

For example, our personnel cannot undertake preventative work at night. By re-aligning our operating model we can have more personnel available when they can be more productive and when communities can benefit from their input. 

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With less FFs does this mean a decline in prevention and enforcement work?

Quite the opposite. By re-balancing our resource and aligning it to where risk and need is greatest, we can free up more time for vital preventative, intervention and enforcement work. Indeed, a core strand of our proposals is that firefighters will deliver preventative work in new and vital areas of safety and wellbeing – such as preventing injuries to the elderly in their homes.

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Does this mean no more firefighter recruitment?

We will still recruit wholetime and RDS firefighters.

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Given the reduction in fires, why would you not reduce a larger number of firefighters?

You cannot simply create a fire and rescue service when the need arises. Transformation is about using our resource more efficiently and effectively, allowing us to do more – including meeting new risks - while still having the ability to scale up where required for large scale incidents.

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