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Local Fire Stations Call on Community to Join Up

LISTEN: James Black explains how to become a firefighter.

Fire stations from around Highland Perthshire are protecting the community in endless ways, and now they’re asking for some help from the community.

Each station across Highland Perthshire is in need of new firefighters joining the team. Local fire stations in Kinloch Rannoch, Pitlochry, Dunkeld, Aberfeldy, Kirkmichael and Glenshee are all calling on the community to get involved.

Crew Commander for the Kinloch Rannoch Community Fire Station, James Black, said: “The thing we’re looking for from the community is actually the community.

“All the fire stations in the Highland Perthshire area are currently recruiting. They’re all needing crew.

“It’s becoming increasingly difficult to get crew, people don’t live and work in the same areas as they used to do so people are maybe staying in one area and working in another area.

“All the Highland Perthshire stations are not struggling but they all need crew.”

Mr Black has served as a fireman since he was a teenager, but for him the appeal of the job comes from the unique skills he’s picked up as a fireman, the comradery of working as a team and the lives he’s impacted over his time in the service.

He explained: “You’re doing something that very few people get the opportunity to do. And you get qualifications, you will get first aid qualification. Some of us, like myself, are drivers or blue light drivers.

“You’re just not going to get those kinds of qualifications and that kind of interesting life unless you join fire brigade.”

Mr Black added: “Our day-to-day life is I go to my normal job, normally I’m a joiner, if my, my pager goes and then become a firefighter. When the pager goes off, you know, some other human being is needing help and that’s the longer, the short of it. And you’re responding to help somebody when they’re at their darkest hour.”

Jane Saba is a retained firefighter in Dunkeld and she balances her work at the Scottish Deli with her time as a firefighter as part of her day to day.

She explained: “I cannot be available all day, everyday, I’ve got the deli to manage.’

“So, when I’m in the Deli, and we don’t have an endless supply of staff, I can’t just drop everything and leave the Deli when I’m working.

“And the fire service understands that as well, you have to commit to the job you’re working and sometimes I can be working from home so that means I can be available, but that’s not always the case.”

“As and when I can be back on call, then I’ll do that.”

Mr Black also says that anyone who is at least eighteen, is of any sex or religion can join so long as they pass the tests to become a firefighter.

He explained: “You’ve got to be fairly healthy. You’ve got to be fairly fit. You’ve got to have decent eyesight.

“There isn’t actually an official upper age limit, but obviously fitness, eyesight, will come into it. Hopefully people can still be in the fire service until into their sixties.”

Anyone interested in joining can get in touch on: james.black@firescotland.gov.uk or Garry.west@firescotland.gov.uk

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