Two years of planning has resulted in the formal opening of a new base in Tomintoul that will host Police, Fire and Ambulance emergency services in the same building.
Aimed at helping all three emergency services work even closer together, the former Tomintoul Fire Station has had an extension created allowing all three to operate from the same base.
Opening the new station was the Chief Constable, Sir Stephen House, who said: “Tomintoul provides another great example of all three ‘blue light’ services working even more closely to deliver for communities.
“Communities such as this are always concerned that services are going to withdraw – but actually by sharing costs like this and sharing a site it means its much more sustainable so it means that the services are here to stay in Tomintoul, which is great news.”
Attending the official opening on Monday was Moray’s MSP, Richard Lochhead, who said: “This is a great example of partnership working between our emergency services for the greater benefit of the community.
“Emergency service provision is critical in every community but in more remote communities like Tomintoul it is even more under the spotlight with the community being very aware of accessibility issues for a whole range of public services.
“The fact that the Chief Constable of Police Scotland officially opened the facility underlines the importance of joint working and the benefits it can bring. This is a landmark facility that could be replicated elsewhere in Scotland.”
Aberdeenshire and Moray Division’s local police commander, Superintendent Mark McLaren, has said that the new station provides a more “local face” to the service point in Tomintoul.
He added: “We have a dedicated policeman here, Constable Andy Main, an officer who is dedicated to the community. That is a known face and somebody to go to who the residents will hopefully build a relationship with and build trust over the years.”
David Routt from the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service added: “Being closer to our partners allows for more joined-up working. We can share information and work together more closely on common issues like fire safety or public safety.”
Speaking for the Scottish Ambulance Service, David Garbutt welcomed the new station that will act as a base for one emergency ambulance crewed by a rota of two paramedics and two ambulance technicians with support from three auxiliary staff.
He said: “They work closely with emergency service partners and the co-location will enhance that relationship for the benefit of the whole community.”