Pupils at Gordonstoun were on hand to assist regular fire fighters at a major blaze in Moray this week – marking one of the rare ‘shouts’ that the school’s fire service lends a hand to the local community.
Fire training at the school was first started in 1941 as a backup for hard-pressed firemen during the second world war.
Since then Gordonstoun has continued to train a voluntary fire crew – one of a dozen rescue and community services that operate from the school.
“There are certain types of incident that we cannot go to,” watch manager Richard Devey said. Mr Devey, who runs the school fire service, added: “These include anything that requires breathing apparatus or bad car crashes.
“But we do handle things like bale fires, gorse fires or woodland fires.
“The top three years at the school take part and they take a year to train – they then have to pass an examination.”
Pupils at the blaze on Ashfield Farm near Garmouth on Friday included two who had only just passed the exam that allowed them to be official members of the crew.
Mr Davey revealed that past members of the volunteer service have gone on to full time careers with the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service. He said: “One of the Elgin crew at the fire on Friday is an ex-Gordonstoun fire fighter.
“Educationally it is fantastic for the pupils – they learn a lot about working with each other in a team and in a pressurised situation.”