Fire staffing crisis eases as casualties fall almost by half

David Rout - improved picture.
David Rout – improved picture.

A MASSIVE REDUCTION in the number of cases of deliberate fire raising in Moray has been reported by senior officers – with accidental blazes also showing a marked decrease.

New figures released last week indicated a 42% fall in the number of casualties suffered as a result of fire – coming over a period where recruitment issues in Moray have seen significant improvements, including six new firefighters in post at Forres taken the station to a full complement of 20.

Recruits have also joined the station at Buckie and, while further vacancies still exist, these are being publicised through social media as the overall picture is very much brighter than it had been.

The senior fire officer for Aberdeenshire and Moray, David Rout, told councillors that the staff increases had allowed an increase of almost one-third in the number of home safety visits undertaken – targeting the most vulnerable people in our communities.

He said: “Accidental fires in Moray are now at a five-year low and that is something for us to be proud of.”

However, malicious false alarms have risen by over a third over the past year, prompting the service to carry out more school visits to educate young people on the impact these can have.

Crews have also been liaising with defence fire service officers at RAF Lossiemouth, sharing details on how each service carry out their jobs.