False alarms accounting for over half firefighters’ duty time

Real emergencies are compromised by false alarms.

FIRE CHIEFS IN MORAY have been highlighting the increasing problem of false alarms that waste over half of the time spent on duty by crews in the region.

Councillors were informed last week by the Moray group manager for the Fire and Rescue Service, David Meldrum, of the serious issues they are facing.

Mr Meldrum said that Distilleries in the region are a major source of many false alarm calls, adding that solutions were being sought on that with the Scotch Whisky Association. Mr Meldrum said: “False alarms are a particular challenge – particularly with the distilleries in Moray and the number of calls we get from them.

“We will work with distillery owners to drive these figures down and provide them with as much advice and guidance that we can. By doing that we aim to improve the safety of Moray communities by ensuring our service is more available for genuine emergencies.”

The report to the Council’s police and fire and rescue services committee pointed to 53 false alarms in the Speyside area between April and September 2016 – from a total of 444 false alarms.

Senior officer for the service in Moray, David Rout, told councillors that the calls were a burden on the service.

However, he provided some good news to councillors when he pointed to 1806 homes being visited by officers to perform safety checks – well in excess of the target of 765.

“We focussed on the most vulnerable and at risk people – and the performance of our staff has been absolutely excellent,” Mr Rout said.