Fire and Rescue Service new partnership with airport group

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The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) has proven its commitment to keeping communities safe yet again through an innovative partnership with an airport group.

SFRS has signed a formal Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Highlands and Islands Airport Limited (HIAL).

The move will see firefighters at HIAL airports across Barra, Islay and Tiree called on to assist SFRS crews dealing with breaking emergencies close to those airstrips.

And, in turn, SFRS crews can be drafted in to support airport fire crews in the event of unforeseen circumstances or any major incidents at the HIAL airports.

The innovative partnership – offering enhanced protection to the three island communities – was announced at Inverness Airport by SFRS Deputy Assistant Chief Officer, Andy Coueslant and HIAL Managing Director Inglis Lyon.

Andy Coueslant, Head of Service Delivery for the North said: “We are always exploring new and innovative ways to enhance the safety of communities across Scotland whether that be in the inner cities, in our rural and remote areas or across our islands.

“The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service has always strived to meet that challenge – and we will continue to do so through appropriate partnership working.

“This is a good opportunity to work alongside Highlands and Islands Airport Limited and share our knowledge, expertise, skills and resources to keep our communities safe.”

HIAL Managing Director Inglis Lyon added: “Both organisations understand the challenge of delivering a fire and rescue capability in rural and remote communities and this agreement is a very practical solution to this challenge.

“We have a good working relationship with SFRS and our respective teams regularly train together in shared facilities at Sumburgh, Dundee and Stornoway airports. This agreement will further strengthen this partnership and our collective ability to respond to major incidents in our most remote communities.”

Local Senior Officer for Orkney, Shetland and the Western Isles, Billy Wilson, said: “The MoU will be in force until 2019. The potential here in terms of supporting joint objectives is significant. We are always committed to partnership working wherever possible to ensure community safety.”

Pictured are: George Farquhar, Chief Fire Officer, HIAL ; Billy Wilson, SFRS Local Senior Officer for Orkney, Shetland and the Western Isles; Andy Coueslant, SFRS Deputy Assistant Chief Officer; Inglis Lyon, Managing Director, HIAL; James Millar, Inverness Airport Fire Manager, HIAL.