Scottish Fire and Rescue Service

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Scottish Fire and Rescue Service
Seirbheis Smàlaidh agus Teasairginn na h-Alba
File:Scottish Fire and Rescue Service.png
Operational area
Country  UK
Region Scotland
Agency overview
Established 1 April 2013 (1 April 2013)
Employees 8,281 (2016)
Chief Fire Officer Alasdair Hay
Facilities and equipment
Stations 356
Engines 533

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS; Scottish Gaelic: Seirbheis Smàlaidh agus Teasairginn na h-Alba) is the national fire and rescue service of Scotland. It was formed as the result of an amalgamation of eight regional fire services, which came into effect on 1 April 2013.[1] It therefore became the largest fire service in the United Kingdom and the fourth-largest in the world, surpassing the London Fire Brigade.[2]


After a consultation,[3] the Scottish Government confirmed on 8 September 2011[4] that a single fire and rescue service would be created in Scotland to replace the eight existing services.

Following further consultation[5] on the detailed operation of the service, the Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Bill was published on 17 January 2012.[6] After scrutiny and debate by the Scottish Parliament, the legislation was approved on June 27, 2012.[7] The Bill duly received royal assent as the Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Act 2012. This Act also created Police Scotland in place of the previous eight regional police forces.

The current Scottish Fire and Rescue Service headquarters are in Cambuslang, which also houses a state-of-the-art national training centre (opened in January 2013). There are a further three service delivery HQs in the east, west and north of the country.[8]


On 16 August 2012 the Scottish Government confirmed the first Chief Officer of the new service would be Alasdair Hay, acting Chief Fire Officer of Tayside Fire and Rescue Service, following an open recruitment exercise.[9]

Pat Watters, former President of COSLA, was also announced as Chair of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, an appointment to run for three years from September 2012.[10]

Members of the SFRS Board appointed in October 2012 are Pat Watters (Chairperson), Bob Benson, James Campbell, Kirsty Darwent, Marieke Dwarshuis, Michael Foxley, Robin Iffla, Bill McQueen, Sid Patten, Neil Pirie, Martin Togneri and Grant Thoms.[11]


SFRS firefighter douses flames at the Glasgow School of Art fire in May 2014

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service attended 25,002 fires in 2014-15. The service also delivers a strong preventative programme, with 65,343 free Home Fire Safety Visits conducted in 2015/16.[12]

As well as fighting fire, the service attends tens of thousands of specialist services such as road traffic incidents, water rescue and flooding incidents. In 2014-15 it attended 10,740 non-fire related emergency incidents.[12]

Water rescue

The service works alongside other emergency services during flooding events to ensure the safety of communities and rescue people in difficulty, with specialist swift water rescue teams positioned on major waterways and areas of activity. Firefighters are routinely called out to water, flood and boat rescues.

Fair Isles Community Fire Station

During Storm Frank in December 2015 the SFRS received 350 flood related calls in the space of six days.[13]


In 2015 the SFRS were called out to 78 wildfire incidents in total, with over half of those taking place in the North of Scotland.[12]

Out of hospital cardiac arrest

In 2015 a national trial was launched, in partnership with the Scottish Ambulance Service, which has seen firefighters receive enhanced CPR training aimed at increasing survival rates for people who suffer out of hospital cardiac arrests.[14]


As of March 2016, the SFRS operates from a total of 356 stations throughout Scotland. Stations are split into three categories:

Scottish Fire and Rescue Service Headquarters, Cambuslang

Wholetime: A station with full-time firefighters.

Retained: Part time, on a call out basis and predominantly based in some of the more rural areas of Scotland.

Volunteer: On a call out basis and predominantly based in some of the more remote villages and islands within Scotland.

The most northerly station is Baltasound Fire Station on the Shetland Islands. The most southerly is a volunteer station in the village of Drummore in Dumfries and Galloway.

National Training Centre

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service National Training Centre opened in January 2013. The facility in Cambuslang features a mock town with ultra-realistic motorways, rail tracks and buildings, including a multi-storey tenement structure.[15]


The following services were merged, creating the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service:

See also


  1. Scottish Government news release February 21, 2012 -
  2. "Who we are". London Fire Brigade. Retrieved 22 June 2014. LFB employs approximately 7,000 staff of which 5,800 are operational firefighters and officers<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Research report on consultation 15 September 2011 -
  4. Scottish Government news release 8 September 2011 -
  5. Research report on consultation 16 December 2011 -
  6. Scottish Government news release 17 January 2012 -
  7. Scottish Government news release 27 June 2012 -
  8. "Your Area". three service delivery HQs<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "Alasdair Hay named as new chief for merged Scottish fire service". BBC News. 16 August 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "First new Police Authority and Fire Service chairmen appointed". BBC News. 31 August 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. "Scottish Fire and Rescue Service" (Press release). Scottish Government. 17 October 2012. Retrieved 19 April 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 "Fire & Rescue Statistics 2014-15" (PDF). 15 December 2015. Retrieved 19 April 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. Hannan, Martin (6 January 2016). "Fire crews worked 'flat out' after the flood devastation". The National. Retrieved 19 April 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. "Firefighters to respond to cardiac arrest cases". BBC News. 29 October 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. "New fire training centre simulates burning buildings and train crashes". STV News. 25 January 2013. Retrieved 19 April 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links