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Orkney’s fire stations facing staff shortages

The majority of fire stations in Orkney are understaffed, according to the latest Scottish Fire and Rescue local performance report.

Only the Kirkwall station is fully staffed, although it too has had some short staffing issues effecting appliance availability, according to the report, which was presented to members of the Police and Fire Sub Committee yesterday.

Members heard that a number of stations are struggling to meet staffing requirements, and that Eday, North Ronaldsay and Papa Westray fire stations were the worst affected. It was explained that four firefighters are required to operate fire appliances effectively and safely and the problem arises when one or more are unable to attend a call-out.

A number of suggestions to address the situation came from members, including recruitment drives and “banners”, highlighting the need for more trained fire fighters, being displayed at stations across the county.