Isles MSP Tavish Scott has called again for a second emergency ambulance with a full-time crew following the decision by the Scottish Ambulance Service (SAS) to switch plans for a retained crew from Brae to Lerwick.
The SAS announced on Monday that it had abandoned plans to base the new ambulance in Brae due to their only being one suitable candidate when eight were required. It will now try to recruit retained crew to operate from Lerwick.
Mr Scott said: “The SAS fell far short of their minimum of eight suitable applicants in Brae. This is not altogether surprising. To take on such a role on a retained basis is a substantial commitment which few are in a position to give.
“We already crew our fire service with retained firefighters, which must use up a good proportion of the people able and willing to take on a retained emergency service role. So the SAS was optimistic in hoping to be able to find enough retained ambulance technicians.”
He said Shetland required a second emergency ambulance. “I remain of the belief that this should be manned by full time staff. Recruiting and training such staff may take time, but it seems to me to be likely to be the only way of achieving the second emergency ambulance we need.”