13th October 2019
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Recruitment drive a success for firefighting service

A recruitment drive has helped attract over 30 new applicants to the fire service in Shetland, the community safety and resilience board has been told.

Members have welcomed the report from chief fire officer Matt Mason, which showed 33 people had come forward after a targeted recruitment drive was held earlier this year.

Awareness-raising sessions were held in Lerwick and Brae in March.

Efforts to address a gender imbalance in the fire service have also proved successful.

A female-only recruitment session saw 13 potential applicants take part in the interactive taster session.

“Targeted recruitment…resulted in a total of 33 new applications being submitted across Shetland,” Mr Mason’s report stated.

Board vice-chairman Allison Duncan congratulated Mr Mason on the success of the recruitment drive.

“It’s very encouraging to hear that there were 33 applicants for vacancies,” he said.

The findings were discussed in the first safety and resilience board meeting to be held since fire destroyed the renowned Fair Isle Bird Observatory in March.

Mr Duncan said congratulations needed to be passed on to all agencies involved in the fire.

Questioned by Mr Duncan, Mr Mason said a “significant lead” was being followed to help establish what caused the fire.

“It’s fair to say we’re following a significant lead on probable cause,” he said, although he added he was unable to comment further because of the insurance process with loss adjusters which is still ongoing.

However, he added he was in the process of compiling a report which he planned to bring to a future meeting which would outline further details.

Board chairman Alastair Cooper said a “lessons learned discussion” needed to take place about the Fair Isle fire.
“We need to be thinking about how we deal with serious instances on offshore islands. We need to be thinking about how we deal with these incidents.”

About Ryan Taylor

Ryan Taylor has worked as a reporter since 1995, and has been at The Shetland Times since 2007, covering a wide variety of news topics. Before then he reported for other newspapers in the Highlands, where he was raised, and in Fife, where he began his career with DC Thomson. He also has experience in broadcast journalism with Grampian Television. He has lived in Shetland since 2002, where he harbours an unhealthy interest in old cars and motorbikes.

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