30 years of service for Deeside Fireman

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Firefighters in Banchory have this week celebrated 30 years’ service by their friend and colleague Firefighter Ian Hepburn.

Ian joined Grampian Fire Brigade in June 1984 and has continued to be a valued member of the fire station since the transition to the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service.

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Ian was presented with his 30 year certificate by Local Senior Officer David Rout. LSO Rout said that 30 years’ service to the community is to be applauded and recognised. He added that although the certificate is for Ian, it also acknowledges the support of Ian’s family, colleagues and employer as 30 years is a tremendous commitment to the service.

During Ian’s career, he as attended numerous calls in the Banchory area, many posing a challenge to the firefighters. It’s not just the building fires and road traffic collisions he has responded to but also:

An incident near Park Bridge, at the request of the RSPCA the crew rescued a Woodpecker from the very top of a tree (13.5metre). It had become entangled in some baler string and was unable to free itself.

Also an incident at a farm near Torphins, a cow became stuck in a farm pond. Crews had to assist in pulling it free.

Watch Manager Roddy Lees said “Ian has a high standard of commitment to both the community and the service, supporting colleagues at an emergency incident, during training activities and whilst carrying out community safety work”

Watch Manager Graeme Davidson added “Ian has always delivered a professional service and is a credit to himself and the crew at Banchory fire station. Ian’s knowledge and experience has greatly assisted in the development of firefighters joining the fire station”

Ian has noticed a number of changes within the service over the past 30 years – the improvement in equipment and Personal Protective Equipment ensures the safety of crews at incidents.

Station Manager Stuart Cruickshank said “The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service is encouraging more men and women to join the service and enjoy a “life less ordinary” by becoming part-time firefighters”

Stuart continued” The retained duty service is teams of people across the service area that have a day job but also provide part-time emergency cover to the community in which they live and work. One minute you are going about your work, the next minute you could be performing a rescue operation, it’s the variety, excitement and sense of public responsibility that the firefighters in Banchory enjoy”.

Firefighters also carryout important community fire safety work by providing a free home fire safety to your home at a time that suits you, day or night. The visit includes offering advice and guidance and to fit a smoke alarm free of charge if your home requires them. To book a free Home Fire Safety Visit call 0800 0731999 or visit www.firescotland.gov.uk . Always ask for official identification, all employees of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service will be happy to produce on request.

Banchory fire station currently has a full complement of personnel, however, if anyone from the Braemar, Balmoral, Ballater and Alford areas is interested in joining the fire service, visit www.myjobscotland.gov.uk, emergency services, fire and rescue and access retained firefighters service delivery area – north.