Call-out for recruits to support fire cover

Banchory is one of the fire stations with vacancies
Banchory is one of the fire stations with vacancies

New retained firefighters are urgently needed to help bolster emergency cover in the Marr area.

Marr Area Committee heard that the eight stations within its area were a total of 17 under the 100-strong establishment required.

While Aboyne and Alford both have a full complement of ten, Huntly is seven under strength at just 13.

There are also vacancies at Balmoral, Ballater, Braemar, Strathdon and Banchory.

Area station manager Colin Westwood told councillors that while the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service was “struggling” to get a full establishment at Huntly, two new applications were being processed as part of an active recruitment process.

Mr Westwood said that ideally, recruits would have to be available 100% of the time but welcomed leads on any potential new recruits.

Meanwhile, the committee was advised that the fire service responded to 63 call-outs between October and December last year.

There were four deliberate fires reported, with the majority occurring in the Huntly, Strathbogie and Howe of Alford areas – mostly in woodland and crop fields.