Volunteer teams sign up for local emergencies

Ballater suffered the impact of Storm Frank
Ballater suffered the impact of Storm Frank

An army of volunteers who own boats and 4x4s are offering to mobilise to protect and support their communities – in a unique partnership with the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS).

Members of rural communities who have access to private vehicles that can be used to cross water or negotiate rough and rural terrain have signed up to a Community Asset Register (CAR).

They also have a range of specialist skills such as mountain rescue.

Volunteers can now be quickly identified through CAR which is operated and activated by operations control at times of significant emergency.

The register will also be available to SFRS emergency service and local authority partners.

A rallying call has been issued to others who live in rural and isolated areas, have specialist skills and who own their own transport - such as all-terrain vehicles - to follow in their footsteps.

SFRS area manager Bruce Farquharson said: “We have seen in Ballater how severe weather-related flooding can hit very quickly - and with devastating effects.

“In the event that there is widespread flooding, the register can be called upon to mobilise volunteers who can open community halls, support rescuers and those rescued by handing out refreshments, supply sandbags - even bring their own boat or vehicle.”