New joint fire training facility at Stornoway Airport


SCOTTISH Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) today took the covers off its latest investment in the north of Scotland, a new carbonaceous fire training facility for the Western Isles.

The facility at Stornoway Airport represents the ongoing partnersship between SFRS and Highlands and Islands Airports Ltd (HIAL), whose own fire and rescue personnel will be able to utilise the new training centre, allowing for closer collaborative working with their colleagues at retained stations across the Western Isles.

The training facility will include a dedicated search and rescue section and compartment fire behaviour units. It will also house a welfare de-briefing room/classroom unit with breathing apparatus maintenance capability.

This is the third such partnership with HIAL following a unit at Dundee Airport and the completion of another at Sumburgh Airport. All these works will be followed by similar investments in training facilities in Kirkwall and Inverness between now and 2018.

SFRS Chief Officer Alasdair Hay said: “These strategically placed training facilities will reduce the need for our staff to travel unnecessarily and present the service with significant savings in the future. We are working with tighter budgets every year and projects such as these demonstrate the service’s commitment, not only to the safety of our firefighters and residents, but also that we are making savings and delivering best value to our communities.”

The Minister for Community Safety and Legal Affairs, Paul Wheelhouse, said: “I welcome today’s opening of this first-class training unit for the Western Isles. The SFRS do a vital job in keeping our communities safe and it is essential that a high standard of training facilities are available across Scotland.”

George Farquhar, Chief Fire Officer for HIAL, said: “We are pleased to be continuing our partnership with Scottish Fire and Rescue Service which has served us well at Sumburgh and Dundee airports. By developing shared training facilities at Stornoway Airport, we not only deliver better value for money but also provide more rounded training for HIAL and SFRS personnel. Working together and sharing best practice allows both teams to gain new skills and enhance their existing capabilities.”