Scottish Borders Council

Agenda item

Scottish Fire & Rescue Service

Update report by Keith Langley, detailing ongoing work and initiatives in the Tweeddale Area. 


In the absence of LSO Langley a report was tabled relating to the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service in the Tweeddale Area.  The report explained that Fires in the Open were at a very low number, given the time of year. This was mainly down to the inclement weather which had been experienced over the last few months. A line rescue incident occurred last month in Peebles. Specialist teams responded along with Peebles station crew to rescue a man who had fallen into an excavation within his garden.    Peebles crews reassured the casualty and readied the area and equipment for the arrival of the line rescue team who rescued the casualty using a vertical stretcher process. The casualty went to Borders General Hospital for a precautionary check-up.   Innerleithen station had complete training in relation to the opening of the Borders Railway on 9 September. This involved theoretical input as well as practical input at the railway yards at Shawfair, arranged and completed by training officers from Galashiels.    Scottish Fire and Rescue Service staff in all the local stations provided home fire safety visits all year round. These provided the householder with a home visit, focussing on identifying and reducing the risks of fire in the home. Smoke detectors with a 10-year battery life were provided as part of this free service.  The Make It Or Break It programme was continuing to run in the Scottish Borders with the latest input in July at Scottish Borders College, Galashiels, prior to the summer break. This programme targeted 16 to 20 year old drivers with the aim to reduce road accidents and deaths in the age group.   SFRS and  Scottish Borders Council staff  were highly active and effective in the SFRS Week Of Action which took place in June. This was an initiative targeting resources at those identified as at risk from fire, mainly the elderly who lived alone.   Fire safety audits provided a targeted examination of a business premises and their relevant documents to ascertain how the premises were being managed regarding fire safety. The enforcement officer also engaged with members of staff to confirm their level of fire safety awareness.   Unwanted fire signals were being addressed by phased intervention actions which identified  premises which were producing ‘false alarms’, provided guidance on how to reduce a reoccurrence, and could also evoke legislation if occurrences failed to reduce in number. (Peebles Hydro hotel had been identified as an offender through the UFAS policy and SFRS were working with hotel staff to look at ways of reducing the number of false alarm generated at these premises).     SFRS Safeguarding Policy and Procedure for Protection of Children and Adults at Risk of Harm was implemented to link into adult and child protection. The policy had created closer ties with Social Services within Scottish Borders and ensured those people and families that fire crews identified as at risk were brought to the attention of Social Services. This had resulted in joint visits to homes to reduce risk to those occupiers.  The SFRS was developing a strong partnership with the local Domestic Abuse Advocacy Service and involvement in Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conference (MARAC). The Local Authority Liaison Officer (LALO) and Scottish Borders Station Manager for Prevention and Protection were fully involved in all local MARAC processes, attending the monthly conferences and all steering group meetings.



NOTED the update.




Scottish Borders Council

Council Headquarters Newtown St. Boswells Melrose TD6 0SA

Tel: 0300 100 1800


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