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Government must protect retained fire stations - McInnes

September 9, 2011 6:34 PM
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats

Liberal Democrat Justice spokesperson and MSP for North East Scotland, Alison McInnes, has challenged the Scottish Government to guarantee that Scotland's retained and volunteer fire services will not be affected by plans to introduce a single national fire and rescue service.

Scotland currently has 241 retained fire stations, and 61 volunteer fire stations, largely based in rural areas.

Commenting, Mrs McInnes said:

"Many rural parts of Scotland - including the North East - rely heavily on retained and volunteer fire fighters. There is a very real risk that a single, centralised fire and rescue service might lead to these stations being closed.

"The Government claims that its proposals will sustain local services, but the fact of the matter is that a Scotland-wide fire service simply cannot be as responsive to local needs as current local services are.

"The loss of retained and volunteer stations would be a disaster for rural fire and rescue. The Government must guarantee that will not happen."