A major £3 million revamped fire station at Stornoway has been officially opened.
Modern training facilities are now provided which avoids the need for many firefighters
to travel to the mainland to upgrade their skills.
Personnel from Uist and Barra will only need one overnight stay compared to three
The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service’s (SFRS) extensive 12-month renovation programme
has doubled the size of the former station, which now includes additional office
space for support staff.
It will also serve as a valuable community asset, providing a place for residents
to meet and for the SFRS to engage with local partners.
Pat Watters said: “Today’s official opening marks the culmination of some serious
effort to deliver a truly outstanding facility for our firefighters across the Western
Isles – and they deserve no less.
“They are committed to their communities, responding at a moment’s notice to protect
at times of emergency – and we are committed to them.
“We are committed to providing them with the modern resources and training required
to keep standing on that front line and I commend their unwavering dedication, so
very typical of firefighters.
“This building is not only bricks and mortar. It is a concrete symbol of our values,
our drive and our determination to do the very best for our communities across the
country as we continue to move forward as a truly world class fire and rescue service.”
Stornoway’s fire station, located in the heart of the historic town, was originally
built in 1953 and later expanded in 1971.
The refurbished building will support the Western Isles’ 140 retained duty system
It includes two brand new lecture rooms, one of which is available as a community
room which supports the SFRS’ commitment to community planning, engagement and safety.
It’s the latest SFRS investment in the North. A 2016 partnership deal with Highlands
& Islands Airport Limited brought a new fire training unit to Stornoway Airport for
crews train in temperatures up to 600C and share expertise.
Chief Officer Hay said: “I am absolutely delighted to be here today for the official
launch of this key facility which will undoubtedly enhance the service we provide
to the Western Isles.
“I cannot emphasise enough the vitally important role of our retained crews - they
are the life-blood of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and I wholeheartedly thank
them for their dedication.
“It is therefore right and proper that they are supported, trained and equipped to
meet emerging modern risks such as severe weather-related flooding.
The refurbished fire station was officially opened by Pat Watters, chair of the SFRS
board and Chief Officer Alasdair Hay (pictured).