Station to mark 40th anniversary

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This Saturday (May 31) Brechin Fire Station will mark the 40th anniversary of the opening of the Scott Street station.

The station is holding a special Doors Open Day to mark the occasion.

The Scott Street fire station was previously situated in Southesk Street and was opened on 29 May 1974.

The Doors Open Day begins at noon and continues until 4 p.m.

Members of the public will have the opportunity to take a look around the station, see the appliances and view a number of static displays. Firefighters will be on hand to answer any questions you may have.

There will also be a raffle with some great prizes, a cake and candy stall and refreshments available.

Visitors can also see the ‘burning trays’ and even get a chance to use hoses to put the fire out. There will also be chip pan demonstrations where people can witness, from a safe distance, the effects of water being applied to overheated fat/oil from a chip pan.

Firefighters will also be on hand to speak to visitors about how they can book a free Home Fire Safety Visit, as well as provide information on how to become a retained firefighter and help protect the community in which you live.

Brechin is a retained station and houses a rescue pump and water tender. There are 20 personnel who work the retained duty system.

Retained fire fighters are paid volunteers who do the same job as full-time fire fighters. They are on stand-by, carrying a pager, waiting to be called out.

As well as responding to incidents when they occur, personnel attend the station every Monday night for training, and two Thursdays a month where they carry out regular maintenance of their appliances 
and equipment.

During the 40 years since the station opened, the most obvious change in the station is the equipment the fire 
fighters use.

Watch manager, Bryan Cuthill, explained: “Since we became the fire and rescue service, all our appliances now have water rescue equipment. A lot of our equipment is more advanced, like the hydraulic cutting equipment that we use for car accidents. Also, we have more modern equipment such as the mobile data system in the cab of 
the appliance.”

Bryan explained: “The system provides information for crews to access when they are at a job. For example, the if they type the coordinations of the building they’ve been called out to, it will show the location. It will also indicate where the closest fire hydrant is to the area and tells crews the length of hose needed from the hydrant to the fire.

“The system also contains information for safe practice, and has floor plans for certain building which can be very useful for big call outs.”

Graham Jamieson, who has been with the station for 17 years, has said all the changes over the years have been for the better. He said: “The biggest change I’ve seen is in personnel protection. It’s much better now and allows you to go further into a fire.”

Speaking about his role, he added: “It’s a worthwhile cause to be a part off and you work with great guys, and the banter’s brilliant.”

Darren Beattie and Michael Mason, who have both recently joined as trainees, spoke about what spurred them on to join. Darren said: “I had too much time and I wanted to have 
a purpose.”

Michael commented: “I wanted to do something to help the community.”

Both praised the training they have undertaken since joining, with Michael explaining: “It’s tough but rewarding.”

Darren added: “The breathing apparatus course is the best course I’ve been on.”

Already the two have been called in to action. Speaking about one of his call outs, Darren said: “We attended a chimney fire and the property was next to my grandma’s 
house and it was really a wake up call attending something like that.”

Michael commented: “Aside from false alarms, my first proper call out was yesterday (Sunday). It was really nerve wracking.”

When asked if they would encourage others to join up, they both agreed with Darren adding: “It’s not a job for the faint hearted but if you put your head down and work the feeling of putting a fire 
out is great.”