Focus on the future says fire chief

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FIFE’S fire chief welcomed the announcement a single Scottish fire and rescue service - as it brings months of speculation to an end.

Neil McFarlane, chief fire officer with Fife Fire and Rescue Service, stressed the focus should now be on the future.

He told the Press: “This announcement finally ends many months of speculation and the focus should now be on the future, with fire service personnel, Scottish Government, trade unions and others all collectively and cohesively working towards delivering a world class fire and rescue service.

“We haveve clearly demonstrated we are a top performing service within Scotland.

‘’We are a ‘can do’ organisation that pro-actively works with our communities and our firefighters continue to be held in high esteem by the public.

“We will strive to ensure our high delivery standards are maintained and that our resources will be responsive to local risks, with our educational campaigns such as home fire safety visits and youth engagement programmes targeting the most vulnerable within our society, thereby, meeting the needs of our local communities.”

Mr McFarlane said as the development of a national service moves forward, those in Fife will do all they can to ensure the people living and working within the Kingdom receive a high quality service.

He continued: “In the re-modelling and delivery of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, it is important that the right people, with the right skills, are in the right place at the right time.

‘’They can then deliver added value to society and achieving outcomes that can be measured in support of our overall aim of ‘making our communities safe’.

“All our staff will face a considerable challenge in the coming two years and as with any major change programme, there will be apprehension and uncertainty along with the sensitives surrounding job security.

“However, in my opinion, this announcement provides significant opportunities.

‘‘The staff within Fife have already demonstrated their overwhelming capability in delivering a ‘top performing’ service that will stand them in good stead for the future.”