Town firefighters call on the public’s help

Tom Fox, station manager at Glenrothes Fire Station

Tom Fox, station manager at Glenrothes Fire Station

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GLENROTHES firefighters are currently campaigning to reduce the number of deliberately set fires during next month, reports KEVIN QUINN.

April is now the worst period of the year for the number of deliberately set fires that Glenrothes Fire Station deals with.

Even busier than the period leading up to and including the firework and bonfire festivities in November, often regarded in the past as their hardest time.

Station Manager Tom Fox, Glenrothes Fire Station explained why the Easter period is now worse for his crew than the end of the year.

He said “Over recent years it has been recognised that the Easter School Holiday period is becoming increasingly busy for firefighters due to them attending wheelie bin, rubbish and grassland fires.

“This coincides with the fact that youths are on school holidays, thus they have a significant amount of free time, the nights are getting lighter and often at this time of year we seem to be coming into warmer weather.”

Mr Fox explained why these small fires caused during the school’s Easter break can have such serious consequences for the Glenrothes firefighters.

He said: “It is important to reduce these fires because whilst attending these unnecessary events, firefighters are unavailable to respond to life critical incidents such as house fires with persons trapped.

“This leaves the vulnerable people in our communities such as the elderly young and sick at greater risk from fires.”

The Glenrothes Fire Station manager also urged householders in the town to ensure their bins are kept in a secure place at all times, and that any waste being left out for collection should only be out for as short a time as possible.

He added: “Any combustible items for special collections should also be kept secure where possible and placed away from any building.”

As part of their campaign to avoid another bad Easter period, Glenrothes firefighters will be inspecting local areas over the month of April, as well as issuing leaflets and speaking to householders in areas where bins are left unattended.

They will also address significant issues with other local partners involved in ensuring community safety within Glenrothes.

Station Manager Fox finished by calling on townsfolk to help firefighters.

He said “The cost of these fires to the community is significant and the damage and scars blight the local environment.

“I ask all residents of this area to take simple but significant measures to reduce the temptation and ability of fire-setters to participate in this criminal activity.”