Methil firemen went ‘beyond the call of duty’

Fife Fire & Rescue Service annual medal ceremony
Fife Fire & Rescue Service annual medal ceremony

METHIL Fire and Rescue Service’s Blue Watch members have been honoured for going ‘above and beyond the call of duty’ at an incident which took place last year.

The firefighters were called out to a quarry off the Standing Stane Road, on September 6, where four girls had became stuck in a ditch.

The girls had attempted to take a shortcut through the East Wemyss quarry and three of them had become stranded on the wall there.

Despite the quarry being around 400 metres from the road and only accessible by foot the Blue Watch members, along with their counterparts from Kirkcaldy, managed to reach the girls and get them to safety.

Chief fire officer Neil McFarlane awarded commendation certificates to each of the members for their ‘meritorious contribution to duty’ at the brigade’s annual medal ceremony, held last week.

A Fife Fire and Rescue Service spokesman said: “Blue Watch Methil and Blue Watch Kirkcaldy fully deserve this commendation and typifies the adaptation, courage and determination of fire fighters who serve the communities in which we work.

“One girl had her back against the 45 degrees slope and was struggling to get a stable foothold on a small ledge some 10 metres from the top of the quarry, leaving a drop of 100 metres below. Two other girls were in a similar position some 20 metres further down the slope on another small ledge.

“The fourth girl had decided to take the long way round and luckily was able to contact the fire service and make it aware of the situation.

“By the time the rescue was underway the wind was picking up and it was becoming dark.

“The crews had to work by head torches, making the situation more dangerous than would normally be expected.

“All girls were rescued and attended to by ambulance personnel and eventually returned to the safety of their families.”

Nine other officers, including Blue Watch Methil crew manager David Baxter, received Her Majesty the Queen’s Fire Brigade long service and good conduct medals at the ceremony.

The Blue Watch’s commendation certificates were presented by chief fire officer Neil McFarlane, whilst the long service and good conduct medals were presented by the Lord Lieutenant of Fife, Mrs Margaret Dean.