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Nine new firefighters are ready to join local stations across Lewis and Harris, after a 10-day task and task management (TTM) course was completed recently.

Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) area commander for the Western Isles, Orkney and Shetland Scott Gibson was in Stornoway on Friday (24 May) to see the final exercises for a cohort of ten trainees – one from Shetland.

The TTM course is the initial training which allows personnel to respond to their pagers and attend incidents with the right skills at their disposal.

The nine Western Isles firefighters will now be deployed to stations in Stornoway, Valtos, Shawbost, South Lochs, Ness and Tarbert, adding to local resilience and improving response times.

Their next training block will be a two-week breathing apparatus course which will, like the one just completed, be run locally to prevent the students from having to travel off island, limiting the impact on their primary employment and personal lives.

SFRS continues to actively recruit on-call firefighters for community fire stations across the Western Isles, offering a pre-employment engagement programme which introduces them to the station, the role and the level of commitment required.

Stornoway group commander Dougie Campbell said: “I would like to thank all the participants for their commitment and dedication to serve their communities.

"On-call firefighters are exceptional individuals who step up to protect their communities when needed most.

“The on-call role allows people to give back to their community while earning a second income, but it is also a big commitment and you must be sure that you can commit the time needed before you apply.

"We will work with every candidate to support them through their journey to becoming a competent firefighter, but ultimately we need people within our communities to step forward and consider a career with us.

"We would therefore appeal to people from all backgrounds to come forward and help to protect their communities.

“The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service is also asking communities to have their say on what they want from their fire and rescue service. We encourage people to complete the online survey and give their views.” (firescotland.citizenspace.com/planning-and-performance/shaping-our-future-service-your-say/)

The pictures show the 10-person training cohort on a final exercise at Stornoway fire station on Friday and with training instructors and duty officers from Western Isles, Orkney and Shetland, including area commander Scott Gibson in the centre of the front row.