Scottish Fire and Rescue Service marks its five year anniversary at Helix Park

Scottish Fire and Rescue Service celebrated its fifth anniversary on Wednesday with a live water rescue demonstration at the popular Helix Park.

Crews from Falkirk and Bathgate were on hand to perform demonstrations on what to expect if you are in a life-threatening situation.

Since 2013, the service has attended more than 350,000 emergencies, illustrating how important its life-saving work is to communities.

David Lockhart, local senior officer for safety, said: “This demonstration is a great way to show what both local crews and frontline services are capable of doing.”

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service showcased would happen in an emergency, such as sending out an inflated hose, a crew member or, if the case is extreme, a lifeboat.

Kevin Ketchen, fire station manager for Falkirk, said: “It’s amazing what the teams can do when someone is in need of help.

“No matter what the conditions, the Scottish Fire and Rescue services are always there and fully equipped.”

Wednesday was not only its anniversary but also helped to promote the launch of its drowning prevention strategy which came into place in February.

Stuart Stevenson, area manager for prevention and protection, said: “We choose Helix Park as the location for the demonstration because of the facilities on offer.

“The Falkirk team often carries out training here too.”

Annabelle Ewing MSP, Minister for Community Safety and Legal Affairs was also in attendance.

She said: “It’s important to recognise the service’s valuable preventative work, which includes helping the most vulnerable and elderly members of the community stay safe in their own homes.

“Our priority is to protect the front line and the 2018-19 budget provides additional spending power of £15.5 million to allow the SFRS to invest for service transformation, on top of a £21.7 
million increase in operational budget this year.”

Alasdair Hay, the chief officer of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service also praised the work carried out.

He said: “We have not only established a world-class emergency service but the foundation to allow us to do so much more for Scotland.

“By protecting our frontline, ensuring equitable access to resources and equipment, and through our tireless prevention efforts we have ensured that Scotland’s communities are safer than ever.

“We are committed to our vision of a more enhanced and resilient Service and, by offering to transform, we continue to lead the way in the public sector.

“We will build on our solid foundations by investing in innovative technologies, and ensuring our firefighters are trained and equipped to protect Scotland.”