Board in tribute to firefighter

A MINUTE'S silence was held in memory of the firefighter who lost his life last week when Central Scotland Joint Fire and Rescue Board met on Friday.

The meeting in Falkirk was overshadowed by John Noble's death in a tragic accident and board convener Councillor Linda Kenna admitted there had been talk of cancelling it.

However, there were several important financial matters that had to be dealt with.

The board agreed to set the draft revenue budget for 2008-09 to 2010-11 at 18,370,630 – 958,000 higher than last year – to ensure current service levels are maintained and also allow the modernisation programme to continue.

The capital expenditure and capital expenditure programmes, both financed by the Scottish Government, were also set.

The board heard work had now commenced on the new 39,000 skid correction facility at Maddiston Fire Station and the 117,000 upgrade of Larbert fire station had been completed.

Proposed partnership working with the Scottish Ambulance Service was also discussed, with plans for ambulance personnel to share space with firefighters at Falkirk fire station.

Chief Fire Officer Steven Torrie said the Fire and Rescue Service would consider taking on a co-responder role if they were asked to do so by the Scottish Ambulance Service.

"At this point we have not been asked," he added.

The board also praised the Safe Drive, Stay Alive event held in Stirling's macrobert centre recently.

"In 33 years in the service I haven't seen anything as powerful as that – it will be an ongoing programme," said the chief fire officer.