It wasn’t long before the SNP became part of the DG Council Administration that I was made Convener (Chair) of the Police, Fire and Rescue Committee. I’m not sure how to process that personally so the default setting is to find out more about the role and its responsibilities in order to be as effective as possible. Part of this requires guidance from the Council’s Governance team to help understand and begin to learn what is expected of a Chair. Another part is to get to know the professionals and their teams and how the services they provide are progressing or “transitioning” toward the Single Police Force and Single Fire and Rescue Service.

On May 29th I was fortunate to be invited to Stranraer Fire Station to mark the handover of the new Combination Aerial Ladder Platform which is an impressive asset of value to the region, especially with the Ferry terminal nearby (case in point as Stranraer had to borrow one for an incident with a lorry on the ferry recently.) It was good to meet the Chief Fire Officer and speak with other officers and some of the retained staff at the station. The Dumfries and Galloway Fire and Rescue Service seem very proactive in engaging with the communities they serve and there are close links. I would suggest that the Scottish Government look at exemplar Fire and Rescue Services when considering improvements to the national Service.

There were some excellent artworks created by some of the schoolchildren from local schools to mark the event, and I was able to help out a bit by presenting the awards and certificates for the individual and class prizes.

The aerial platform in action was then demonstrated to all the visitors. If you’ve seen the control pad for a playstation (other home entertainment gaming devices are available) – that’s what the Fire Officer was using to control the aerial ladder from the ground to position the ladder accurately to carry out the test rescue at great height.

There was also a nice buffet with an unexpectedly good selection of fruit 🙂


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