Recruitment highlighted as a priority at first emergency services meeting

Representatives of all the emergency services on Skye held their first ever partnership meeting in Broadford last week to discuss how they can support each other.

Pictured (left to right) are Dave Philips from the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, Nick Mort from the British Red Cross, Station Manager Mike Colliar from the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, Sgt Andrew Shaw from Police Scotland, Neil Urquhart from Skye Mountain Rescue, Inspector Lynda Allan from Police Scotland, Area Service Manager Alan Knox of Scottish Ambulance Service. The RNLI were unable to attend.

The group met at Broadford fire station and one of the main aims of the event was to discuss how recruitment and inter-agency communication can be improved. The agencies are to hold a joint emergency exercise near Harlosh in north Skye on 5th August.

A joint statement by the agencies involved said: “As busy emergency service organisations we were pleased to arrange a multi-agency meeting locally to discuss partnership working and training that will benefit our local communities. It was a fantastic opportunity to meet with like-minded individuals and share information regarding our available resources and capabilities. We are looking to make this a regular occurrence which will benefit all agencies. Recruitment was also a priority for the agencies and we are keen to encourage new, keen local individuals to become part of our emergency services family. We look forward to hearing from interested members of the public who may become valuable members of the emergency services in the future.”

As far as the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service is concerned, Mr. Colliar said anyone is welcome to drop in when training is taking place at Skye fire stations. Dunvegan, Portree, Staffin and Raasay train between 7 pm and 9 pm every Monday, as does Raasay, while Uig is on a Tuesday evening and Broadford on Wednesday. Those stations will also be open to the public on the weekend of 28th and 29th July between 10 am and 2 pm. The service is looking for retained firefighters across Skye and Raasay.

The Skye Mountain Rescue Team, British Red Cross and the Maritime Agency Coastguard are currently looking for volunteers and can be contacted locally or through their respective websites. The Scottish Ambulance Service is actively recruiting, and applications are through their website. Police Scotland would be keen to speak to individuals interested in the role of Special Constable locally and can be contacted at Portree police station or online via their website.