Overtime ban leads to problems at fire station

Clarkston residents may be affected by recent overtime ban.
Clarkston residents may be affected by recent overtime ban.

An overtime ban by the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service has started to take its toll on Clarkston’s single pump station.

And this has resulted in the fire engine based there unable to respond to emergency 999 calls due to insufficient crew members being on duty.

Each pump tender requires a crew complement of five people before it can attend call outs, and on Sunday, September 27, Clarkstons only fire engine had to be taken off the roadas a result of recent changes in overtime payments to staff.

An inside source who spoke to The Extra said: “Although the service will never admit to there being an overtime ban, it’s there and we are all being affected by it as are the people of Clarkston who are being shortchanged in terms of emergency service coverage.

“It’s all fine and well bringing in a replacement pump from East Kilbride, but what cover is there while it’s travelling to the station, and is crewed by people who don’t know the area.”

A spokesman for the Fire service said: “We are experiencing a temporary shortage of operational personnel available for duty in the west service delivery area and robust contingency plans are in place to ensure there is absolutely no loss of fire and rescue cover to any community.

“From time-to-time the second appliances at stations with multiple vehicles can be redeployed to ensure other stations have sufficient crew to mobilise. Doing so means fire stations continue to operate and ensures that crews attending any incident can call on the additional resources that they require.

“There has never been a single occasion where we have not responded to an incident with the required resources and that will continue, so the public can be assured our tried and tested contingency plans mean strategic fire cover is maintained at all times.

“Going forward, a significant number of wholetime firefighters will commence service in February 2016, which follows two previous intakes since the establishment of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service.”