North East MSP Mike Rumbles has today revealed that firefighters are regularly travelling from Aberdeenshire and Moray to cover shifts in Aberdeen, with some brought in from as far afield as Inverness and Dundee.
Scottish Liberal Democrat freedom of information requests have uncovered that in 2017/18 alone there were 143 occasions when persons from Aberdeenshire Moray LSO area (Peterhead) were on duty in Aberdeen. It also confirmed that there were also instances of firefighters travelling from Dundee while 5 staff from Inverness were on duty in Aberdeen in August last year – a five hour round trip.
Commenting on the figures, Mr Rumbles said:
“Our fire service is under real pressure in the North East. These figures show firefighters travelling over 100 miles to cover shifts, while staff are regularly being pulled into Aberdeen from the surrounding areas.
"Nationwide more than 1,000 firefighters have been lost since the SNP's merger. Budgets have fallen in real terms while ministers have been cavalier about where the almost £400m needed to maintain and invest in the service's property, vehicles and equipment is going to come from.
"Ministers must not allow the service in the North East to become threadbare.”
Notes to editors:
The Liberal Democrat freedom of information request revealed:
- During 2017/18 there were 143 occasions when persons from Aberdeenshire Moray LSO area (Peterhead) were on duty in Aberdeen. 159 persons provided the assistance on the occasions.
- How many times in the past 12 months have shift vacancies resulted in firefighter working out with their normal region?
- In the period 1 Sept 2017-31 August 2018. There have been 5 shifts when persons out with the region have been on duty in Aberdeen
- 16/8/18 5 persons from Inverness on duty in Aberdeen
- 17/8/18 1 person from Dundee on duty in Aberdeen
- 18/8/18 2 persons from Dundee on duty in Aberdeen
- 24/8/18 1 person from Inverness on duty in Aberdeen
- What is the furthest distance in kilometres that has been travelled in order to cover a shift? Please provide details and the start and end location and total duration of this shift (including travel time).
- Inverness to Aberdeen 167km, shift duration 10 hours plus travel time according to google maps is 2hrs 42mins.