TWO new fire stations were officially opened today on the Shetland islands of Whalsay and Fair Isle.
The new stations to serve the islands were opened by Stewart Edgar, the chief fire officer of the Highlands and Islands Fire and Rescue Service, and Andrew Drever, the fire board convener.
The board has invested a total of £420,000 in the new dedicated fire service for the island communities.
A spokeswoman for the service said: “The unit at Fair Isle has a history dating back to 1996 when a volunteer fire unit was established. The fire and rescue response was enhanced in the area when the unit was upgraded to a retained station, with the first dedicated fire appliance on the island arriving in 2002, following a joint initiative with the National Trust for Scotland and Shetland Islands Council.
“Whalsay also started its life as a volunteer fire unit in 1979. The unit was first housed in a shed on Symbister Beach and moved to a purpose built garage in 1986. They unit was upgraded to a retained station in 2005 and the firefighting capability of the station was improved with the delivery of a full-size fire engine in 2010.”
Mr Edgar said: “We are very pleased with the investment in these two island communities. The opening of these new facilities, both of which are the first dedicated fire stations on Fair Isle and Whalsay, will ensure we continue to provide the highest level of community safety and emergency services for these communities.”