New national fire service is at the ready

THE head of Scotland’s new national fire and rescue service has vowed to make the country a safer place to live following the merger of the country’s eight ­regional brigades.

From Monday, the new Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) will become one of Europe’s largest fire brigades, with 9,000 staff and a resource budget of £277 million for 2013-14.

Chief Officer Alasdair Hay said: “As a single service we are in the best position to face the financial challenges of public-sector budget reductions and protect the frontline.

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“We know the public value the service we provide and the professionalism and dedication of our operational crews.”