Scottish Liberal Democrat justice spokesman Liam McArthur MSP today said new figures revealing that Scotland has lost 1000 Fire Service staff since the SNP’s centralisation of the service shows the scale of the impact the changes have had on the emergency services.
Staffing figures released today by the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) revealed a drop of around 1000 staff since the merger of local services. There are now around 700 fewer wholetime and retained firefighters than there were in 2013. The number of support and control staff has fallen by around 300 and the number of volunteers has dropped by almost 20%.
Commenting, Mr McArthur said:
“Fire service staff across Scotland save lives every day. We need to ensure that they have the resources they need to do their jobs.
“Since the creation of SFRS we have lost around 700 firefighters. These are not only full-time staff but also retained firefighters who provide frontline cover in almost every rural community. These figures underline the scale of the impact that SNP centralisation has had on our emergency services.
“We know that more job losses are coming, with plans for the closure of control rooms in the north of Scotland later this year. People have real fears over what this will mean for local knowledge and unions have warned of increased pressure on control and support staff.
“Fire service staff across Scotland save lives every day. SNP ministers must recognise that there comes a point at which their squeeze will sorely impact on services and make it more difficult for them to do their jobs.”