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Scottish FRS Losing 10 Pumps

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There was an announcement today that 10 second pumps will be removed in September. 

The union has responded, this is a dangerous mistake on behalf of SFRS and they are trying to blame it on the hard fought for pay rise, so basically it's our own fault!

Shocking decision from poor management, I hope the folk on the ground fight it all the way!

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I think its countrywide, Perth and another in the East too. My old station is affected too, I'm absolutely  gutted for everyone. Do they have an actual plan if what is going to happen to all the firies?

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6 hours ago, JamesC said:

My station is one of the affected. Is the ten stations country wide or is just the west that's an issue?


James have you guys actually been told you are loosing your second? It’s all rumour at this point though that list of stations wouldn’t surprise me if they are basing purely on ability to be backed up by surrounding stations unfortunately.

Personnel Will be temp transferred to other stations to facilitate crewing at 5+4, polmadie will lose its additional personnel for crewing boat. Two from tayside as it stands, likely two from Edinburgh and one from Aberdeen making 10 appliances.

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As @Peek_a_Boo13 said I believe our station was told by management but I am off duty this week so it's second hand information. The rumours have been ongoing for weeks though.

It's an incredulous decision our second pump must be one of the busiest in the country and even the relief duties we have had recently I have no clue how they can sustain fire cover. I'm sure other stations mentioned will feel the same. 

I just hope the people who want to or volunteer to move get a say in where they go and hope its sorted sooner rather than later.


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I’ll caveat what I’m about to say that in no way am I justifying or agreeing with the decision. 

cowcwddens whole site is in the process of being sold, a replacement may be built. It may come to be that the station is outright closed so the the remaining appliance will be relocated to maryhill? Again that’s just conjecture so not anything beyond a guess.

cowcaddens second is the busiest machine in the west. Maryhill are close behind so I think it’s not about volume of turnouts, I think they are more likely to be looking at volume of surrounding appliances. That’s what they used to justify yorkhills second going to knightswood a few years ago. Govan and Hamilton are similar. Easterhouse is a bit more of a surprise especially with the HRV and the big gap the old parkhead left when it closed. I think data modelling is based on UFAS aswell and the reductions to mobilisations that will bring. And obviously they’ve massively changed standbys aswell.

Again I’m not justifying or in anyway saying it’s the right decision I’m just giving what the management will claim their reasoning may be.

it’s a joke of a situation and never should be happening, we need to come together as a union and put the government in a position similar to the pay rise where they are forced to act.

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Your spot on there mate, well said. 

I think your first paragraph is bang on although I think cowcaddens 2nd will likely go to Yorkhill when the site goes. This has been hinted by management previously. Chances of a new station even although they own the land outright is extremely slim I would think.


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Yorkhill having a second would make sense if maryhill and govan have one pump

I suppose.still though since the inception of sfrs pretty much every major incident has happened in greater Glasgow.

  • The Clutha 
  • Glasgow bin lorry crash
  • Both Glasgow school of art fires (second one was beyond 30 pumps when you consider specials and aerials) 
  • Victoria’s night club
  • Stobhill hospital
  • Albert drive 

The list goes on. We will be scratching our backside when it all goes wrong again. 

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That's the unfortunate and most concerning part "when it goes wrong". 

Be interesting to see if they will need the spare bodies in Glasgow still because I wouldn't mind using the situation to my advantage and move area closer to home.


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On 27/05/2023 at 13:51, Bgjm21 said:

Personnel Will be temp transferred to other stations to facilitate crewing at 5+4, polmadie will lose its additional personnel for crewing boat.

Will the transfer of these personnel have much effect on the overall staffing in Glasgow and the west? Heard through some pals that it can be a struggle at the moment.

Out of interest, what is Polmadie’s current crewing arrangements with their boat/water rescue capabilities?

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5 pumps is the number routinely dropped in the west, they are effectively removing the pumps they think will have the least impact so they can keep other pumps on the run rather than it being a random scattering of pumps off the run.

So it won’t improve staffing, it’ll just keep the pumps on the run more coordinated.

polmadie dual crew a water rescue unit with their first pump, which mobilised to all in-land water rescue’s the same way any WRU would. But they also have a dedicated boat crew crewed by 1 crew commander and two firefighters who staff a moored boat on the Clyde.

it’s also worth saying I said staff could be temp transferred but that is not the case, all transfers over the summer will be permanent which reading through the lines seems to suggest these pumps will never return.

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Hi @JL_Martin. I see you are from France which may explain you asking the question. 

Some of our fire stations have more than one fire engine. Many have two, with one named the 1st Pump and the other the 2nd Pump. The topic being discussed here is the removal of those 2nd Pumps (fire appliance) leaving the station with only one and of course, less fire engines to cover the same area and same population and also reducing the number of firefighters available. ;)

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Basically in this scenario It means in practice we are going from 59 wholetime (crewed 24/7)  appliances in the legacy Strathclyde area to 53. We are also reducing the number of high reach aerial appliances we have from 14 to 7.

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@Bgjm21 That is scary stuff, another problem is the public apathy towards fire service issues. If it was police officers or ambulance / NHS staff being cut then the public would be up in arms - everyone has either been or knows someone that has been a victim of crime or required some sort of medical treatment whereas fires always just happen to other people. 

If I remember correctly, one of the arguments put forward for the creation of the Scottish fire and rescue service was "to protect front line services" I think the people of the former Strathclyde area, in particular Glasgow have seen nothing of the sort. 

Just my opinion from afar. 

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Strathclyde pre- sfrs crewed every appliance with 5 riders, both first and second, aerial rescue pumps were to be crewed with 6 riders. Every station as soon as empty for more than 30 mins would be covered with a standby appliance. Standard of appliance, procedure, PPE and training was undeniably higher than the rest of Scotland. This may be controversial because folk resent that biggest and best label that is sometimes applied to the former Strathclyde area but quite frankly have a look at the audit scotland reports on standards of the legacy eight brigades.

The inception of the sfrs found the area being stripped away. For example some of its defibrillators were removed to be distributed around Scotland because of the lack of equipment in other brigades, this happened across the board with computer systems etc 

This has happened repeatedly including the SWAH gear being taken off second appliances to be redistributed amongst the other areas. Glasgow and the west has lost out the most and continues to be hit the hardest by SFRS  losing 6 appliances compared to 5 across the whole rest of Scotland along with the decimation of the areas aerial fleet. These pumps were here for a reason but there are few to nil members of senior management that have ever worked in the area and seem to be naïve to the fact that as I pointed out above, almost every single major incident since the services inception has been in this area not to mention that this 1/3rd of the brigade handles 50% of the incidents for the entire country. 

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I don't really think there's much I could add to that. I'd be very interested in having a look at the audit Scotland reports on the Legacy brigades. I was always of the opinion that really there should be a minimum of 3 brigades for Scotland. 

Although it's somewhat ironic that Brian Sweeney was one of the first to suggest an amalgamation of the Scottish brigades. 

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Probably would take a bit of Googling to get them now, but it’s common knowledge fife we’re running 4+4 years ago and were looking at having to close stations. Even worse was Highlands and Islands where things had gone so catastrophically wrong the brigade was almost insolvent coupled with some extreme health and safety stuff regarding firefighter training and a huge capital backlog which still burdens sfrs now. 

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An angle that has been thrown around in the east is that rather than just “stripping pumps” this is the service playing hard ball with the government. A case of “fine if you want to give us a flat cash budget then this is what we’ll do” in the hope that the public, councillors and MP’s will be up in arms and be able to apply pressure. Now that’s not to say that they’ll be back because we all know what “temporary” means. But it’s a reasonable assumption because why else would me a lowly grunt at the bottom of the pole know about this before the actual government/councils were informed. Shock factor perhaps? 

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Two of the stations have started Unofficial Twitter pages. Anyone who is fluent in Twitter able to tell me the best way to increase visibility and engagement on this? Other than tweeting and tagging and hashtags. Any help would be appreciated! TIA

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