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Lochaber MSP Kate Forbes has praised what she called the ‘sacrifice’ of retained firefighters serving in rural areas after tabling a motion in the Scottish Parliament recognising their devotion to duty.
Inverness has the Highlands’ only full-time fire station, meaning that stations such as Fort William, Dingwall, Drumnadrochit, Dunvegan and Kingussie all rely on retained firefighters.
The MSP for Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch said that many in the general public did not realise that firefighters were holding down other jobs while also responding to emergencies at all hours.
And Ms Forbes told us: ‘I recently met and spoke to retained firefighters and was amazed at their level of commitment and sacrifice.
‘To my shame, I had not fully appreciated how much time and effort retained firefighters devote to training and responding to emergencies.
‘I don’t think most people realise that these firefighters are true professionals, and yet have full-time jobs at the same time.
‘Their employers and families enable them to drop everything and respond to emergencies. The pager can go at any time of the day or night.
‘At the same time, retained firefighters train regularly so that they can rush to anything from a faulty alarm to a road collision.
‘They are utterly dedicated to protecting local communities and are a humbling reminder that community spirit and public duty are alive and well.’