Fire board vice-convener slams ‘outrageous’ comments

Vice-Convener of Grampian Fire & Rescue Joint Board, Cllr Stephen Smith, has slammed comments made by Lib Dem councillor Martin Greig as an “insult to fire service professionals”.

Cllr Smith was responding to remarks made by Cllr Greig in today’s Press & Journal claiming the new emergency service structure was guilty of “central belt bias” and claiming their “attitude is that north and north-east Scotland are distant provinces of secondary importance”.

Cllr Greig was also reported stating that the newly-appointed senior fire officers of the Scottish Fire & Rescue Service did not have any “understanding or feeling” for community fire-fighting in the north and north-east.

Commenting, Cllr Smith said: “I find these remarks by Martin Greig astonishing and quite outrageous.

“To suggest that these senior fire officers, who have been appointed on merit, will approach their new responsibilities with anything other than the utmost professionalism is an insult for which he should apologise.

“Our own Chief Fire Officer in Grampian, David Dalziel, came to Grampian from Strathclyde Fire Brigade and no-one would suggest that he is anything other than fully committed to the local fire service and to providing the best possible service to the people of the North-east.

“I am not interested in where fire officers come from. I am interested that they can fulfil their duties in a professional manner and continue the excellent service to the people of the North-east that they have experienced from Grampian Fire & Rescue Service.”