Probus hear history of Fire Service

Peterhead Probus Club President, Tom Buchan with Scottish Fire and Rescue Watch Manager, Brian Easson
Peterhead Probus Club President, Tom Buchan with Scottish Fire and Rescue Watch Manager, Brian Easson

A warm welcome was given to returning speaker, Brian Easson, to the recent meeting of Probus in the Palace Hotel on Tuesday, February 25.

In October 2011, Brian gave an excellent presentation to Probus on his training and involvement in the GFRS International Rescue Corp and his involvement in helping out in Christchurch, New Zealand after the earthquake of February 22, 2011.

This time, Brian took the opportunity to tell members about the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, what existed before the changes of 2013, what is envisaged with the new changes, and then, as Brian is retiring in October, a trip down memory lane reminiscing about former colleagues, fires and accidents and the Fire Service over the last 38 years.

In a very informative presentation, Brian outlined what the Fire Service consisted of prior to April 2013, how the North-east was divided into Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire and Moray, the main areas of activity and the retained stations.

Within this area, the key places to note were the St Fergus Gas Plant, BP Pumping Station at Cruden Bay, Royal Deeside and Peterhead Harbour as well as providing fire and safety cover to a very large population.

The division of Scotland into North, West and East after April 1 2013 within an Integrated Scottish Fire and Rescue Service should mean virtually no change to the present cover by the Fire Service, apart from Grampian fire engines returning from white to the traditional red.

It will be interesting to see if the drive to achieve ‘economies of scale’ will produce the end result!

With the aid of archive photographs, Brian highlighted major fires and accidents in the Peterhead area from 1936 to the present day, showed the development of equipment to fight fires and remembered past colleagues in stations in the north-east.

Members thoroughly enjoyed Brian’s presentation and the manner in which he engaged with his audience.

In his vote of thanks to Brian, Sandy Corner said that Brian obviously represented the best of a highly skilled body of people in the Fire Service, providing us with fire and rescue protection every day of the year with members wishing Brian a happy and healthy retirement after October.

Probus meets again on Tuesday, March 11 at 10am in the Palace Hotel with David Alexander, Press Secretary of Peterhead Lifeboat as guest speaker.

Members should note that this is a change to printed syllabus.