Fire Engine Upgrade Should Solve Garrison Problem

firemenFires on The Garrison should be tackled with greater ease later this year.

The islands’ Fire Service is paying £30,000 to adapt one of the St Mary’s appliances to attend fires through the archway, which is too narrow for conventional engines.

In May, the service tackled a fire in the grounds of Star Castle Hotel on The Garrison.

The government has given the fire service £75,000 this year and the same amount next year to buy equipment.

The service intends to buy three new thermal imaging cameras, crash rescue equipment and refurbish the Tresco vehicle this year.

Performance figures for the last year show that there were 21 official call-outs between 1st April and 31st March .

15 were on St Mary’s, with 2 each on St Martin’s, St Agnes and Tresco. There were no calls on Bryher.

Six of the fires were described as ‘primary’ and one ‘secondary.’

It took fire crews an average of 10 minutes to respond to fires.

Chief Fire Officer Steve Webster says the service’s fire prevention strategy is continuing with the vast majority of homes on the islands being visited and over 450 smoke alarms fitted.

He says they’ve been focussing on the use of electric blankets and the dangers of carbon monoxide.

There were also eleven special callouts to non-fire incidents such as traffic accidents and flooding.

Staffing levels on Bryher fell below the required level on one day, 2nd January, although Steve says appropriate local arrangements were made to ensure the safety of any staff in the event of a call-out.