19/11/2013

Fire and Rescue Services

At tonight's Policy & Resources (Police, Fire ad Community Safety) Committee I raised a number of issues about fire and rescue services.  On the quarterly performance report  I raised concerns about a rise in the number the deliberate secondary fires.  These are fires set in for example rubbish bins.  Those who set them think that they are 'fun' but in reality they are very dangerous and cost the taxpayer money. I wanted to know that there was  plan to deal with the 179% variance between the target and the actual performance.  Part of the reason given was that there was good weather over the summer which encouraged people to be outside and created dry, combustible materials.  I don't think that we would win many votes by seeking a poor summer next year and in any case this is well beyond the powers of the committee.  It was good to hear about plans to deal with this problem. 

I also asked about plans to deal with unwanted fire signals, this is when fire alarms are set off and fire engines respond.  Sometimes these go off by accident or sometimes deliberately.  There are many facilities in the West End which have caused problems such as students halls and even Ninewells Hospital.  Whilst I support efforts to ensure that these systems operate correctly and to deal with malicious use of these alarms, I am concerned that we should not change the response.  We need to err on the side of caution and ensure that an appropriate response continues to be made.

On the Scottish Fire and Rescue Update I raised concerns about the future of the fire control room in Dundee.  I also asked that the council support the retention of vehicle and equipment workshops close to Dundee. You can also show your support for the control room by signing the petition organised by the local Fire Brigades Union.