T21 FORT WILLIAM

2  Pump  Retained

Stations

 

? to ? Pulp Mill, Fort William (Volunteer station)
1939 to 1956 Attached to Marshall's Garage, High Street, FORT WILLIAM.
1956 to Claggan Road, FORT WILLIAM. PH33 6PH.                                          Photo
5/4/2008 An Aird, FORT WILLIAM.                                                                        Photo

Firemasters

1957 Station Officer Alec Fraser
? Station Officer Archie Lockhart
? to 1968 Station Officer Willie McLeod  *
1968 to 1983 Station Officer Billy MacLeod (Son of *)
1983  to 28/8/2001 Station Officer Hugh Cameron
9/10/2001 to 2006 Station Officer Michael Mackin
2006 to 17/6/2006 Temp Station Officer Duncan Gillies
2006? to Watch Manager Chris Findlay (still there 2018)

 

Appliances

 

192? ST8119 Dennis/Braidwood PE
1942 GLC843 Austin K2/Home Office ATV
1942 GLM676 Fordson 7v/Home Office HU
1956 KST127 Karrier Gamecock/Carmichael PE
1958 MST500 Karrier Gamecock 72A/HCB WrT
1982 ASK450 Bedford TKEL/HCB WrT
1970 MST872J Bedford TKEL/HCB Angus WrL

 

  First Second Training School Support Van
1978 PST107S MST872J    
1982 PST107S ASK450    
1986 B679VST PST107S    
1990 B679VST A707RAS    
1994 L318SAS B679VST    
1998 L318SAS H855AST    
2003 SY03BNF SY03BNJ    
2006 SY52VCL SY03BNF    
2007 SY52VCL SY04CBU K186MPO  
2013 July SY13ANF SY52VCL K186MPO  
2014 Dec SY13ANF SY13AMX K186MPO SY14AWV

 

PST107S Dodge K1113/CFE WrL
A707RAS Dodge G13c/Fulton and Wylie WrL
B679VST Dodge G13c/Fulton and Wylie WrL
H855AST Mercedes 1120/Fulton and Wylie WrL
K186MPO Volvo FL6-14/HCB Angus WrL
L318SAS Mercedes 1124/Carmichael WrL
SY52VCL   WrLR
SY03BNF MAN 10-225/HIFB WrL
SY03BNJ MAN 10-225/HIFB WrL
SY04CBU MAN 14-265/Wittlich/Emergency One WrL
SY13AMX Volvo FLL290/Emergency One WrL
SY13ANF Volvo FLL290/Emergency One WrL
SY14AWV Ford Transit Custom Van

SY14AWV is a station  runaround for crew changes and transporting BA cylinders and other equipment. Was on the run by June 2015.

Brigades

? to 1941 ? Fort William Fire Brigade?
1941 to 1948 National Fire Service
1948 to 1975 Northern Area Fire Brigade
1975 to 1983 Northern Fire Brigade
1983 to 2005 Highland and Islands Fire Brigade
2005 to Highlands and Islands Fire and Rescue Service

 

Notes

 

The Northern Fire Area Administration Scheme Order, 1948

  Equipment Retained
  1 Self Propelled Pump 1 Section Leader
  1 Towing Vehicle 2 Leading Firemen
  1 Large Trailer Pump 10 Firemen

 

With the new brigade structure introduced in the summer of 2003 the 3 Divisions were re-organised into 2 Commands North and South, Fort William was put into South Command. Call signs remained the same.

Fort William had a call sign of A6 in The Highlands and Islands Fire and Rescue Service, this was changed to T21, the new National Call Sign, when the Control at Inverness closed on 6/12/2016 and moved to Dundee.

 

New Fort fire station will create 20 full-time jobs

Fort William's new fire station will be built at An Aird and will mean the creation of 20 full-time jobs.
Lochaber's councillors gave their approval to the plan on Monday and the new station could be built 'within the year.'
The move follows the recent reports by both the Accounts Commission and the Chief Inspector of Fire Services to upgrade the Highland Stations.
Councillor Drew McFarlane Slack, who sits on the fire board, explained the new move: 'Both of these reports sought to improve the response times to call outs, in line with some of the urban fire services.

Highlighted

'It was felt that the current location of Fort William Fire Station would prevent it from reaching key areas in the town within the changed response times.'
The Highland and Islands Fire Board has been searching for a new site within the town for some time, with An Aird highlighted as the only suitable central location.
Outline planning permission for the new station has already been granted by officials.
Although detailed building proposals are not yet available, the new station will be of the high modern standard recently completed at Kinlochleven, Strontian and Fort Augustus.
'This will bring a much improved and more reliable service to our community,' added Councillor McFarlane Slack.
He continued: 'The decision is to be much welcomed.
'The discussions have been going on for some time and we are all very pleased to see yet another major investment by the fire board in Lochaber.'
The current service in Fort William is 'retained', which means that although fire-fighters are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, staff are not full-time employees.
With the construction of the new Station, the town's fire-fighters will move to a 'whole-time' service and full-time employment.
While fire-fighter training and equipment is continuously upgraded, but once the new station is opened Fort William's service will be working with some of the most up-to-date equipment in the country.
(The Oban Times, 22 April, 1999)

The land has been bought, but it is not known if or when the new station will be built. (August 2001)

To get 1 wholetime crew on a 24 hour basis manning 1 Water Tender Ladder and 1 Emergency Tender supported by 1 retained pump.
(Fire Board minutes 2001)

 

Fire station site set to shift

 

Fort William’s new fire station is likely to be built on an alternative site to the one expected.
Firemaster Brian Murray told Highland councillors at a meeting in Fort William on Monday that Highlands an Islands Fire Board was considering a more suitable site than the one at An Aird.
The board was also considering options to ensure the fire service meets target response times for the Fort William area.
‘This is all about improving fire cover in Lochaber,’ said Mr Murray. ‘Firefighters in Fort William and Kinlochleven are doing an excellent job but the reviews have thrown up questions about cover in the area. We have come up with some proposals but the fire board has asked for consultation to make everyone aware of what is involved. All views will be taken into account before we move forward.’

Response time

Target response times dictate where new fire stations are built. The Fort William area is classified as a category C risk which means fire engines must reach a blaze within eight to 10 minutes of any alert Fire brigade figures show that engines are failing to meet target times for 13 per cent of call outs to Caol, 49 per cent of call outs to Corpach and 25 per cent of call outs to Roy Bridge where a category D risk merits a response time of 20 minutes. Mr Murray said the failings could be addressed by having a new retained fire station at Corpach with an appliance taken from Kinlochleven or an £800,000 station in Fort William staffed around the clock by up to 40 full time firefighters.
A 24-hour station staffed by retained firefighters was another option but this would ideally be based on a potential site in North Road.
‘We are all aware of the difficulties which would be caused by the roads near our site at An Aird and a majority of retained staff would have to travel there,’ he said.

Emergency

The board was also considering the possibility of providing an extra emergency fire tender for Lochaber.
Recruitment problems in Kinlochleven made it difficult to continue having two fire engines based there. The second appliance was unavailable much of the time and would be much better used elsewhere. ‘We have recommended taking it away and moving it to a new site at Ballachulish,’ said Mr Murray. ‘It would be only 20 minutes from Kinlochleven.’
Fort William councillor Brian Murphy was pleased to hear about the rethink over the likely site of Fort William’s new fire station. ‘The site in North Road will give improved times to Corpach and Caol,’ he said.
However, . he was concerned about a lack of accommodation for any staff recruited from outside the area. ‘Housing is already at a premium in Fort William,’ he said.
Councillor George Bruce asked if presently retained officers would be taken on if the new station is staffed by full timers, but was told they would have to apply for vacancies like anyone else.
Mr Murray said there was no guarantee they would be successful but the skills they had gained might help them in the recruitment process.
(Oban Times, 20/6/2002. Page 4)

A new 3 bay station, the same as Lerwick's is to be built on spare ground behind McDonald's at the roundabout at Safeways. (August 2004)

The new station at An Aird became operational in November 2007 and the official Opening was on Saturday the 5th April, 2008.

Opening of fire station overshadowed by deaths 

The official opening of a new Highland fire station on Saturday was overshadowed by sadness with the loss of the father and young son in Friday’s blaze in Foyers, just 45 miles away.
On a day of mixed emotions, fire board convener Richard Durham said: “There is real sadness on behalf of the board at the tragedy at Foyers. The timing is poignant.”
The opening of the new £1.6million facility at Fort William was a blend of past and present. Retired station officer of 17 years Hughie Cameron unveiled a plaque, while his successors demonstrated the latest technology in a mock road traffic accident.
Replacing the former base at Claggan, which opened in 1956, the new base offers more room for three appliances and their crews, as well as incorporating many modern training facilities.
A special housing block capable of withstanding regular fires will provide essential practice for tackling many types of blazes in confined spaces.
Chief Fire Officer Brian Murray praised the new HQ and the time local manager Mike White had spent monitoring the project.
“I have been in this post for nine years and in that time have attended the opening of more than 20 new stations across the area,” he said.
“This is testimony to the tremendous commitment of the service and Highland Council in giving the best cover to the communities which depend on us and to the firefighters who put themselves at risk to help others in these communities.”
Mr Durham said: “This one is especially pleasing because not only is it a new fire station, but it’s also providing training facilities.
“For the people of Lochaber and Morvern to be able to provide training to retained firefighters here rather than having to take them a very long way, such as Invergordon or Edinburgh, is obviously a great step forward.”
At the start of proceedings the commitment of Kilchoan-based firefighter Hugh MacLachlan was recognised with the presentation of long service and good conduct medal, marking 20 years of service.
(The Press and Journal, Monday 7th April, 2008.)

 

Doors open on New Fort William Fire Station. 

<PHOTO> Former firefighter Hughie Cameron MBE opens the new Fort William Fire Station at An Aird. Local dignitaries, serving and retired firefighters and their friends and family attended Staurday’s event. See full story on page 4.
(Oban Times, Thursday, 10 April, 2008. Page 2) 

New Fort William Fire Station opens 

<PHOTO> Hugh MacLachlan from Kilchoan and family after Hugh was presented with his medal.
Fire service veteran Hughie Cameron MBE opened the new Fort William Fire Station in style on Saturday to herald a new era for the service in Lochaber.
Around 100 distinguished guests attended the ceremony, held in the hall where fire engines now wait to go out on call.
Hugh MacLachlan from Kilchoan was presented with his 20 years’ long service and good conduct medal before chief fire officer Brian Murray and Fire Board convenor Richard Durham paid tribute to the new station and everyone involved in its planning and construction.
Hughie Cameron then stepped up to pull the red curtain on the brass plaque on the station wall.
Mr Cameron told how he had memories of the Claggan Road station when it opened in 1956 and spoke of his pride in the local service’s new home.
‘To have a facility that you now have here, together with the training facility, is going to make a huge difference to everyone in the service, he said ‘I hope that this new station will serve the community as well as the old one did, watch manager Chris Findlay said in his reply.
Father Roderick Johnstone then gave the station a blessing and reminded the firefighters how highly they were regarded by the community for the work they did. The Fort William extrication team, who came a highly creditable eighth out of 59 to finish top Scottish team in a recent UK competition, then gave a demonstration of their skills.
(Oban Times, Thursday, 10 April, 2008. Page 4)

 

Failte gu fosgladh o figdal Steisean
Smailidh An Gearasdan
5th April 2008

<PHOTO> of the station

Welcome To the Official Opening of
Fort William Fire Station
5th April 2008

 

14:00 - Introduction from M. C.

Long Service & Good Conduct medal F.F. Hugh MacLachlan – Kilchoan 

Address by Chief Fire Officer
Brian Murray 

Address by Fire Board Convenor
Richard Durham 

Official Opening
Hughie Cameron M.B.E. 

Station Reply
Watch Manager Chris Findlay 

Station blessing
Father Roderick Johnston 

Light refreshments served upstairs, tour of the station facilities and RTC demo

Piper Astie Cameron 

 

Last year, for the first time, a team from Fort William Fire Station entered the Highlands & Islands Extrication Competition. The top two teams (Fort William came second) from this competition, were then entered into the Scottish Extrication Competition being held in Glasgow.
A lot of time and hard work was then put in by the team in preparation for the next round. This extra training paid off and the team came fourth out of 28 entries, this meant they were now on their way to the U.K. Extrication Championship to be held in Cardiff.
Many more hours of extra training were put in before this event. Once again Fort William excelled in this competition and came eigth overall out of 59 entries, and actually finished as the top Scottish team, no mean feat considering last years World Champions were Scottish.
Fort William Station Personnel would like to take this opportunity to thank local Paramedic, Allison Stewart, for giving up a lot of her own time to coach the Medics before each competition.

 

Extrication Team

 

                                                                                Watch Manager   Chris Findlay

                                                                                Medic                     Davie Rodgers

                                                                                Tool Operators     Clint MacLeod

                                                                                                                Martin MacKenna

                                                                                Stabilisation          Fraser MacDonald

                                                                                                                Bryan Henderson

                                                                                                                Iain Small 

<PHOTO> of the crew
Back Row: C. Ross, A. Paterson, A. Knox, J. Clark, C. MacLeod, S. Baltrunas, I. Small.
Middle Row: B. MacKinnon, F. MacDonald, M. MacKenna, D. Rodgers, J. Laggan
Front Row: J. Campbell, P. Lees, C. Findlay, A. MacKinnon

 

 

 

If you know of any mistakes in this or have any additional information please let me know.

 

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