Community Response Unit.


? to? Wooden Hut, at The Tuck Shop (Chippie), Main Street, CARRBRIDGE.
? to ? Wooden Hut, at side of Village Hall, Main Street, CARRBRIDGE.                  Photo
2001 Wooden Hut, rear of MacDonald’s Garage. (Old Bridge Garage).                   Photo
2006 Garage rear of Dalrachney Lodge Hotel, CARRBRIDGE.                                  Photo
25/9/2009 Main Car Park off the B9153, CARRBRIDGE.                                                      Photo



? to ? Sub Officer Bobby Ritchie
2001 Sub Officer Douglas MacDonald QFSM (Dougie) (there 2018)



1948 Standpipe and Hose
2001 Trailer with gear. (see below)
2005 SY55BFO       LDV Convoy/H&IF&RS                                  CRV (Wildfires & RTAs)

SY55BFM       LDV 400 Convoy/H&IF&RS                          CRV (Wildfires & RTAs)



? to 1941 ?  
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



The Northern Fire Area Administration Scheme Order, 1948

  Equipment Volunteer
  Standpipe and Hose 1 Leading Fireman
    5 Firemen


Establishment 2000





Pump, Hose etc.

1 Sub Officer



1 Leading Firefighter



8 Firefighters

Minimum crew required for an incident is 4

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

The crew are called out by a call from control and then someone goes and manually operates the electric siren on top of the Police Station. The Police used to operate the siren but not now.

The present hut has double doors and the sides of the hut were made from the old wooden doors from Granton on Spey Fire Station.

The 2001 trailer contains:-
1         3 section ladder
1         portable pump
8         lengths domestic hose
           small gear

The old hut at the side of the Village Hall has been donated to the Playgroup.

In the 2002 Report by Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Fire Services for Scotland he said the Brigade could be covered by 95 Units and finance would only be given for those 95. Carrbridge is one of the 32 units which is now under threat of closure.

In the Integrated Risk Management Planning Draft Review of the 32 'Non Strategic' Units it is recommended that this unit should be maintained adopting the role of a Community Response Unit (CRU). The unit should be provided with a vehicle which in the future will be referred to as a Community Response Vehicle (CRV). It is recognised that there have been a number of Road Traffic Accidents in the immediate and adjacent areas. The role of the unit should incorporate the capacity to respond to road traffic accidents, forming part of the initial Pre Determined Attendance. A fully equipped appliance, as support, will continue to be part of the initial Pre Determined Attendance. The unit should be provided with appropriate equipment and training to allow members to effectively contribute to preserving life at RTA’s. The role of the unit should incorporate the ability to respond to forest, moorland and grassfires (wildfires). The unit should be provided with appropriate equipment and training to allow members to effectively contribute to wildfire firefighting. The area within which the unit responds to wildfires should be extended beyond the current unit area and be based upon a wider ranging ‘regional response’ proposal. In this role, the unit may be required to respond to wildfires occurring throughout the Brigade's mainland area. The unit should be provided with appropriate training to allow members to effectively deliver Community Fire Safety education/information. The unit will be classed as Auxiliary support to the Brigade and time worked will be paid accordingly. The unit has attended 106 incidents in the period 1/4/1999 to 31/8/2004. If a dwelling fire occurs an adequately equipped resource would attend from Aviemore within 12 minutes.

The Carrbridge unit assisted by the community has enhanced the ability to transport the equipment by the provision of a trailer together with a larger wooden fire shed to accommodate the trailer.

On 1st April 2005 along with 6 other Non Mobile Auxiliary Units and 1 Mobile Auxiliary Unit Carrbridge was classed as Auxiliary support to the Brigade with a role of Community Response Unit responding to wildfires and Road Traffic Accidents.

At present the appliance is kept in a garage in a field at the rear of the Dalrachney Lodge Hotel but this field has been sold for development which is starting in about six months, three sites have been identified by the crew as possible locations for a new station. (August 2006)

The Community Response Vehicle carries four knapsack tanks for wildfires and a 200 litre tank, only used for filling the knapsacks, and a length of hose for filling the tank. They also carry beaters and RTC equipment.

The Carrbridge unit responded to their first call on the 27th December 2005 to an RTC on the A9, this was not the same incident that was attended by Newtonmore on the same date.

Carrbridge had a call sign of A47 in The Highlands and Islands Fire and Rescue Service, this was changed to S63, the new National Call Sign, when the Control at Inverness closed on 6/12/2016 and moved to Dundee.


Douglas Colin MacDonald, 50, is volunteer Watch Manager of the Carrbridge Community Response Unit. The Unit provides community safety advice, road traffic collision rescue and 'wildland' fire fighting skills to the Carrbridge and wider Lochaber area. The team are unfortunately regularly called out to attend serious road incidents on the A9 and their expertise in 'wildland' fire fighting is invaluable to the Lochaber area which boasts several ancient woodlands.
His leadership and commitment to the Unit are outstanding and all the more remarkable considering his family commitments. Mr MacDonald has one daughter and a son, Craig, who suffers from Dravet Syndrome, and needs constant care and supervision. In 2003, the volunteer unit faced the threat of closure as Her Majesty's Fire Service Inspectorate, the Health and Safety Executive. Highlands and Islands Fire and Rescue Service sought to bring about changes aimed at improving the safety of personnel. Supported by his wife, Mr MacDonald petitioned and engaged successfully with all the relevant agencies and MSPs, helping to ensure that the future of the unit was properly considered. As a result, the Unit was established as one of the first Community Response Units in the UK.
Mr MacDonald combines his voluntary work with the full-time job of owning and running the local petrol station. He is well known and respected in the area and has previously represented the UK in international junior ski competitions.
(Scottish Government Biographies 31/12/2008)




Friday 25th September 2009

1900 hours


Chief Fire Officer’s Welcoming Address: 

Welcome to all our guests and friends at the opening of the newly built Fire Station at Carrbridge.
The Highlands and Islands Fire and Rescue Service is determined to make our communities safer. Our Firefighters at Carrbridge do this through providing Community Safety advice and a Community Response Service to Road Traffic Accidents and Wildfires. In recent years the station and its personnel have gone through a challenging period of change and development. They have been proactive and determined in shaping their own future and it is testament to the Firefighters, their supporters and the good community spirit in Carrbridge, that the Unit is currently thriving and providing an excellent service from its new station in the heart of the village.
I admire the resilience and resourcefulness of the team in Carrbridge and I am absolutely confident that in the years to come they will continue to grow and develop. Highlands and Islands Fire and Rescue Service is a community based organisation and the Firefighters could not provide the commitment they do without the support of their families. It is therefore fitting that today’s official opening will be performed by Mrs Bunty MacDonald who has worked tirelessly to secure the units long term future.
Many thanks to everyone for attending and supporting our very special team here in Carrbridge. 

Brian A Murray
Chief Fire Officer 

                Station Manager Graham Clark 

                Brian A Murray 

                Watch Manager Dougie MacDonald 

•              OFFICIAL OPENING:
                Mr Richard Durham
                Fire Board Convener

                Mrs Bunty MacDonald 

•              STATION BLESSING:
                Reverend David Whyte 

•              BUFFET for 2000 hours
                The Village Hall, Carrbridge.








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


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