1 Light Fire Appliance, Retained.



? to ? Old Volunteer Garage                                                                         Photo
? to 10/11/2000 Old station St Brendan's Road, Castlebay, BARRA.                    Photo
10/11/2000 to St Brendan's Road, Horve, Castlebay, BARRA.                            Photo


1988 to 1994 Sub Officer Willie MacLean
1994 to 2009 Sub Officer Donald MacNeill
2009 to Watch Manager William Douglas


1990 C836AAS Bedford CF/Fulton and Wylie CFA
1998 L323SAS Mercedes 310D/HIFB LFA


  First Second or Spare
1999 V554JST L323SAS
2005 K271MST M102VAS
2006 SY06COH M102VAS
2009 SY06COH SY04CAU
Jan 2010 SY06COH SY02TTU
2011 Jan 6 SY06COH SY02TTO


K271MST Mercedes 1124/Carmichael WrL
M102VAS Mercedes 310D/HIFB LFA
V554JST Mitsubishi Canter/HIFB MWrT
SY04CAU LDV 400 Convoy 3.85T/HIFB LFA
SY06COH MAN 12-225/H&IF&RS WrL



? 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


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

Castlebay had a call sign of B12 in The Highlands and Islands Fire and Rescue Service, this was changed to U33, the new National Call Sign, when the Control at Inverness closed on 6/12/2016 and moved to Dundee.


Equipment Neglected

The Scottish Home Department have supported the suggestion put forward at a recent Northern Fire Area Joint Committee meeting in Inverness that the mechanically operated pump used for fire fighting at Castlebay, Barra, should be replaced by a hand operated apparatus.
The suggestion was put forward originally by Firemaster D Macdonald after he had reported that three mechanical pumps sent out to Barra since the war had not been properly maintained and that a large quantity of hose had to be thrown into the sea because it became unusable through lack of proper attention.
The fire committee decided to defer consideration of the firemaster’s proposal until he had an opportunity of visiting the island in a final attempt to find someone who would accept the responsibility of looking after the fire equipment if a mechanically operated pump were left there.
The chairman, Councillor W. J. Mackay, Inverness, told "The Glasgow Herald" yesterday that since their last meeting the Scottish Home Department had come forward with a suggestion similar to the Firemaster’s, recommending the replacement of the mechanical pump by hand operated equipment.
“We will consider the position when we meet at Fort William in a week,” he said, “ when we will also probably have a further report from the Firemaster, but at the moment the Scottish Home Department seem to favour the reduction in status of the Castlebay station.
(The Glasgow Herald, Tuesday, November 18, 1952. Page 7.)


1978 Got an LFA
1992 BA Training, 1 of the Volunteer Pilot scheme stations.
1994 Appliance equipped with Blackhawk cutting equipment for use at RTAs
1994 Vatersay ceased to be a unit and amalgamated with Castlebay.
1994 Now on the run with BA
1999 Upgraded to Retained
2000 New station to open October
Was Mobile Volunteer Unit B23.
L323SAS is kept here as a spare.

22/12/1999 - 7/01/2000
The fire brigade were called out last Thursday evening to deal with a serious fire at Kismul Galley. The alarm was raised when residents on the Ledaig side of the bay noticed flames and smoke coming from the rear kitchen area of the cafe. When the fire brigade arrived they were able to bring the fire under control, in spite of the severe weather conditions prevailing at the time. The kitchen extension of the building was badly damaged but the fire door between the kitchen and the cafe/shop served its purpose and there was very little damage to the front of the building.

Construction work on the new fire station in St Brendan's Road, Castlebay is well underway and will give much improved facilities for the local fire service. Due for completion in September the new facilities will be needed to house the two fire appliances which will be based in Barra. Currently an auxiliary service the local team will be upgraded to retained status shortly and have just taken delivery of a brand new Midi fire engine with a wide range of up-to-date equipment. The Midi fire engine is the equivalent of a full size unit apart from water carrying capacity. The local service will now operate with the two vehicles and will be undertaking increased training as a result of the upgrading

The formal opening of the new Barra Fire Station today (Friday) is a major step forward for fire fighting in Barra. The convenor of the Highlands & Islands Fire Board, Mr Drew MacFarlane Slack, will undertake the formal opening service this afternoon. The Highlands & Islands Firemaster Mr Brian A Murray, Divisional Officers Hugh Henny, Uisdean MacLennan and Western Isles Divisional Officer Graham Meeks will also be present. The new building marks a major step forward for the Barra fire fighting team with facilities in the building such as the new Midi Fire appliance together with the previous lighter appliance, upgrading to retained status and enhanced levels of training on a greater range of equipment. All this will provide an improved level of service to the community of Barra & Vatersay.
(Above 3 articles from Isle of Barra WEB site)


<PHOTO> In front of the new fire station at Horve – Leading Firefighter, Ronnie MacNeill, Sub Officer, Donald MacNeill, and Leading Firefighter, William Douglas
The new fire station at Horve, in Castlebay was the venue for an open day on Sunday.
The impressive station was formally opened on November 10 by Andrew Macfarlane-Slack, Convenor of the Highlands and Islands Fire Board, and Councillor for Glencoe.
It boasts a workshop, a Breathing Apparatus maintenance room, a laundry and gym. In the accommodation area, there is a muster room, a lecture room, an office and kitchen, plus toilet and shower facilities, both male and female.
As the new facility is open for public meetings, etc, there is also a disabled toilet.
The article then goes on to talk about the ‘Equality for All’ signed in Scotland this week by various professionals and politicians.
(The Stornoway Gazette, Thursday, December 21,2000 front Page.)





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


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