Retained Unit.


? to ? Wooden Hut ?
? to ? Garage ?
14/3/2013 Fair Isle, Shetland, ZE2 9JU




1976 to 2007                        Sub Officer Neil Thomson
2007 to                                 Watch Manager Fiona Mitchell (still there 2018)



2001 C230YAS Bedford CF/Fulton and Wylie LFA
2002 SY52UDN MAN 10-225/HIFB  4x4 MWrT
2012 Aug T340SAS LDV Convoy/HIFB LFA
2012 Dec SY52UDN MAN 10-225/HIFB 4x4 MWrT

 While SY52UDN was away for overhaul as well as the LDV they also had F453WAD a GMC Teletender 4x4 on loan from Shetlands Tingwall airstrip.



1976 to 1983 Northern Fire Brigade
1983 to 2005 Highland and Islands Fire Brigade
2005 to Highlands and Islands Fire and Rescue Service



Crew Photo

Unit formed 1996

Went Mobile ?

2000/2001 unit upgraded. Upgrades to units involves equipping them with Breathing Apparatus, Firefighting Uniforms, Road Traffic Accident Rescue Equipment, Pagers and Fire Engines appropriate to the needs of the local area.

2001/2002 Upgraded to BA Status.

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

On 1st April 2005 along with 61 other units Fair Isle was upgraded to a Retained Unit, drilling one night per week and receiving a retaining fee.

A new station was officially opened by Chief Fire Officer, Stewart Edgar, Fire Board Convener, Andrew Drever, Vice-Convener, Audrey Sinclair and Assistant Chief Fire Officer Billy Wilson on Thursday 14th March 2013.

Fair Isle had a call sign of C31 in The Highlands and Islands Fire and Rescue Service, this was changed to W33, the new National Call Sign, when the Control at Inverness closed on 6/12/2016 and moved to Dundee.



11th Dec 2002

The new fire-engine for Fair Isle arrived on the Isle at 2.30 am - timed for high water so that the vehicle ramp could be used - on Wednesday morning on the Skerries ferry Filla - now known as Snolda. (A few hours later, over in Poland, the new Skerries ferry - which is to take the old name - was launched from a boatyard in Poland.
As well as the fire-engine, animal feedstuffs for the coming winter and building materials were also brought in while the old fire-engine was taken away.


Under the terms and conditions of the Civil Aviation Authority Licence for Fair Isle Aerodrome the National Trust for Scotland had to replace the emergency fire tender by September 2000, when they were due renewal of the Aerodrome Licence.
The Trust had allocated some funding towards the provision of a new emergency fire tender, but in seeking to be more effective in managing the fire emergency service they wished to amalgamate with the Highlands and Islands Fire Brigade (HIFB) to provide cover across the isle.  The Trust also sought the amalgamation of the Aerodrome and the Isle fire services to ensure the continuity of equipment purchase, maintenance of the overall service and training for the fire personnel.
Initial discussions of a partnership were discussed in December 1999 between The National Trust for Scotland, HIFB and Shetland Islands Council.


The National Trust for Scotland had allocated £13,000 to the provision of the new emergency fire tender and further financial assistance was sought from Shetland Islands Council and Shetland Enterprise, with the agreement that HIFB would match the funding allocated by the NTS.
In January 2000 Shetland Enterprise agreed to a grant of £10,000 and in March 2000 Shetland Islands Council agreed funding of £20,000.
The estimated cost for commissioning the new emergency fire tender was £75,000.  This cost would procure a suitable chassis, bodywork and associated fire engineering to be carried out by the Highlands and Islands Fire Brigade workshop.  The remaining £32,000 was to be funded by the Highlands and Islands Fire Board with confirmation of this funding received in November 2000.

The New Emergency Fire Tender

In March 2001 Dave Cook was contracted in as vehicle consultant to assist with the process of the building of the new tender and oversee the Trustís interests and ensure the CAA requirements were met. He liaised with Alex Tough of the CAA and worked with conjunction with Tony Munro of HIFB to produce the specification of the tender.
The new vehicle, once commissioned and installed on the isle, will be maintained by the HIFB and will be jointly managed by the NTS and HIFB.
(Reproduced by permission of Dave Wheeler from the Fair Isle WEB site.)



Highlands & Islands Fire & Rescue Service
Helping make the Highlands & Islands a safer and better place to live, work and visit


<PHOTO> Fair Isle Fire Station and SY52UDN


Fair Isle Fire Station

Opening Ceremony
Thursday 14th March 2013


Chief Fire Officerís Welcome
Welcome to all of our guests and friends at the opening of the new Fire Station in Fair Isle.
The Highlands & Islands Fire & Rescue Service is determined to make our communities safer. Our firefighters do this through providing community safety advice and an emergency response service that is second to none. In recent years we have made many increasing demands upon the firefighters of Fair Isle, expanding their role and asking them to learn new skills. They have met this challenge and today I am proud that we are able to provide them with a station that meets their professional, safety, dignity and welfare needs. I am confident it will be an important community resource for many years to come.
The Fire Board works hard to secure the necessary resources to fund the Service and I am pleased that the Fire Board Convener Andrew Drever and Vice Convener Audrey Sinclair are here to attend the ceremony.
Fair Isle is one of the last stations to be opened under the auspices of the Highlands & Islands Fire & Rescue Service.
Thank you everyone for attending and supporting our Service.
Stewart Edgar
Chief Fire Officer


Station Opening Ceremony 

Shetland Station Managerís Introduction
Station Manager Myles Murray 

Chief Fire Officerís Address
CFO Stewart Edgar 

Official Opening
Convener Andrew Drever 

Fair Isle Officer in Chargeís Response
Watch Manager Fiona Mitchell 

Fair Isle Station Personnel
Watch Manager: Fiona Mitchell
Crew Managers:  Iain Stout and Kenny Stout
Firefighters:           Ian Best
                                Darren Wiseman
                                Deryk Shaw
                                Mati Ventrillon

A Brief History of the Fair Isle Fire Unit

The Fair Isle volunteer fire unit was established in 1976 and was upgraded to retained status in 2005.
The firefighters embraced the progression from volunteer to retained and the additional training this provided. It offered more realistic and professional methods of working to improve their intervention capability.
In 2002 a joint initiative between HIFRS, National Trust for Scotland and the Shetland Islands Council saw the first dedicated fire appliance delivered to Fair Isle. This vehicle had enhanced firefighting and rescue equipment, improved communications and most importantly 1200 litres of water.
In the summer months a large number of people stay on Fair Isle in B&Bís, at the Bird Observatory Guesthouse and in the Puffin camp.
Through the recent overhaul and refurbishment of the fire appliance, the fitting of :he latest radio technology, and now the opening of Fair Isleís first dedicated fire station, Highlands & Islands Fire & Rescue Service and the local fire crew are committed to delivering a community safety and emergency response service to Britainís most remote inhabited island.

Back Row: Iain Stout, Ian Best and Deryk Shaw.
Front Row: Mati Ventrillon, Darren Wiseman, Kenny Stout and Fiona Mitchell. 

Fair Isle Officers in Charge
Neill Thomson 1976 -2007
Fiona Mitchell 2007 - to date


For a FREE Home Fire Safety Check call FREE phone 08000 12 13 12 or contact www.hifrs.org




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


Fair Isle WEB site's page about the Fire Brigade


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