Retained Unit


1/10/1984 to ? Wooden Hut
? to 2004 Unit 2? John O'Groats Industrial Estate, JOHN O'GROATS. (On road to lighthouse)         Photo
2004 to 2007 Appliance kept in two people's garages
9/6/2007 A99, John O'Groats.  Left hand side coming into John O'Groats                                             Photo
19/3/2012 New Station




Oct 1984 to 2003? Sub Officer Billy Sinclair
2003? to Sub Officer Walter Mowat (still there 2013)



2000   Trailer with 3 section ladder, Standpipe key & bar, Hose, Portable pump.  
2004 SY04BWZ LDV Convoy/HIFB LFA
2009 R979LFE Volvo FL6-14/John Dennis/HIFRS WrL


1984 to 2005 Highland and Islands Fire Brigade
2005 to 31/3/2013 Highlands and Islands Fire and Rescue Service
1/4/2013 to Scottish Fire and Rescue Service



Unit was started on the 1st of October 1984.

They had moved out of the Industrial Unit by 22/5/2004.

Was hut at Billy Sinclair's house? Was to move to next to Coastguard station but didn't?

2002/2003    Some personnel received Firemanship training.

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

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

John O'Groats had a call sign of C45 in The Highlands and Islands Fire and Rescue Service, this was changed to S21, the new National Call Sign, when the Control at Inverness closed on 6/12/2016 and moved to Dundee.

Chief Fire Officer, Stewart Edgar, Fire Board Convener, Andrew Drever, Vice-Convener, Audrey Sinclair and Assistant Chief Fire Officer Billy Wilson, attended the official opening of the new fire station at John O’Groats on 19th March 2013.


Highlands and Islands Fire and Rescue Service

John O’Groats Fire Station

Opening Ceremony
March 19th 2013


Station Opening Ceremony

District Manager’s Introduction
Group Manager Ross Nixon 

Chief Fire Officer’s Address
Mr Stewart Edgar 

Official Opening
Convener Andrew Drever 

John O’Groats Officer in Charge’s Response
Watch Manager Walter Mowat 

Long Service and Good Conduct Medal Presentations 

Donald Morrison
John Miller
Lesley Malcolm 


Chief Fire Officer’s Welcoming Address
Welcome to all our guests and friends at the opening of the newly built Fire Station at John O’Groats.
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 increasing demands upon the firefighters of John O’Groats, 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 Highland and Islands Fire Board work hard to secure the necessary resources to fund the Service and I am pleased that the Fire Board Convener Andrew Drever and Vice Convener Dr Audrey Sinclair are here to attend the ceremony.
Thank you everyone for attending and supporting our Service.
Stewart Edgar
Chief Fire Officer


A brief history of the John O’Groats unit
The John O’Groats unit began on the 1st of October 1984 after local councillors pressed for the formation of a unit situated in John O’Groats following a house fire at Huna. The Volunteer firemen were supplied with a set of oilskins & a builders hard hat with a large ‘V’ on the side of it. The equipment they had to fight fires was located in a garden shed at the house of the Officer in Charge. The next progress was the making of a trailer to transport their equipment instead of putting everything in the back of cars. An empty council building was procured where the trailer was stored and became the next base.
The first District Officer was D. Cameron followed by John Faulds who acquired their first fire kit which was second hand from the American Navy after leaving their base at Forss. The current District Manager is Station Manager Ian Luckock with his recent colleague Adrian Mantle. The first appliance an LDV van was acquired in May 2004 & was situated in one of the crew’s garage at Lower Gills which became their second base. In June 2006 they moved into a temporary station at John O’Groats where the doors & floor were adjusted to accommodate a full sized appliance which is still in operation. After 28 and a half years in existence they are delighted to be moving into permanent premises which will be one of the last fire stations to be opened in the Highlands and Islands before the transfer to the Scottish Fire Service.

<PHOTO> John O’Groats Crew
From left to right. Rear: David Dunnet, James Coghill, James Simpson, Gavin Manson, William Cormack, Alex Coghill.
Front: James Davison, Walter Mowat, John Dunnet.
Derek Munro (not present)





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


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