1 Pump, Retained


1936                                  Westend, WEST CALDER.

22/4/1978                          Polbeth Road, WEST CALDER.                Photo



1900 to ? Firemaster Gourley
1936 Officer Adam Renwick
1980 Sub Officer Findlay
? to ? Sub Officer Porter
? to ? Sub Officer Lawrence Cosgrove
2002 Sub Officer Hamilton




1941   1935 Ford Van and Trailer Pump TrP
? 7176SF AEC Mercury/Carmichael P
1978 BSG654L  Dennis F108/Dennis WrT
1990 WSG110W Dodge G1313/Carmichael WrL
1998 J319USC Mercedes 1222/Mountain Range WrL/ET
2003 R885FSC Scania 94D-260/Emergency One WrL/ET
2011 Sept SN04CMV Scania P94-260/Emergency One WrL/ET





1900 to 1941 West Calder Fire Brigade ?
1941 to 1948 National Fire Service
1948 to 1975 South Eastern Area Fire Brigade
1975 to 2005 Lothian and Borders Fire Brigade
2005 to 2013 Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue Service
1/4/2013 Scottish Fire and Rescue Service



The South Eastern Fire Area Administration Scheme Order, 1948

  Equipment Retained
  1 Tender and Large Trailer Pump 1 Leading Firemen
    9 Firemen


Establishment 2000





1 Water Tender Ladder

1 Sub Officer



1 Leading Firefighter

8 Firefighters


West Calder had a call sign of 60 in Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue Service, this was changed to L22, the new National Call Sign on 3/5/2017.



New station for West Calder
Gone are days of barrow, hose, ladder and standpipe.

West Calder’s £90,000 fire station was officially opened by Lothian Region’s vice convener Mr William Rankine, JP, on Saturday.
And afterwards Mr Rankine was presented with a small desk and writing stand made out of the old furniture from the town’s former fire HQ in Polbeth Road.
After a short dedication ceremony by the Rev. D. K. Robertson, the station’s 12 retained men gave a demonstration of skills for the number of councillors and officials, including Firemaster Mr James Anderson and Councillor James Cook, chairman of the Lothian and Borders Fire Board.
The station is designed to house one fire appliance manned by up to 12 men employed on a part time retained basis. Firemen attend the station for drill on average of two hours per week, on each occasion of a fire call and for various service and social requirements.
With the reorganisation of Local Government in May 1975, West Calder Fire Unit became part of Lothian and Borders Fire Brigade.
Since those earlier days there have been considerable advancement in the design of fire appliances and equipment.
The West Calder Unit are now called out by means of a Pocket Alerter which is operated by radio link from Brigade Headquarters and has telephone exchange line backup facilities.
This arrangement enables personnel to have greater freedom of movement and results in a better response to fire calls.
But there weren’t any pocket alerters, radio links and modern firefighting equipment at the turn of the century when West Calder’s trail blazing firefighters were called out to a job.
The first firefighting organisation in the town in 1900, was equipped with one length of hose, a stand pipe, a 12 foot ladder and a barrow.
The Firemaster was Mr Gourlay, the Town’s Waterman. With this equipment the Brigade during 1902, attended Muirhead’s Chip Shop fire in Main Street and was in attendance when four Nisbets Houses were destroyed by fire in 1914.
The next notable fire was the Gavieside Co-operative Store in 1917 when the Edinburgh Fire Brigade sent a horse drawn appliance to assist the local Brigade.
The first Fire Station was opened in 1936 at West End, West Calder, the Officer was Adam Renwick, the District Water Officer.
In 1936, a detachment of the AFS was recruited in the town and equipped with a Dodge motor car and Trailer Pump.
In 1941 all Fire Brigades in the United Kingdom were nationalised. The National Fire Service Unit was equipped with a 1935 Ford van and Trailer Pump.
It is claimed that the first DX Call Out System installation in the country was made at West Calder. It may be of interest to note that at that time, the annual fee paid to a Fireman in West Calder was £3.00.
Upon return to Local Authority control at the completion of the Second World War, the West Calder Fire Station became part of the South Eastern Fire Brigade.
The Station area is formed by the Breich Water and River Almond to the North and the Midlothian County Boundary to the West and South. On the East, the line is from White Craig Hill via Camility, Bellsquarry and Gavieside Bridge to the River Almond. This area includes West Calder, Polbeth, Addiewell, Loganlea and Addiebrownhill, plus the villages of Harburn and Breich.
The works of James ‘Paraffin’ Young were located within the Station area. This industry grew by leaps and bounds till shale pits and mines were in operation throughout the West Lothian District Council area.
The introduction of a tax on paraffin oil during the late 1950s caused the rapid run-down of this industry.
Forestry work has been carried out in the Meldron and Woodmuir areas and south of Harburn Village. This type of risk presents water supply problems because the high fire risk period coincides with prolonged spells of drought.
The severity of this problem has been somewhat eased by the replacement of a pump by a Water Tender carrying 400 gallons of water and a light portable pump which can be carried by two men to any available source of water.
(Lothian Courier, Friday, April 29, 1978. Page 38.)
<PHOTO> Councillor William Rankine with some of the firemen and guests at the opening of West Calder’s new £90,000 fire station. (6 firemen and 4 civilians.)
(Lothian Courier, Friday, April 28, 1978. Page 39.)




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


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