1 Pump 1 Water Rescue Unit 1 Forestry Unit Wholetime 1 Pump 1 Aerial Rescue Pump Retained.



? to 1978 Shore Street/Campbell Street                          Photo
12/4/1978 to 2003 Sinclair Drive, Oban, PA34 4DR                     Photo
16/1/2004 to Soroba Road, OBAN.                                       Photo



? to 15/5/1967 Station Officer A Bell
16/5/1967 to ? Station Officer H Macfarlane
1/2/1971 to Station Officer Joe Simpson
? to 16/11/1993 Station Officer Donald Malloch
1999 Station Officer Redcliffe??
2002 Station Officer J. Maitland
2003 Rider Station Officers




  First Second Supplementary Equipment Vehicle Aerial WRU
1920 SB1983?        
1957 LHS964        
1958 NHS281        
1974 NHS281 LHS964      
1976 JHS808K NHS281      
1980 YMS844K JHS808K      
1983 VGG408R JHS808K      
1989 OYS148Y VGG408R      
1990 F902JSU OYS148Y      
1997 N835JSU N836JSU      
2002 Y548TNS K376MYS      
2003 Y548TNS N833JSU      
2007 SF06GBY N833JSU SB51XLG    
2008 SF06GBY SG02XLV N257JGD    
2010 SF06GBY SG02XLV N257JGD P752TSU  
2010 August SF06GBY SF05DFD N257JGD P752TSU  
2011 October SF06GBY SF06GCO N257JGD P752TSU  
2012 SF06GBY SF06GCO SA12LRJ P752TSU  
2016 SF06GBY SF10EHV SA12LRJ P752TSU  
22/1/2018 SF06GBY SF10EHV SA12LRJ P752TSU SW65KSK
16/7/2020 SF19ODH SF10EHV SA12LRJ P752TSU SW65KSK


LHS964 Dennis F8/Dennis MP
NHS281 Dennis F26/Dennis PE
YMS844K Bedford/Carmichael WrE
JHS808K Dodge K850/Fulton and Wylie WrL
GGA155L Dodge ScH
VGG408R Dodge K1113/Fulton and Wylie WrL
OYS148Y Bedford KD/Fulton and Wylie Fire Witch WrL
F902JSU Volvo FL6-17/Fulton and Wylie WrL
K376MYS Scania 93M-210/Emergency One WrL
N257JGD Land Rover Defender 130TDi SEV
N833JSU ScaniaP93M-220/Emergency One RPL
N835JSU ScaniaP93M-220/Emergency One WrL
N836JSU ScaniaP93M-220/Emergency One WrL
P752TSU Volvo FL10 6x4/Angloco/Bronto Skylift F32HDT ALP (Crewed by the Retained Crew)
Y548TNS Scania 94D-260/Emergency One


SB51XLG Ford Ranger 4x4 SEV
SG02XLV Scania 94D-260/Emergency One RPL
SF05DFD Scania 94D-260/Saxon RPL
SF06GBY Scania P270/JDC RPL
SF06GCO Scania P270/JDC RPL
SF10EHV Scania P280/JDC/Polybilt RPL
SA12LRJ Land Rover Defender Safari SEV
SP12BNE Scania P400/Angloco/Bronto F28 ALR ARP (Crewed by the Retained Crew as a dedicated Aerial)
SW65KSK Mercedes Sprinter 4x4/Carmichael WRU
SF19ODH Scania P280/Emergency One RP

The Supplementary Equipment Vehicle tows a Forestry Trailer. SF06GBY was adapted to carry a heavy goods vehicle working platform under the Lacon ladder.

The Water Rescue Unit tows a boat.



???? 1884 ?Oban Fire Brigade?
1941 to 1948 National Fire Service
1948 to 1975 Western Area Fire Brigade
1975 to 2005 Strathclyde Fire Brigade
2005 to 2013 Strathclyde Fire & Rescue (Name change only.)
1/4/2013 Scottish Fire and Rescue Service


The Western Fire Area Administration Scheme Order, 1948

  Equipment Retained
  1 Pump Escape 1 Section Leader
  1 Large Trailer Pump 2 Leading Firemen
  1 Standard Towing Vehicle 13 Firemen
  1 Light Trailer Pump *  

* These appliances are for alternative manning only.


Establishment 2000






2 Water Tender Ladders

1 Station Officer



1 Sub Officer



2 Leading Firefighters

    16 Firefighters


Establishment 2003

  Equipment Wholetime Retained
  2 Rescue Pump Ladders 4 Station Officers 1 Sub Officer
    4 Sub Officers 1 Leading Firefighter
    20 Firefighters 8 Firefighters

The Wholetime Establishment is split over four watches (Red, Blue, Green and White) working a 2 days, 2 nights and 4 days off rota.

At the upgrading to wholetime on the 14th July 2003 the Retained personnel was 16 with a Station Officer in charge but the Establishment was as above and with natural wastage will eventually reach that.


When the new call signs were being implemented in the WEST SDA over a 7 week period beginning 31/8/2020 doing 1 LSO Area per week, Oban was changed from L02 to E07.

1949 Order placed for two 1 hour Compressed BA sets for this station.

March 2000, Firemaster Ord announces Oban will be upgraded to one wholetime and one retained pump.

October 2000, Strathclyde Fire Brigade have applied for planning permission for the erection of fire station, training building and practice tower on the land North of St Columbas School Soroba Road Oban Argyll.

On the 14th July 2003 Oban changed from a 2 pump Retained station to a 1 Pump Wholetime, 1 pump Retained station and it's call sign changed from F15 to F08.


Official opening for fire station

Oban Fire Station, which has been in operation since September 1976, was officially opened yesterday (Wednesday) by the Vice Chairman of Strathclyde Region’s Police and Fire Committee, Mr James Jennings. Presiding at the opening was Committee Chairman Mrs Nancy Bannatyne. During the opening ceremony, three local firemen were presented with long service medals. They are J. Simpson, a retired officer in charge, J. McCallum, an ex-fireman, and A. Carmichael, a voluntary fireman from Appin.
The new station, which is in Sinclair Drive, cost £109,000 to build, and is a single storey pre-fabricated building.
A total of 23 retained men are employed, and two full time officials both of officer rank staff the station.
The station controls two pumps, one of which is for town fire fighting, and also a pump which can be used without a constant water supply for rural areas. At the station there is a drill yard and drill towers, used in training, and the station has facilities for giving fire prevention training and advice to Oban and the surrounding area.
Senior Divisional Officer Geoffrey Hibbard, Commander of the Fire Brigade’s F Division which includes Argyll and Bute, has said of training possibilities and better general facilities than the previous premises. They are an undoubted improvement.
<PHOTO> Oban firemen pictured outside the new fire station at its official opening yesterday (Wednesday). (12 firemen and Joseph Simpson in front of JHS808K?)
<PHOTO> Pictured at the opening of Oban Fire Station yesterday (Wednesday) are Mr Harper, Deputy Firemaster, Strathclyde; Richard Knowlton, Firemaster, Strathclyde; Ford Spence, District Council Chairman; Councillor Mrs Agnes l. Ballantyne; Councillor James Jennings; Joseph Simpson, who has just retired as Station Officer and has received a long service medal, and Rev. Peter Huston, Strathclyde Fire Brigade Chaplin.
<PHOTO> As Oban’s new fire station is officially opened, “The Oban Times” publishes a picture which may jog a few memories. Oban’s first fire fighting team are seen with their tender around 1930…….. (SB1983 with 9 firemen on board)
None of these 3 photos are on this site the above is just the captions on them
(The Oban Times, Thursday, April 13, 1978. Page 1)

Photo of Oban crew at station opening 1976.



Oban Fire Station 

By Councillor James Jennings, J.P.

on Wednesday 12th April 1978

at 11.30 a.m.


Order of Proceedings


11.30 a.m.

Guests Assemble

Platform Party Assemble 

Introductory Remarks
Councillor Mrs. A. L. Ballantyne, J.P.
Chairman, Fire and Police Committee 

Unveiling of Commemorative Plaque
Councillor James Jennings, J.P. 

Rev. Peter M. Houston, F.Ph.S.
Strathclyde Fire Brigade Chaplain

Presentation of Long Service and Good Conduct Medals 

Vote of Thanks
Mr. E. T. Spence, M.B.E.
Chairman, Argyll and Bute District Council

Tour of Station




Oban Fire Station 

The planning of the new Fire Station was initiated by Argyll County Council Architect’s Department, at the request of the Western Fire Area Joint Committee.
The ground plan of the premises comprises a two-bay appliance room linked to the ancillary accommodation. The drill yard is situated at the rear of the Station, which includes a drill tower and underground water tank. The appliances leave by Sinclair Drive and return via an access from Quarry Road, entering the Station by the rear doors.
The building is steel framed with reinforced floor slab and brick cladding rendered with “Sky Marble” chips. The roof covering is “Alstrip’’ sheet aluminium together with aluminium doors and windows.
The appliances room is finished with white ceramic walls and “Selba” jointless flooring. The finishes to the other apartments are generally emulsion painted walls and ceilings with carpet or “Linotol” flooring.
Heating is by electricity with warm air units in the Appliance Room and Muster Bay, and individual convector heaters in the other compartments.



Strathclyde Regional Council
Department of Architectural and Related Services

 Director—W. Eric Finlayson, Esq., R.I.B.A., F.R.I.A.S. 

Argyll County Council County Architect
W. R. Tocher, Esq., A.R.I.B.A., F.R.I.A.S. 

Main Contractor
Argyll Construction Ltd. (in liquidation)
Tweeddale Street, Oban


Oban Fire Brigade 

Work started on the new fire station under the former Western Area Fire Authority in January, 1975, and was completed by the present Strathclyde Authority on 15th September, 1976.
The former fire station in Shore Street was a single storey corrugated iron shed, which was inadequate in accommodation and facilities.
The new fire station is built on one level. The appliance room has space for two appliances.
The station is manned by retained personnel consisting of one Station Officer, two Sub Officers, two Leading Firemen and fifteen Firemen. These retained firefighters hold other jobs in the community, but can be called at all times by pocket radio alerters. They attend regular training sessions at the station.
The station area consists of the town of Oban and a large landward area stretching from Appin in the north to Ardfern in the south, and eastwards to Dalmally.
There are two full time District Supervisory Officers stationed at Oban Fire Station. They are responsible for training, fire prevention, operational cover and administration for the district of North Argyll. This district covers three retained stations at Oban, Tobermory and Inveraray, and ten volunteer units at Appin, Lismore, Craignure, Salen, Scarinish, Balemartine, Iona, Bunessan, Luing and Blackmount. 

<PHOTO> Councillor Mrs. A. L. Ballantyne, J.P.
<PHOTO> Councillor James Jennings, J.P
<PHOTO> Firemaster Richard J. Knowlton Q.F.S.M., F.I.FireE.
<PHOTOS> Rear of the station bays and inside the bays.


Oban celebrates 100 years of service

What's the connection between the old photograph of an appliance and its crew and Oban Fire Station?
The answer is 100 years of service to the West Coast community.
This year firemen in Oban celebrate the centenary of the formation of a fire brigade in the town and then, as now, nothing could be done until a committee of the burgh council had considered the matter.
According to the handwritten minutes of the council on 28 March 1884 Provost William Menzies moved that a committee "be appointed to prepare a scheme to establish an efficient fire brigade for the burgh and to report to the Commissioners at an early date".
The committee were also instructed to find out if insurance companies with offices in Oban would be prepared to contribute to the cost of the brigade.
A newspaper report in the Oban Times in April 1884 contained details of the committee's proposals including the siting of ten fire plugs (fire hydrants) and the purchase of a Shand's Patent Escape and hose reels at a cost of £35.
The proposals were approved and the matter passed on to the Water Committee who would have direct control of the brigade and a duty to inspect it at least once every two months.
Things in Oban have changed a great deal from those days although there is a personal link with our picture.
One of the firemen standing on the appliance (front, next to driver) is the grandfather of one of the town's current firemen, James Anderson. It is believed that this picture was taken in the early 1920s.
But now, the town is served by a modern fire station, two water tender ladders and 20 officers and men.
The Oban firemen celebrating the centenary are:-
Station Officer Ken Munro, Stn O. Adam McCracken, Sub Officer Joseph Simpson, Sub O. Donald Malloch, Ldg Fm Bruce MacDonald, Ldg Fireman Ken Oxland and firemen James Smith, Malcolm Craig, Richard Cornelius, James Maitland, John Fairlie, Duncan Cruickshanks, Dan McGovern, James Anderson, David Rennie, Donald Clark, Ernie Lindsay, Stuart Clarke, Allan Campbell, Joe Hill, James Young and Freddie Lockhart.
<PHOTO> SB1983
(Strathclyde Fireman No.26, September 1984. Page 3)

New station comes under fire

Oban could be looking at a brand new fire station and a full-time unit, as well as one retained crew, by May 2002.
But there are concerns among retained fire crew members, members of the public and the Retained Firefighter’s Union (RFU) that it will not be able to meet its turn-out time targets.
At a public meeting in Oban on Monday night Strathclyde Firemaster Jeff Ord outlined his proposals for Oban, based on a revised fire risk category of the town.
The plans, accepted by Strathclyde Joint Fire Board, suggest Oban should have a whole-time fire crew, based at a new purpose built station on a site opposite Lorn and Islands District General Hospital at a cost of £2.4 million.
Mr Ord said Oban’s fire risk category had been reviewed in 1985, when it was believed the town centre was a ‘B’ risk-which means the first engine out has to reach any part of the ‘B’ area within five minutes and the second engine within eight minutes, under normal circumstances.
But it was not until a Home Office computer model was used along with the fire officer’s judgement that it was proved that Oban town centre was definitely a ‘B’ category in December last year.
Mr Ord is proposing to reduce the number of retained firefighters, through natural wasteage, from 20 to 10 and bring in 28 full-time firefighters.
He maintains the present retained crew cannot meet the turn-out times and fail to meet them in 89 per cent of the time.
But this is disputed by RFU chairman for Strathclyde Walter Stewart, who told Monday’s meeting he had a letter from the clerk to the board, containing information that could only have come from the fire brigade itself, to a Glasgow councillor saying that Oban only failed to reach the turn-out target 18 per cent of the time.
Mr Ord said he had no knowledge of the letter but stuck by the figures in his presentation.


A new fire station at a site near the hospital, which has not previously been put forward for planning and the cost of which does include alterations to the water and sewerage systems, has caused most controversy.
The retained crews do not believe, from their own experience from Sinclair Drive, that even a full time crew will meet the target of five minutes from further up Soroba Road and a retained crew, which will have a smaller pool to draw from, will definitely not meet the target of eight minutes.
It currently takes the retained crews an average of 3 mins 37 secs to get to the station and out, and from the road end four minutes to get to the town centre.
The full time crew should be mobile in 47 seconds and will then have to reach the town centre in four minutes and 13 seconds.
Mr Ord said: "I would be a fool to stand here and say we could if we couldn’t. I am absolutely confident that first fire truck will take five minutes to get to the town centre."
He said the only way of ensuring this was to upgrade to full time.
He added that the Commitment of Oban retained crew was outstanding and their average turn-out times were good but they didn’t allow the brigade to meet its legal duty to turn out in a ‘B’ risk area in five minutes.
He said he was trying to get approval for the retained crews’ wages to be made up by deploying them in community fire safety programmes.
The bonuses of a full-time fire station in Oban would include employment opportunities, increased community fire safety, good opportunities for partnership within the community and there would be no impact on the Council Tax.
Anyone can comment by putting a letter into Oban Fire Station and it will be included in the plans put before the Minister for Justice, who will decide if the retained crew can be cut.
A further public meeting will be held this Saturday November 4, in the Corran Halls at 11am.
(The Oban Times, Thursday, 2 November 2000. Page 1.)


Way cleared for new Oban fire station

Oban will be getting a new fire station with one full-time crew and one part-time crew sometime in the near future.
The Minister for Justice at the Scottish parliament gave his approval at the end of last week to reduce the number of retained fire crews at Oban Fire Station from two to one.
Now the way has been cleared for Strathclyde Fire Brigade to put in its plans to Argyll and Bute Council to build a new £2.9 million station on Soroba Road, opposite the entrance to Glengallan Road.
There has been great unease among the present retained fire crew, voiced through the Retained Firefighters Union, about the ability to meet necessary response times from the new site; the refusal of whole-time firefighters to ride in the same engine as retained crews; the lack of jobs which will be available to the Oban part-time crew as training as a full-time firefighter will mean starting from scratch.
Firemaster Jeff Ord said: "This is a significant step forward towards safer communities in the Oban area."
He added he was aware of the concerns of the Oban crew about their future and said further visits would be made to Oban by senior staff to reassure personnel. The new station is scheduled on Strathclyde Fire Board’s capital programme for 2002-2003.
(The Oban Times. 21/6/2001, Page 1)


New Oban fire station set to open

Oban’s new fire station will open on time and on budget, and the Firemaster of Strathclyde promises it will serve Lorn and the islands for years to come.
‘I do believe it is one of the best stations the authority has ever built,’ Jeff Ord said at a meeting with Argyll and Bute councillors from the Oban area on Monday.
It is not just a fire station but a training centre for retained and volunteer crews from throughout the area.
It has three bays for fire appliances. Two are already in Oban and within 14 months a high rise ladder combined appliance will be added; something seen as vital for Oban with its tall hotel buildings.
Mr Ord told councillors that contractors would be off-site by the end of this month and the station is expected to be operational by July 14.
The £2.9 million station will have 28 whole-time staff and four jobs for a cook, two maintenance and a hydrant technician. Of the whole-time firefighters two have come from the retained Oban crew; three from volunteers crews in Argyll and 16 from around the UK, including a husband and wife, with the remainder from elsewhere in Strathclyde.
One of the appliances in Oban will be crewed by retained fire fighters; Oban has 16 and the station needs a minimum of 10.
Mr Ord said that retained firefighters were being offered the chance to accumulate any missed hours by getting involved in community safety work and helping with the running of a branch of the fire cadets - for 11 to 18-year olds - which will be set up once the new station has settled in.
The building has dedicated accommodation for its crews and a canteen, lecture room, quiet study room, administration and fire prevention offices. These can also be used by the community and there is talk Argyll and Bute Council basing its co-ordination centre for civil emergencies there. Councillors are also keen to see an agreement for the fire service to help provide the extra fire cover need at Oban Airport to help services expand there.
The yard is large enough to take Strathclyde's ‘fire trailer’ where backdrafts and flashovers are simulated for training.
Standing on one side of the yard is a training house.
‘It is two-storey with stairs and an attic for volunteers to train to search in heat and smoke and how to work on roofs in safety,’ said Mr Ord. ‘We will be bringing volunteers over from the islands for training and accommodating them in the town,’ he said.
He added that as Oban was set to grow with extra housing and a new road planned for the future the station was well-placed and ready to grow with the town.
<PHOTO> Firemaster Jeff Ord, centre, during his Monday visit to Oban Fire Station, which will open on budget in July. With him are SDO Malcolm Traquair, left, Commander of Argyll and Bute, and ADO Malcolm
Douglas, liaison officer for the building and crewing of the new station. t15fir05. This photo is not on the WEB site.
(The Oban Times, Thursday, 10 April, 2003. Page1.)


Opening of Oban fire station 1978

A photo of crew in front of bays with Dodge K850 and Dennis F8 in the bays and this caption:-
Our flashback photograph this week features the opening of Oban’s Sinclair Drive fire station in 1978. It was submitted by James Harrison of Mossfield Drive, Oban. Pictured, back row, left to right, Donald Malloch, Jimmy Smith (Pop), John Black, Robert Hart, John MacEachen, Ricky Cornelius, James Maitland, Jackie MacCallum, Malcolm Craig and Alastair Carswell. Middle: George Berry, Donnie Logan, Donald MacDonald, Jimmy Harrison, Campbell MacLeod, Bruce MacDonald, Johnny Stevens, Angus Campbell and Hector Morrison. Front: Adam MacCracken, Joey Simpson and Kenny Munro.
(The Oban Times, Thursday, 1 January, 2004. Page 10.)


Official opening of Oban Fire Station

It has been open and saving lives for months now, but Oban Fire Station has its official opening ceremony next week.
Friday January 16 at 6-45pm is the time for the ceremony. and Strathclyde Fire Brigade has invited all ‘interested parties’ to join in the celebration.
A warm welcome is particularly extended to all firefighters and their families, past and present.
The opening ceremony will be performed by Councillor Alex McGuire, convener of Strathclyde Fire Board. The Firemaster of Strathclyde Jeff Ord CBE will also be present. The fire board will hold its monthly meeting in Oban just before the ceremony.
There will be guided tours of the station, which is at the forefront of community fire station design and considered to be one of the best in Europe.
(The Oban Times, Thursday, 8th January
, 2004. Page 1.) There was also an advert on Page 3.


Oban’s new fire station officially opened

<PHOTO> Bishop Ian Murray BA, Bishop of Argyll and the Isles, with some of the Fire Brigade Cadets.
Oban’s new, state of the art fire station was officially opened last week by Strathclyde Firemaster Jeff Ord OBE, who heaped praise on Oban’s new firefighting team.
Knapdale Councillor Bruce Robertson, a member of Strathclyde Fire Board, told an invited audience that the station was the most modern in the United Kingdom. The station accommodates full time, part time and retained firefighters, support staff, senior officers, two rescue pumps and the most modern firefighting equipment available. Mr Robertson said the training facilities in Oban were also ‘second to none’ and have already been used to train volunteers from throughout Argyll.
Jeff Ord welcomed the whole time firefighters recruited from throughout the UK and promised to drive down fire call-outs even further in Argyll. Mr Ord said: ‘The mood is good and support is high. This new station in Oban is going to be a hub that will serve this whole area.’
Mr Ord also had praise for ADO Malcolm Douglas for making the move to the new fire station so smooth, bringing together staff from throughout the country and keeping the community on board. Mr Ord also invited the local community to make use of the new station, adding: ‘It’s a fantastic community facility so let’s see you using it.’
(The Oban Times. Thursday, 22nd January, 2004. Page 5.)

On 11 April 2002 Strathclyde Fire Board had agreed that the existing Oban Fire Station in Sinclair Drive be declared surplus to requirements on completion of the replacement Fire Station in Soroba Road and that the former Fire Station be advertised for sale on the open market. 8 offers had been received by the closing date of 14 November 2003 and it was proposed that the highest offer received from Mr and Mrs R B Morton for the sum of £195,000 be accepted.
The Board decided to accept this offer subject to all terms and conditions.
(Strathclyde Fire Board minutes 9/12/2003)


Oban Community Fire Station

Opening Ceremony


Friday 16th January 2004


Councillor Alex McGuire
Convener, Strathclyde Fire Board

According to the minutes of the Council on 28 March 1884 Provost William Menzies moved that a committee be appointed to provide an efficient Fire Brigade for the Oban area. Within a matter of weeks 1 fire appliance and 10 fire hydrants had been sited in the town. Times in Oban and the West Coast have changed a great deal from those days. Notwithstanding, elected Fire Boards over the years have adapted to those changes to the benefit and protection of the public.
Since 1884 Fire Cover in the area has been provided by part time Retained Firefighters who reside in the immediate locale. Their contribution towards their own community for 120 years has been extraordinary and Strathclyde Fire Board would like to place on record its appreciation for the commitment and dedication shown by those Firefighters past and present.
However, the provision of an integrated Fire Station (and more importantly a Community Resource) by the Fire Board will ensure a significant step towards safer communities in the Oban area. From intervening in the event of fire, road traffic accident or other emergency, to more crucially, being an integral part of a community resource providing education and information strategies aimed at preventing fires and other accidents that cause unnecessary suffering to all involved. To this end Strathclyde Fire Board totally supports the Firemaster of Strathclyde Fire Brigade, his Management Team and all Strathclyde Fire Brigade employees.
I mentioned earlier that the Station itself is also a Community resource. I would encourage all elected members in the area, local community leaders and service providers within the community to actively engage with Station and North Command personnel to utilise your Fire Station to it’s full potential.

Firemaster Jeff Ord CBE, OStJ, QFSM, GIFireE

As Firemaster, it gives me a great deal of pleasure to be involved in the official opening of the first full time fire station for Oban and, on behalf of Strathclyde Fire Brigade, thank all elected members of the Fire Authority for their support and commitment to this project – a project that has been delivered on time and on budget.
My thanks must also go to those Retained Firefighters who have given so much to Oban over the years.
With any significant changes that take place uncertainty always rears its head. This has been the case surrounding Oban Fire Station and the integration from Retained to Wholetime /Part Time status. However, as the town continues to develop, an appropriate Fire and Rescue facility to complement the area and indeed grow with it, is essential.
Consequently, I believe that for the people of Oban and the surrounding area, their Fire Station is one of the best ever built by Strathclyde Fire Board. It is not only a Fire Station providing full time and part time cover for fire and other emergencies, but also a key community resource providing additional Community Fire Safety expertise and excellent opportunities for partnerships within the area with the primary aim of benefiting those citizens to whom it serves and protects.

Fire Service Provision in Oban
1884- 2004

In his foreword, the Fire Board Convener, Councillor Alex McGuire, gave a brief historical review of the inception in 1884 of a Fire Service resource in Oban.
The Burgh Fire Brigade remained in existence from 1884 until 1941, when it was absorbed into the National Fire Service (Western Zone). This situation prevailed until 1948, when Local Authorities took over the responsibility for the provision of Fire Brigades. At that time, Oban Fire Station became part of Western Area Fire Brigade, which covered Argyll, Bute and Renfrewshire. By this time, the station housed a Pump Escape and a large trailer pump, complete with towing vehicle. These appliances were crewed by 13 retained firefighters.
At 03:56 hours on Tuesday
24th July 1973, Oban Fire Station personnel were mobilised to the Esplanade Hotel in the town. This was one of the worst hotel fires to date in the United Kingdom and it was during the subsequent fatal accident enquiry that the need for a wholetime station in Oban was first mooted.
In 1975, as part of local authority reorganisation, Oban became part of Strathclyde Region, and Oban Fire Station became the most northerly station in Strathclyde Fire Brigade.
As a result of the expansion of the town of Oban over the years, the decision was made to provide a new, purpose built, fire station, complete with office accommodation for two wholetime officers, in Sinclair Drive. The retained unit at Oban took possession of the new station in 1976 although the official opening did not take place until April 1978. The new station was equipped with two pumping appliances and had an establishment of one station officer, one sub officer, two leading firefighters and 16 firefighters, all conditioned to the retained duty pattern. In addition, there were two wholetime station officers who dealt with all fire precautions work for the area.
Oban’s population continued to grow, as did its strategic importance in accessing the remote islands of the Hebrides. This, in conjunction with the seasonal influx of vast numbers of tourists by land, sea and air, prompted the Brigade to examine the need for a wholetime crew in Oban to comple­ment the retained crews. That need having been established, a suitable site for a new fire station was identified. The station was designed to be a community resource and to meet the Brigade’s current, as well as all perceived future needs in respect of emergency response, training and community safety, for Oban and the surrounding area of Argyll and Bute.
The result of all of the deliberations and consultation can be seen in Oban’s new Community Fire Station, which started to respond to fire calls on14th July 2003 and which is being officially opened today by Alex McGuire, Convener of Strathclyde Fire Board. The new station is staffed by twenty-eight wholetime personnel, divided into four Watches of seven who crew the first appliance and sixteen retained personnel who crew the second appliance 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
The station incorporates a state of the art training building of two floors with the facility to reposition walls and doors in order to vary training scenarios and levels of training to suit different station needs. It is also provided with a ship’s hatch and bulkhead door to facilitate ship fire training. The training facilities are further enhanced by the provision of a large yard with training tower for such events as road traffic accident training, fire behaviour training using the Brigade’s “Hot Fire Training Unit” and experiential training for crews.
The station itself is divided into three distinct areas viz., the appliance bays and workshops, the two-storey accommodation block and the district office for the North Argyll and Lorne areas. The accommodation block comprises of offices, lecture room, gymnasium, mess room, shower facilities and dormitory and the District Office comprises of a word process office, file room, community firefighters’ office, senior officers’ offices and conference suite.

Order of Proceedings


Guests assemble


Platform Party assembles


Opening Remarks

Councillor Bruce Robertson

Member, Strathclyde Fire Board


Opening Ceremony

Councillor Alex McGuire,

Convener, Strathclyde Fire Board


Dedication of Station

Bishop Ian Murray BA

Bishop of Argyll and the Isles


 Firemaster’s Remarks

Firemaster Jeff Ord CBE, OStJ, QFSM, GIFIreE


 Closing Remarks






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


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