L52 STRACHUR

1 Volunteer Support Unit.

Stations

<1947 Lockers On wall of Strachur Estate Engine House
1947 Red Box Square at the Estate (Highall Road/Main Road)
  Red Box Then beside the Church gate
  Old Telephone Exchange (UAX building) St Catherines Road.                                       Photo
  Garage (Montgomery's Garage) The Clachan                                     Photo
26/1/2000 Volunteer Station   Clachan Beag (On A815 just past filling station.)                 Photo

 

Officer in Charge

   
? to 1971 Volunteer Leader Rev Francis Bankis
16/10/1971 to 23/8/1996 Volunteer Leader Willie Montgomery
23/8/1996 to 26/6/2000 Volunteer Leader Robbie Bulloch
2000 to 18/8/2004 Volunteer Leader Peter Angus MacKellar
15/9/2004 to Volunteer Leader Cameron MacDonald (there 2014)

 

Appliances

1992 D329LCS Ford Transit LWB/Fulton and Wylie VSU
2000 W338YDS Mercedes 814D/Emergency One 4x4 VSU
2004 SF04WRU Mercedes Vario/Emergency One 4x2 VSU
2004 SF04WRT Mercedes Vario/Emergency One 4x2 VSU

 

In 2004 Strachur received a new VSU SF04WRU as Mercedes had stopped making 4x4s and the brigade managed to get 2 4x2 models but needed a 4x4 for Lismore (although it actually went to Scarnish on Tiree) so W338YDS went and SF04WRU came. unfortunately the steep ramp out the station was causing the rear step to hit the ground every time they took it out. They reported this to workshops who had another 4x2 there, so they cut a couple of inches off of it's the rear step and about 6 weeks after getting SF04WRU they got SF04WRT which goes out without catching the ground.

 

Brigades

<1948 Strachur Estate Fire Unit
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

 

Notes

The Western Fire Area Administration Scheme Order, 1948

                                        Equipment                             Retained                         Volunteer

                                        1 Two men manual pump    1 fireman                         6 firemen

 

An early Western Area Fire Brigade list shows the address as The Bay (Tel. 22).

1951 A hose box sufficiently large to hold the equipment of the Volunteer Fire Party was erected at a central point in the village.

The Unit appears to have been formed around 1947 with 6 men, in 1955 they had 1 Retained and 6 Volunteers rising to 1 Retained and 9 Volunteers in 1966.

Equipment at the start included :-
Hand Siren
Brass Standpipe, key and bar
Brass branch
8 lengths hose
1 length suction
1 Two-man pump

1993 Received Sabre Centurion BA sets.

Strachur were the first Volunteer Unit to wear BA at an operational incident on 2/8/1994 to a heavy Volvo fork lift truck on fire

Went mobile when they moved into garage 1992/93.

 

History in the making

<PHOTO> Robbie Bulloch and the crew of Strachur Fire Station (8 in front of a Mercedes VSU)

The official opening of Strachur new Fire Station on the 25th anniversary of the Strathclyde Fire Brigade was a milestone in the local firefighting history.
The first Volunteer Fire Unit in Strachur was formed in the Strachur Estate, which had its own private hydrant system. The firefighting equipment was kept in lockers on the wall of the engine house.
The unit members came from the estate staff, most of whom lived nearby and consisted of gardeners, joiners and farm workers. The alarm was raised by the ringing of the bell at 'The Big House'.
In 1947, the then Western Area Fire Board took over responsibility of the unit and provided the volunteers with a new 'red cupboard', which was sited just outside the Estate Home Farm.
A hand operated air raid siren now raised the alarm and equipment was basic, a 'Lee Howe' Manual Pump No 6, which took four strong men to carry and operate, lengths of hose, stirrup pump, buckets and axe, but it was a start!
Because of a new road alignment the 'red box' was moved to near the centre of the village by the church gate.
In 1968 the issue of a Hathaway Pump was a major boost to the volunteer's moral.
The unit was now generally made up of approximately eight members including a Leader.
1972 saw the introduction of financial reward for attending emergencies and training, the grand sum of 70p per hour was paid.
Strathclyde Fire Brigade took over responsibility in 1975 and more improvements followed.
The station was equipped with a motor powered siren mounted on top of a telegraph pole, which made a dramatic improvement in call out times. The firefighters now wore plastic yellow waterproofs, protective rubber boots and yellow helmets.
In October 1979 Station Officer David Dalziel became the District Officer and the unit was immediately transformed, by training and dedication to a more professional team, and the unit establishment raised to ten members.
In 1991 further impetus was given to the volunteer unit when the now Deputy Firemaster David Kennedy was appointed Divisional Commander, and Station Officer Alastair Stevenson continued the strict training programme from Dunoon Fire Station.
The volunteer unit at Strachur was the first volunteer unit to wear breathing apparatus at an incident when a heavy goods vehicle caught fire emitting toxic fumes.
The unit is highly respected within the local community for the manner in which the members carry out their sometimes arduous work with enthusiasm, professionalism and dedication to duty.
The volunteer unit has a dedicated crew both past and present and has been fortunate to have had leaders who share and support their commitment.
This year also sees Strathclyde Fire Brigade celebrate its 25th Anniversary.
<PHOTO> Leading Fireman Robbie Bulloch receives 25 Year certificate from Fire Chief J. Ord.
(The Dunoon Observer and Argyllshire Standard Saturday, May 20th, 2000. Page 4.)

 

Strachur Fire Brigade

<PHOTO> Training underway at the Station. A fire "victim" is rescued from the smoke filled room.
This month we decided to take a look at our local Fire Station and the volunteers who man the station and who give up so much of their free time and risk their lives on many occasions on our behalf. We wanted to know if the station is available for all emergencies and if the staff is trained to professional standards.
Anyone passing the station can’t fail to notice how tidy and well laid out the. area is with nothing lying around cluttering up the station. This regard to equipment and detail is essential in a well run fire brigade. The engine is one of latest in its class and has all the pumps necessary for work in rural conditions able to suck water from the shallowest pools if necessary. The equipment is as found in full-time stations. As for the volunteers their training is rigorous and very exacting meeting the same standards as full-time firefighters with training sessions every week with four volunteers in attendance and once a month all the team of II are trained by professional firemen. The fire station is under the direct control of Divisional Headquarters in Clydebank with immediate support by officers from the Dunoon Fire Brigade led by A.D.O. David Penman. At the session we attended Division Officer Stuart MacDonald was putting the team through their paces with particular attention that evening to entering a smoke filled building searching for victims, no easy task with the weight of their equipment attached to their bodies, including heavy oxygen cylinders and masks. Whistles and torches are essential items for the safety of the team during such an exercise.
The training session with the fire station filled with smoke (the same as used in pop concerts) was very interesting. The entering and exiting of the firefighters to the building was strictly controlled by an officer with a tally board detailing the people who entered the building and the time they had left on their oxygen tanks and when each individual left the building. They are instructed on the correct way to enter through the doorway keeping low and keeping note of their time using the gauges provided. The heavy dummies are quite a handful when manoeuvring through the smoke-filled room to the exit. Emergency first aid is then given with the dummy put into the recovery position and resuscitated using the latest approved methods.
Each emergency attended by our local unit must comprise of at least 4 volunteers. A unit from Dunoon also attends each incident. It is impossible to do this type of work if one is not in good health and in good shape and watching the way the volunteers went about their routine their ability was very evident. The upper age level is 55. As all work in or around the district in a variety of jobs they can muster enough volunteers for any incident using pagers, then keeping in touch by radio. Some of their work involves rescuing people trapped in car crashes, and training in extricating people from difficult situations is also given. It is not so long ago a wrecked car in the station was used for improving their skills at this type of rescue.
The firefighters are led by Leading Firefighter Peter McKellar, partner in the local garage, with one women among the volunteers, Sharon Crozier, who has to meet the same standards as the men and we witnessed her helping to carry the heavy dummy out of the building and giving first aid to the victim. Sharon also finds time to be Secretary of the Hall Committee. The rest of the volunteers are Deputy Leader Cammy MacDonald, Joiner, Alastair MacKechnie, joiner, Alastair McCuaig, mechanic, John Tidbury, Strachur Post Office proprietor, John Montgomery, farmer, Craig Stirling, welder, Ricky Wilson, joiner, Bruce Craig, maintenance inspector at Coulport, and Kevin Nairn, HGV driver.
It is reassuring to find that we in the Strachur district are so well protected by professionally trained people who are dedicated to ensuring we have the best possible standards of service if the occasion demands it.
<PHOTO> Preparing to resuscitate the "victim".
Jim Nolan
(From Strachur and District Newsletter, Issue 36, November 2001. Pages 1 and 2.)

 

 

OFFICIAL OPENING

Strachur Fire Station

Thursday 11th May 2000

 

Guests Assemble

Platform Party Assembles

Opening Remarks

Councillor B Robertson, Strathclyde Fire Board

Opening Ceremony

Councillor J Shaw, Convener Strathclyde Fire Board

Dedication of Station

Reverend R Mackenzie 

Firemasters Remarks

Firemaster J Ord OStJ QFSM GIFireE

Presentation of Certificate

Firemaster J Ord OStJ QFSM GIFireE

 

Closing Remarks

Buffet

 

The first Volunteer Fire Unit in Strachur was formed in the Strachur Estate, which had its own private hydrant system. The fire fighting equipment was kept in lockers on the wall of the engine house.

The unit members came from the Estate Staff most of whom lived nearby and consisted of gardeners, joiners and farm workers. The alarm was raised by the ringing of the bell at ‘The Big House’.

In 1947, the then Western Area Fire Board took over responsibility of the unit and provided the volunteers with a new ‘red cupboard’, which was sited just outside the Estate Home Farm. A hand operated air raid siren now raised the alarm and equipment was basic. A ‘Lee Howe’ Manual Pump No 6, which took 4 strong men to carry and operate. Lengths of hose, stirrup pump, buckets and axe. But it was a start!

Because of a new road alignment the ‘red box’ was moved to near the centre of the village by the church gate. In 1968 the issue of a Hathaway Pump was a major boost to the volunteers moral. The unit was now generally made up of approximately eight members including a Leader.

1972 saw the introduction of financial reward for attending emergencies and training, the grand sum of 70p per hour was paid.

Strathclyde Fire Brigade took over responsibility in 1975 and more improvements followed.

By chance a new telephone exchange was built at The Clachan and the old building was to become the first Fire Station. The station was equipped with a motor powered siren mounted on top a telegraph pole, which made a dramatic improvement in call out times. The fire fighters now wore plastic yellow waterproofs, protective rubber boots and yellow helmets.

The volunteers responded to call outs in their own or their employer’s vehicles, carrying the fire equipment from the station. Grateful thanks are due to those individuals and their employers who provided this service.

In October 1979 Station Officer David Dalziel became the District Officer and the unit was immediately transformed, by training and dedication, to a more professional team and the unit establishment raised to ten members. 

By 1991 further impetus was given to the volunteer unit when the now Deputy Firemaster David Kennedy was appointed Divisional Commander and Station Officer Alastair Stevenson continued the strict training programme from Dunoon Fire Station. 

With the introduction of a Ford Transit vehicle in 1992 and the provision of Breathing Apparatus the unit was now really in the front line. 

Personal pagers were worn by personnel for quicker response times, full protective clothing was now a standard issue. 

The Volunteer unit at Strachur was the first volunteer unit to wear breathing apparatus at an incident when a heavy goods vehicle caught fire emitting toxic fumes. 

The unit is highly respected within the local community for the manner in which the members carry out their sometimes-arduous work with enthusiasm, professionalism and dedication to duty. 

The volunteer unit has a dedicated crew both past and present and has been fortunate to have had leaders who share and support their commitment. 

Volunteer Leader Rev Francis Bankis until                     until 1971
Volunteer Leader Willie Montgomery                             1971 to 1996
Volunteer Leader Robbie Bulloch                                     From 1996

Robbie will retire from Strathclyde Fire Brigade on 26th June this year and his leadership will be missed by all members.

The Brigade would like to thank Willie Montgomery for his assistance in compiling the history of the Strachur Volunteer Unit

 

 

MAIN CONTRACTOR

Stewart & Shields

East King Street

Helensburgh

 

ARCHITECT

Argyll & Bute Council

Department of Transportation & Property

Director:- Alistair Gow

 

 

 

 

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

 

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