Mobile Volunteer Unit


WAFB Newfield (Tel. 409)
<1964 to 1981 Aluminium Box at Achnacroish
1981 to 1994 Hut at Achnacroish at Pier (Newfield)
1994 to 2004 Wooden Hut near the Village Hall.                                Photo
1/10/2005 Next to Telephone Exchange centre of Island             Photo





1939 Volunteer Leader Colin Stewart
? to ? Volunteer Leader Archie Stewart  (Son of Colin Stewart)
1962 to ? Volunteer Leader Donald Black
1983? to 1992 Volunteer Leader Donnie MacCormack
1992 to Aug 1995 Volunteer Leader Archie MacColl
19/1/1996 to 28/2/1999 Volunteer Leader Deirdre Campbell (Acting from Aug 1995)
1999 to ? Volunteer Leader Duncan Brooks
2014 Volunteer Leader David Meddes




2004                                  W989WNS                      Land Rover/SFB                                        VSU

2005                                  SF05AMK                       Mercedes 814D/Emergency One            VSU




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 Volunteer
  1 Two men manual pump 1 Fireman 5 Firemen


Establishment 2000

  Equipment Volunteer
  Standpipe  Hose Branch Pump etc. 1 Volunteer Leader
    9 Firefighters



Crew at 29/12/1971

Fireman D. McArthur  (3087)
Fireman D. Black (3359)
Fireman D. McCormick (3361)
Fireman K. Willis (3362)
Fireman W. McArthur (3487)

According to the date of births D. McArthur was 70 years old. Taken from a Western Area Fire Brigade staff list.

Lismore is approx 9 miles by 2 miles with a population 176 persons.
A site for a Volunteer Fire Station at Lismore has been leased for 50 years at an annual rent of £400. A planning application has been submitted.
(Strathclyde Fire Board Minutes 11/4/2002.)
Called out by phone call to Leader and calls cascaded to other Volunteers. When new station fully equipped they will be called out by pager. (Oct 2004)
Station went operational Friday 1st October 2004 and was Officially opened Saturday 1st October 2005, exactly one year later.
The station cost £380,000 and the appliance equipped cost £120,000. In return for this half a million pound The Chief Officer Brian Sweeney expects the crew to visit every house on the Island and install smoke alarms where required and see every house has a Fire Plan and carry out other Fire Prevention duties.


Doors open on Lismore’s new fire station 

Lismore’s new fire station opened on October 1, although it will be some months before the fully-equipped, water-carrying engine arrives.
In the meantime, a Land Rover capable of driving anywhere, but not of carrying water or manpower, will stand in.
Station officer Robert Boag from Strathclyde Fire Services connected the station to Command Headquarters at Clydebank and from now on all calls will be directed there and the nine volunteer firefighters on Lismore will be paged.
The firefighters are led by Duncan Brooks with deputy Dave Meddes and the crew are Gilleasbuig Black, Gill Bridle, John Carmichael, Jon Derham, Tony McLarney, Mari Perkins and Mark Willis. There is currently a vacancy which, when filled, will bring the crew to 10.
The old Strathclyde fire hut, which sat so long near the hall and was easily mistaken for a hen house, left Lismore the day the new engine arrived.
(The Oban Times, Thursday 25 November, 2004. Page 11.)




Official Opening


Saturday 1st October 2005





Councillor Bruce Robertson
Member of the Board of Strathclyde Fire & Rescue

Councillor Joe Lowe
Convener of the Board of Strathclyde Fire & Rescue

Reverend John Murdoch

Chief Officer Brian P Sweeney QFSM, D. Univ, MA

Chief Officer Brian P Sweeney QFSM, D. Univ, MA





There was a fire fighting team on Lismore from 1939, probably as part of the military presence on the island. A native of the island, Colin Stewart was the leader at that time. He also ran 2 taxis, sold coal and had the Island Post Office. The crew numbers however in this early Fire Brigade on the island dwindled after the war through natural causes.
Then in 1962, following a fire at Achuaran Cottage in which Mrs McCorquodale tragically died, the volunteer unit was set up by the then Western Area Fire Brigade.
Ken Monroe (of
Monroe’s Garage in Oban) was supervisory officer based in Oban. The unit was maimed by Donald Black (Leader), Bill Willis, Donnie McCormick, Archie Stewart (son of Colin - the first leader) and Jim Corrigan. The equipment consisted of a 2 man hand pump, suction and delivery hose, an axe, a shovel and a couple of canvas buckets.
A Suzuki motorised water pump was issued to the unit in 1964 and was very well received by the crew. All the equipment was stored in a large aluminium box secured to a brick shed at Achnacroish. This was replaced by a larger wooden shed in 1981, which allowed more equipment to be stored. Uniforms were issued at the same time and consisted of pith helmet, donkey jacket, yellow leggings and rubber boots.
The same shed was moved to a more central position near the public hall in 1994 and was in use until it was replaced by this new station in 2004. The shed by this time was getting decidedly wobbly and a bit mossy on the roof. But, no retirement for the shed, it was re-deployed to Bunessan on Mull for another volunteer unit to use as overflow storage.
The new station is further testament to Strathclyde Fire Boards commitment to the rural communities of Argyll and Bute. The new Fire Station is equipped with a Mercedes Fire Appliance complete with Ladders, Breathing Apparatus and Trauma Care equipment.



Fraser Harper
Property Services Department
Argyll & Bute Council


New fire engine for Lismore

Lismore volunteer firefighters have taken possession of their new fire engine.
The 4-wheel drive, Mercedes 814B, with a Godiva 2 stage fire pump, arrived on the island on April 22 and became fully operational on April 29.
All volunteers have already undergone extensive training and this continues at the new station and around Lismore once a month. In addition, four firefighters meet every Monday to maintain the new station in tip top condition.
The force is currently nine-strong and at least three others have volunteered to join in the near future.
Pictured with the new fire engine are: Dave Meddes, John Derham Gill Bridle and Duncan Brooks.
(Oban Times, May 26, 2005.)


Fire station advance for Appin volunteers
by Moira Kerr

EVER since Appins volunteer fire service was established 50 years ago in an old wooden hut, it has been very much a family affair.
Generations of Gunns, MacCorquodales, Carmichaels and Coltharts have turned out at all hours to protect their community in times of need.
The same families are involved today, with Tina Scorgie, Robert MacDonald and Iain MacLeod being the only exceptions, among current members, to this dynastic tendency.
But while the families have stayed more or less the same, the premises they use have undergone major change.
Oban fire station manager John Ferris said: “The Appin and Lismore stations used to be sheds, but they have moved on from that to state-of-the-art facilities?”
Appin’s new £301,0000 volunteer fire station was officially opened on Friday night, while the nearby isle of Lismore saw its £380,000 new station opened on Saturday.
Firefighters were first established on Lismore in 1939, probably because of the military presence on the island.
The first leader was Colin Stewart, who ran two taxis, sold coal and ran the island post office.
After the war, crew numbers dwindled as a result of natural causes and in 1962 the volunteer unit was set up by Western Fire Brigade.
A spokesman for Strathclyde Fire and Rescue said: “Equipment consisted of a two-man hand pump, suction and delivery hose, an axe, shovel and a couple of canvas buckets.”
In 1981 the unit got its first fire station — a wooden shed to store its equipment. The current Lismore fire leader is Duncan Brooks and two of the island firefighters are sons of the original 1962 unit. They are Donald Black’s son Gilleasbuig and Bill Willis’s son Mark. Councillor Joe Lowe, convener of the Board of Strathclyde Fire & Rescue, said: “Volunteer firefighters are a credit to their communities. They are prepared to devote time to protect lives so it is up to the board to make sure that they get support.”
(Press and Journal, October 3, 2005.)

Fire baskets from Lismore

When Lismore took delivery of its new fire engine in May 2005, Gilly Dixon-Spain was asked to design a filter for the hose which would stop blockages when sucking water from burns.
She did this using the willow growing on her Salen croft where, among other things, she makes baskets.
Later, when Strathclyde’s Chief Fire Officer Brian Sweeney was opening the island’s new fire station she suggested he might be interested in her filter for other stations.
For a while she heard nothing but in November 2005 she received a commission for 35 baskets to be ready before the end of March 2006. This was a tall order but she accepted the challenge using Salix Vimnalis, which she had grown and collected last year, and the order was completed and dispatched by mid January.
(The Oban Times, Thursday, April 6, 2006. Page 6.)

Smoke detectors save the day

Thanks to the quick response of the householder and the efficient working of the smoke detectors, serious damage was averted in a Lismore house.
The fire started in the junction box in the electrical cupboard in the early hours of the morning and, hearing the alarm, Iris MacColl of Mid Farm, Achinduin, did all the right things: she got her family up and out, rang the emergency service and closed all doors and windows.
Within 10 minutes volunteer firefighters were there and able to contain the fire. They then had to keep watch until the emergency Scottish and Southern Electric team arrived just after
7am to disconnect the power.
Duncan Brooks, leader of the volunteer team, said it was thanks to the new fire engine and the training of the volunteers that there was no serious damage or loss, which there most certainly would have been under the old system. He also stressed the importance of fitting smoke detectors and of testing them once a week to make sure the batteries are still working.
(The Oban Times, Thursday, April 6, 2006. Page 6.)





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


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