1 Volunteer Support Unit.



1/6/1976 to 10/10/1996 Wooden Hut at Blackmount Estate, north of Bridge of Orchy (near the Lodge)
10/10/1996 to Volunteer Garage R/H side of road up to railway station                                            Photo



Volunteer Leaders

1/6/1976 to 1992? Volunteer Leader H Menzies
1992? to 1996? Volunteer Leader K MacLennan
11/10/1996 to Volunteer Leader David Menzies (Davie) (there 2011) (there 2014)



1997                 P171VSU         Mercedes 814D/Angloco 4x4             VSU

17/11/2011      SF61CXP         Mercedes 816D/Angloco 4x4             VSU


P171VSU is a 4 wheel drive appliance with a 250 gallon water tank and a hose reel on the near side,10.5 metre ladder and a short extension ladder & a roof ladder on a slide off gantry, Hurst cutting gear, 4 Sabre Centurion BA sets and 2 spare cylinders. The featherweight pump has to be lifted out onto a tailgate to be lowered to the ground before use.



1976 to 2005                          Strathclyde Fire Brigade
2005 to 31/3/2013                 Strathclyde Fire & Rescue (Name change only.)
1/4/2013                                 Scottish Fire and Rescue Service


The hut was five miles from Bridge of Orchy on Blackmount Estate.

The Unit was started on 1/6/1976, and was formed as a result of a forest fire that year which would have been put out much quicker if there had been a unit nearby.

The unit started at the new station on 10/10/1996 and the Official opening by Firemaster Jameson and Councillor Jennings was on 17/3/1997. The building was handed over to SFB on Friday 23/8/1996.

Drill night Thursday 18-30 to 20-30.

2014 This unit now has Hydraulic cutting equipment (Combi Tool). Don't know when received.


The most serious fire of the year, although not the largest, occurred on 15th October, 1956, at approximately 19-55 hours at the Bridge of Orchy Hotel, Glencoe, Argyll. This hotel was situated in a very isolated part of Argyll and the nearest retained unit was 30 miles away. On the call being received at Oban Fire Station, Argyll, the Oban Unit proceeded to the fire and passed on a message to Area Control who in turn turned out retained units from Kinlochleven, 30 miles distant, Inveraray, 36 miles distant and in addition 2 retained units from the Perthshire Area from Killin and Comrie, 26 and 42 miles distant respectively from the Hotel. The fire was first discovered by the Hotel porter who saw flames shooting out of the window of a bedroom on the top floor and travelling rapidly to the roof. He immediately warned the staff and the guests who were at dinner. Some of the guests, on being informed of the fire, made attempts to get up to their bedrooms to retrieve their belongings but, unfortunately, the heat and smoke was too dense and they had to evacuate the Hotel. Within twenty minutes of the alarm being raised the top floor and roof were involved. At approximately 21-00 hours the first appliance arrived at the scene of the fire when it was found that the whole building was involved and that the roof had collapsed. Two featherweight portable pumps were immediately got to work from the River Orchy some 500 feet away, 4 jets were soon in operation and were used to prevent the fire from spreading to an adjoining tearoom and shepherd’s cottage. In all 5 jets were required to extinguish the fire. The efforts of the Brigade proved successful in confining the fire to the Hotel and in preventing any damage to the tearoom and cottage.
The retained unit from Oban had the misfortune, after travelling some 35 miles, to be involved in a serious accident on the bleak moorland road when only 9 miles from the Hotel. The Austin Towing Vehicle which crashed into a high embankment was completely wrecked. Five of the six members of the crew received injuries of varying degrees, two of which proved to be serious. The crew of six were removed to hospital in Oban and after treatment four were allowed home. The other two were detained, suffering from multiple injuries and, although now out of hospital, are still being given medical treatment.
(Western Area Fire Brigade Annual Report 1956. Page 6.)



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


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