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issue 19 - autumn/winter 2011

GFRS Honours and Awards BBC Alba Filming Air an Rathad Altens Photo Competition Are you Ready for Winter?

the magazine of grampian fire and rescue service


Saturday 21 January 2012

CeilidhSupper With music from

Clachan Yell Plus Traditional Toastmaster

Doors open 7.30pm Tickets ÂŁ19.50 (includes Haggis, Neeps & Tatties, Raspberry Cranachan and Coffee)

Group discount available / 01224 647647

contents CFOs Festive Message page 4

GFRS Honours and Awards page 6

BBC Alba Filming Air an Rathad page 8

issue 19 autumn/winter 2011

- cover image - extrication

page 9

UKRO Extrication Challenge London 2011 Grampian Fire and Rescue Service 19 North Anderson Drive Aberdeen AB15 6DW Tel: 01224 788 742 Fax: 01224 692 224

page 13

GFRS Bob Boyd Scholarship to Gordonstoun page 14

Employee Wellbeing Programme page 15

Central Doors Open Day informative is the in‑house magazine for Grampian Fire and Rescue Service. For enquiries about any articles that appear, or to submit an article to be considered for inclusion in the next edition, please contact Jillian Burns in Corporate Communications. Images, text and layout are copyright © Grampian Fire and Rescue Service Design and Layout Steven Armstrong

What’s in a name? In Fire and Rescue Service jargon, an informative message is sent from an incident scene as an update on progress. Usually shortened on the radio to “informative” this is where we get our title.

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Are you Ready for Winter? page 17

Safe Team

page 18

the back page... page 20

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CFOs Festive Message 2011 Another year almost gone, a year of change, a year of challenges and a year when we said cheerio to some close friends and colleagues. 2011 saw the announcement of the most fundamental change to fire and rescue services in Scotland since the 1970’s and focussed many minds on what the future holds for our Service. During the year we helped thousands of people, from those who suffered fires in their homes and those sadly involved in RTC’s to the happier occasions when our staff went out providing advice and education, preventing incidents happening and teaching the adults of the future about their safety and the countless other achievements. The year past witnessed our people at their best, protecting our communities and our area. We recognised personal and organisational achievement and public service, together we continued to develop and further improve a Service that we should all be very proud to serve. The uncertainty of change and the impact of that on our Service is something we can positively embrace and help to shape the future. Together we can make a real difference. The festive period is a time both of reflection and resolution. All of us can reflect back on the 12 months, our individual and collective experiences and the people whose lives we’ve touched and whose lives have touched ours both here and abroad. Our resolution for the year ahead should be to continue in the spirit of public service, helping others, valuing those close to us and making that positive difference. To you and yours, have a safe, prosperous and very happy festive break and a good New Year. Best wishes to you all. Chief Fire Officer David Dalziel

photo - Some of the highlights of 2011 for Grampian Fire and Rescue Service


GFRS Honours and Awards Thursday 25 August 2011 saw Grampian Fire and Rescue Service host one of the most important events in the fire service calendar ‑ the annual long service and good conduct medals for 20 years service. Ten Grampian firefighters received their 20 years service medals, and three other serving operational staff were recognised for completing 30 years service. The awards ceremony was held in the historic Town and County Hall in Aberdeen and was hosted by Chief Fire Officer David Dalziel. Of the awards CFO Dalziel said, “It is a privilege to work with people who have dedicated their careers to protecting communities in the North East”. In addition to the medals and long service certificates presented by the Convener of the Joint Board, Councillor Mike Raeburn, a number of Chief Fire Officer’s Certificates of Congratulations were awarded. The Service’s honorary Firemaster, General Sir Peter Graham, presented certificates to sisters Iona (15) and Elspeth (14) Main from Elgin who, in May this year experienced a house fire at their home. Despite the girls concern over their family pet, who they thought was trapped in the building, the girls remained calm, provided clear information to the fire service and demonstrated very clear thinking that avoided them becoming casualties. Iona and Elspeth made such an impression on the fire crews that they were nominated for practicing under pressure the fire safety message the Service teaches in schools.

Sir Peter also presented a certificate of congratulations to three public spirited members of the public who, on 8 June this year, helped to save a man’s life from a house fire in Byron Crescent in Aberdeen. George Wood, Cator Moyes and Sharon Gairns all worked together to drag the male occupant of the burning house through a narrow window despite the physical effort required and the dense smoke issuing from the window. Their determination and encouragement was instrumental in supporting the occupant who was beginning to give up all hope of being rescued.

“Recognising achievement, public service and the fabulous people who work for Grampian Fire and Rescue Service always makes our award ceremony a very special occasion” The Grampian UK-ISAR Team also received a surprise award for their hard work and dedication to the incidents that they have attended, most recently in Christchurch, New Zealand. General Sir Peter Graham presented the award to the team who were unaware they were to be honoured on the night. Team Leader Colin Laing said, “Speaking on behalf of the Grampian ISAR team I would like to say how honoured we were to be invited to the ceremony and receive the certificate from the Chief. The team reflects all that is good about the Fire Service 6

and its values. However without the cooperation of colleagues and the continued support of the Service it would not be possible for us to carry out our work”. Chief Fire Officer David Dalziel said “Recognising achievement, public service and the fabulous people who work for Grampian Fire and Rescue Service always makes our award ceremony a very special occasion”.

Award Recipients

Long Service and Good Conduct Medals WM Stephen Barker Ff Gary H Duncan CM (Control) Carol Elliott WM Michael Fraser Ff Neil Johnston SM Colin Laing SM John Morgan WM Colin Tawse WM William Tocher Ff Richard Young Long Service Certificates CM Raymond Cooper WM Brain Easson WM Ian McDonald CFO’s Certificates of Congratulation Elspeth Main Iona Main George Wood Cator Moyes Sharon Gairns GFRS UK-ISAR Team


BBC Alba Filming Air an Rathad On Monday 22 August GFRS crews took part in filming for the BBC Alba series Air an Rathad (On the Road). After presenter Fiona MacDonald had filmed the opening sequence it was the turn of the Blue Watch at North Anderson Drive Station to have their turn on camera. Firefighter Craig Smith was selected to show Fiona around the appliance and explain all of the equipment, however the rest of the crew got their chance in the spotlight for the next scene...a blue light run down Anderson Drive and back. Following a few false starts the crew were off and despite a minor hiccup where the film crew van lost the appliance, they were delighted with the results of the mornings filming. After a quick lunch the film crew set off for the Development Centre where Station Manager Graeme Goonan had set up a variety of scenarios for them to film. The first scenario was set on the roadway of the site at

“It was fantastic to be a part of the BBC Alba filming and to show off our skills here in Grampian” Development Centre and simulated the extrication of a casualty in a RTC scenario, complete with burning car. This is sure to be one of the highlights of the programme. The day finished with a fire behaviour display showing some fantastic flashovers and backdraft

demonstrations. The crew where given the opportunity to get up close and feel the experience of the fire behaviour and also firsthand use of the fire units network of compartments. The demonstration didn’t fail to disappoint and the crew left with some spectacular images. Station Manager Graeme Goonan said, “It was fantastic to be a part of the BBC Alba filming and to show off our skills here in Grampian. A big thank you has to go to the crews from North Anderson Drive who took part in the morning and the crew from Central and the Development Centre staff who made the afternoons filming possible. GFRS really does have some talented stars of the screen”. 8

Charlene MacLeod, co‑ordinated the day on behalf of BBC Alba and the film crew from Eyeline Media, “I just want to say a huge thank you to everyone involved in our recent filming. We thoroughly enjoyed our day and we are confident the footage will make an excellent feature”. Air an Rathad (On the Road) Series 4 airs this Autumn on BBC ALBA (Freeview Channel 8/Sky 168/ Freesat 110).

Altens Photo Competition

As reported in the last edition of informative the crews at Altens Fire Station have had cameras on the appliances to use at incidents, community events, training or just around the station to capture the goings on during the day. The initiative, implemented by Mike Cordiner, inspired some great photos, ranging from funny and light‑hearted to dramatic. To recognise what a great thing it has been an Altens Photo Competition was launched and prizes were sourced for the top three photos. Thank you to everyone who submitted photograph’s, it was great to see everyone taking part. Huge congratulations to the winning photographers.

photo - The team in action

UKRO Extrication Challenge London 2011 Following their triumph of three awards at the Scottish Finals of the Extrication Challenge 2011, the extrication team from Huntly Fire Station and the Trauma Challenge Team from North Anderson Drive Station competed in the UK Rescue Challenge at the Excel Arena in London on 23 and 24 September. From the Scottish Finals, the team from Huntly were delighted to become overall Scottish Champions, CM Craig Bowden was awarded best medic, and FF Bob McGregor and FF Derek Coull from North Anderson Drive were second place in the Trauma Challenge competition. The Huntly team at the Scottish Finals were CM Anthony Mitchell (OIC), FF Christopher Henderson, FF Mark Allan, FF Steve Crich, FF Iain Gunn (reserve) and

CM Craig Bowden (Medic). For the UK Rescue Challenge FF Iain Gunn and Derek Coull for each team were replaced by Trevor Ramsay and Barry Mullins. Prior to the competition, both teams undertook training on a weekly basis and were ready for the competition. Competition was at a high standard and this was replicated by the standard of the assessors, and unfortunately the teams did not make the top 20 of either challenge.


photo ‑ Gordonstoun House and grounds

GFRS Bob Boyd Scholarship to Gordonstoun To celebrate the 70th Anniversary of the link between Gordonstoun School and Grampian Fire and Rescue Service, Gordonstoun is launching the GFRS Bob Boyd Scholarship to be awarded for the first time in 2012. This Scholarship, possible due to the generous benefaction of Bob Boyd, old boy of Gordonstoun and member of the School’s Fire Service in the 1940s, will be available to the son or daughter of a currently serving member of GFRS, and will be for a two year 6th form place. Applicants should be aged between 16-17 in September 2012 and should be exceptional young people who would benefit from the unique opportunities available to students at this world renowned School.

Further information and an application form can be obtained from Mr Chris Barton, Admissions Director at Gordonstoun on 01343 837827 or via email to Final selection for the award will take place at Gordonstoun in January 2012.


If you wish to enquire informally please contact Group Manager Rae Cameron by email

Employee Wellbeing Programme Grampian Fire and Rescue Service launched an Employee Wellbeing Programme (EWP) provided by AXA ICAS for all staff and direct family members on 1 August 2010. The Service is a non taxable benefit and is provided free of charge to all Grampian Fire and Rescue Service staff. The Service can be accessed to help you deal with any problem big or small and is completely confidential. The EWP is an integrated online and offline personal support programme that gives staff unlimited access to a range of specialist support

and information, including: • Financial information • Relationships • Health • Legal • Family care In addition to the above, all staff have access to wellbeingworks, an interactive health and wellbeing website that addresses a wide range of medical, health and wellbeing issues. Log in details can be found on InfoZone. The EWP service can be accessed using a confidential free phone number 0800 072 7 072, and

GFRS Supports StreetSports On Wednesday 5 October GFRS donated a Mercedes Vito van to StreetSport RGU. GFRS has been working with StreetSports since 2006 helping youngsters in Aberdeen by giving them a chance to get involved in sporting activities which are safe, healthy and lots of fun. The deployment of activities is intelligence based from statistics provided by GFRS and Grampian Police. This information sharing and partnership working is essential to ensure the activities are in areas where the kids will benefit most. Gordon Riddell, Station Manager at North Anderson Drive Fire Station said, “Street Sports has been a fantastic youth diversionary initiative that has led to reduction in wilful fire raising in high risk areas.

It provides and helps other areas of anti-social behaviour and not forgetting the physical fitness of our youth of today”.

“The additional vehicle will allow StreetSports to get their volunteers out to more than one area on the same night” He continued, “The additional vehicle will allow StreetSports to get their volunteers out to more than one area on the same night. Our statistics clearly show that during these events, we see very few problems with wilful fires in the areas where Street Sports are engaging with the kids, and this is ultimately our aim”.


is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Further information can be obtained by contacting the Personnel Department or by visiting the Employee Wellbeing pages on InfoZone.

Central Doors Open Day On Saturday 10 September 2011 Central Fire Station hosted the annual Door’s Open Day. White watch organised and ran the successful day that was enjoyed by the hundreds of visitors that attended. They even managed to organise the good weather! To cope with the busy day with visitors and call outs the crew were assisted by White watch crews from station 77 (North Anderson Drive) and 97 (Altens) who pitched in to help at the station and also covered many fire calls throughout the day. During the day various demonstrations took place including RTC exercises where a crew removed the roof of a car to extricate a casualty while Garry Chalmers explained to the large crowds the process of this type of incident and answered many questions from the audience. The chip pan demonstrator was also in use throughout the day and gave members of public a great visual and realistic example of what can happen when tackling a chip pan fire. A big well done to Stuart Leece in his role as the chip pan man and wearing his full PPE including his flash hood all day! Station tours took place throughout the day with the longer serving members of the watch imparting their knowledge of the station and the service as a whole as well as telling many fascinating stories which kept everyone entertained. 962 had the hose reel out and in use for the children to extinguish the flames in the Wendy house. Martin Vardy showed off his skills on several occasions sliding down the

photo - one of the crews gave an RTC demonstration for the public

pole when requested to do so by the crowds. Within the appliance bay there were various stands with leaflets and home fire safety visit information and a stand from Operation Florian. There was a great deal of interest in the home fire safety visits from the public. Members of the watch answered many questions on subjects of fire safety including safety in multi stories, fires in the home and advice on extension leads that should be used for safety in the home. There were children’s helmets and T- shirts for sale in aid of the fire fighters charity which were very popular clearing out all the stock of helmets by early afternoon. The North East Scotland Fire Heritage Trust displayed their 16

impressive fire engine and equipment from the day’s gone-by and was very popular with both the adults and the young children ringing the bell. The day finished around 4pm when all appliances were called to incidents throughout the city leaving only the height appliance at the station. A huge thank you everyone who took part and worked hard in ensuring the day was such a great success, with special thanks to White 96 Crews for the exquisite preparation that was involved in the set up for this event. Derek Coull and Paul Cameron did a great job as Blaze bear in the morning greeting all the young people as they arrived and posing for photos.

Are you Ready for Winter? During early October, Grampian Strategic Coordinating Group (SCG), a multi-agency response team which prepares for and supports the response in an emergency released their ‘ready for winter campaign’. This was aimed at informing the public about difficulties that can be encountered during times of severe winter weather, and giving practical advice that may benefit you and the community you live in. Because even an average winter is likely to include cold snaps and snowfalls, ice, storms, high winds, heavy rain and fog, the Scottish Government has published information to help you and your family get prepared early.

The Ready Scotland website contains practical advice and simple steps you can take to protect you, your family, your community and your business from the worst effects of all kinds of weather. As you read this we may well have experienced the first the snow and ice of this winter, but it is never to late to make preparations for future winter weather. The SCG Public Communications Group agreed a

set of key severe weather messages which were in line with the proposed Scottish Government campaign. The guidance includes important steps everyone should take to keep themselves safe and focuses on Your Home, Your Travel and Your Community. For further information please contact the Contingency Planning department, who will be happy to help.

For more information, please visit the Ready Scotland website

YOUR HOME Your family’s health Restock your medicine cabinet. Order and collect your repeat prescription(s) before the festive holidays. Remember that your GP surgery will be closed for four days at Christmas (25‑28 December) and four days at New Year (1‑4 January).

YOUR TRAVEL Plan your journey Is there severe weather forecast or warnings issued? Are transport services running to their normal schedule or are there delays, cancellations and closures? Do you need to travel or can you vary the time you need to arrive at your destination? Have you planned for the extra time required to travel in severe weather? Do you know how to change your driving style to suit severe weather and equip your vehicle for winter conditions? If you get delayed or stuck on your journey, can keep yourself warm and comfortable, have you got means of communication? YOUR COMMUNITY Can you share transport with people in your community? Can you offer transport, or offer to get supplies, to those in your community less able to get out in severe weather? Can you contribute to community efforts to clear paths and drives? Is there a focal point in your community which helps you help one-another? If not can you create one?

Your family’s comfort Protect your water pipes from freezing. Ensure you have sufficient heating fuel for you main heating source and a secondary heating source should that fail. Cleare paths and access to your property to ease access and prevent injury. Prepare a personal emergency kit should you have to leave your property. Your peace of mind Are your pets and animals protected from severe weather? If you are leaving your property for any reason do friends and family have access in an emergency? Do friends and family know where you are each week?


Safe Team Grampian Fire and Rescue Service participated in the ‘Safe Team’ event held at Bridge of Don Barracks from 26th August – 9th September. The much valued event enabled a third of all Grampian’s P7 pupils to attend this experiential learning opportunity. Included at the venue was a reconstructed building site, complete with associated hazards, a fully erected high voltage overhead power line and ‘hands on’ practical first aid sessions. The GFRS facility was there to allow children the chance to identify the hazards that would increase the risk of fire in a home. During this interaction they were interrupted by the issue of cosmetic smoke in the kitchen area. They had to then report this incident of fire to a temporary operator using a mobile phone. The programme of instructors and the moving of the ‘Hazard House’ was managed by WM Chris Williams, while CM Neil Whiteman and Ff Johnathan Masters deserve a special mention for their assistance throughout the event. Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire Commands provided Command Support Officers and Moray Command provided the ‘Hazard House’. Station Manager Mike Cordiner said that he was extremely impressed by the enthusiasm and positive feedback from the Command Support staff that participated. He said it was also fitting that Ali Michie, a veteran of 14 previous ‘Safe Team’ events, was invited down by the organisers as a VIP guest.


Recycling bins can be found at the following GFRS Locations HQ, Peterhead, Elgin, Ellon Maud, Forres, Huntly, Banff and Aboyne

the back page... Slave for a Day...Or a Fishing Trip Wednesday 27 July 2011 saw staff at HQ, aided by Avenance, hold a fundraising day to raise funds for The Firefighter’s Charity. Highlight of the day was a silent bidding auction where you could bid for a Slave for the Day (Mike Reid) or a fishing trip with Mike Cordiner. It was with great anticipation that we waited to find out who had placed the highest bids when they were opened on the day. The highest bidder for the slave was Lindsey Ross and she chose to have Mike Reid paint her son’s bedroom, as you can see by the pics, Mike thoroughly enjoyed himself and did a very good job. Ros Freeman was the highest bidder for the fishing trip and gave this prize to her son-in-law. A total of £281.60 was raised.

Cakes for a Cause On Wednesday 19 September the mess at North Anderson Drive hosted a special afternoon tea in aid of the Tillydrone Vision Project. Home bakes were supplied by Carol-Ann Dalziel, Elaine Masson, Ros Freeman, Sarah Wallace and Isobel Buchan, and there were so many cakes that a second tea was held the following day. With no set price, attendees simply donated to the cause and a total of £102 was raised. Thank you to everyone who donated cakes and also to Debbie in the mess for hosting with assistance from Nicola (mess central), and a huge thanks to everyone to attended and gave so generously.

Send Us Your Stories

Informative is all about people, so we want to know what you’ve been up to – awards you’ve won, challenges you’ve completed, places you’ve been, we want to hear it all! Your articles can be anything from 100 – 400 words, and should ideally be accompanied with an original digital camera quality image of 2-3MB (no camera phone images please). Articles can be sent in by email or in hard copy but all images must be emailed. Send your stories to or at the address listed on the contents page. If you need any help with your article or have any questions, you can contact Jillian on 01224 788742.

Informative - Winter 2011  

Informative Magazine

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