Fire chiefs have said there is no room for complacency over the success of a drive to boost retained crew numbers in Angus.
The latest Scottish Fire and Rescue Service data presented for quarterly performance revealed local retained stations to be working at close to full establishment levels in the wake of a series of successful recruitment drives across the area.
Bosses are still keen to see numbers boosted in Brechin and Montrose and recruitment remains a priority for communities served by retained firefighters.
SFRS group manager for Angus, Roy Dunsire said: “I’m pleased to note our recent recruitment efforts have led to an increase in the number of retained firefighters locally, but the truth is we are always on the lookout for people who want to apply to help protect their communities.
“Retained firefighters, who respond to a pager from home or work when required for emergencies, make a huge commitment to their communities and in most cases balance this with their primary employment and family life.”
There are still challenges with recruiting retained firefighters, Mr Dunsire said, including that many people do not work in the same town they live in.
In Angus, the fire service is addressing the issue by employing more full-time firefighters to support retained crew.
Mr Dunsire said: “We are now looking at a number of different options to reflect modern society to increase the availability of our retained firefighters to ensure they can provide the life-saving service our communities need.
“This has already included the introduction of a number of rural full-time posts aimed at increasing support to retained firefighters, and enhancing recruitment and retention of our crews.
“We are looking to add to our retained crews in Brechin and Montrose.
“With that in mind, we are determined to reflect modern society and are therefore keen to see people from all backgrounds and walks of life consider a career as a retained firefighter.
“Ultimately, I would encourage others to broaden their horizons, learn new skills and serve at the very heart of their communities by becoming a retained firefighter.”