Balmossie fire station does not face the axe, the chief of Scotland’s national fire service has confirmed.
It has also been revealed controversial plans to move an ambulance and a patient transport vehicle from Monifieth Health Centre to Balmossie will go ahead in September.
Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) chief officer Alasdair Hay said there are “absolutely no plans” to close the station and confirmed the two emergency services have agreed to share the facility.
The plans for the shared location were revealed in February this year while concern had frequently been raised that Balmossie, the only fire station in Dundee with retained staff, could be closed.
Fears were again raised recently when the SFRS launched a consultation on its future operation which included potentially building new stations and “disposing of others”.
This prompted councillors from all parties in the city to call for assurances from the fire service that no Dundee stations will be closed.
Mr Hay, who is to retire in March, said: “Let’s be very open here. Balmossie is always the question that gets raised.
“I can assure you that we have got no plans to close the station. Absolutely none. Any concerns that people have around Balmossie I can totally allay.
“The reason this comes up frequently is because we had two consultations in the past about Balmossie.
“The future of the station is further strengthened with the Scottish Ambulance Service set to move in in September to work even closer alongside our colleagues.”
As well as Balmossie, Dundee currently has three other fire stations — Blackness Road, Kingsway East, and Macalpine Road— which also contains a control room handling calls from the entire north of Scotland.
No decisions have yet been made on any potential changes to staffing levels at the stations.
Mr Hay however said the consultation was not about cuts but was to “re-balance” staff.
He said: “There could potentially be staffing changes yes.
“But what we are looking at here is re-balancing the front-line. People often say that’s just code for cuts.
“It is not about cuts. With the support of the Scottish Government, he have an additional £15 million in our resource budget this year.
“How can that be a cut? We’re spending more money on front-line services. What we want to make sure is that the balance is right.
“Where we have whole-time fire fighters, perhaps we might need to have some on-call fire fighters and vice-versa.
“It’s about making sure we have the right skills to deal with the risks that any location faces and to meet the needs of communities in those places.”
Broughty Ferry councillor Craig Duncan welcomed the plans and said: “I’m really pleased to hear Balmossie’s future is safe because it is perennially being picked on.
“Having been and visited the station, it appears to have more than enough room for the ambulance service too.
“I consider this development should it come to fruition as very welcome news indeed for Broughty Ferry residents.
“They will acquire an enhanced community asset as well as others in Dundee and nearby and the staff of both services will be able to learn very valuable skills from each other.”
A spokesperson from the Scottish Ambulance Service said: “We looked at options for the location of our new ambulance station when we move from Monifieth Health Centre later this year.
“Following consultations, we can confirm our new base will be co-located with colleagues in the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service at a site in Balmossie.
“Staying in the Monifieth area will ensure we can reach emergency patients quickly and will enable us to continue to provide a safe, high-quality service for all our patients.”