Firefighters’ response to the blaze at Braeview Academy has been praised by managers and the Scottish Minister for Community Safety, who hailed the operation as an example of successful resource-sharing.
Concerns had previously been voiced about firefighters from Dundee being drafted in to plug shortages in Aberdeen, potentially putting Dundee residents at risk.
The organisation’s top brass acknowledged there had been a decrease in firefighter numbers nation-wide, but insisted there was no negative impact on the public’s safety.
Kirsty Darwent, chair of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service board, said that the response to the devastating fire at Braeview Academy, which required additional crews from Angus, Perthshire and Fife to be called in, demonstrated the importance of resource sharing.
Speaking at Wednesday’s SFRS annual performance review in Dundee, Ms Darwent said: “As a national service, we need to put resources where they are needed.
“The response to Braeview Academy was an example of how resources were drawn together from different areas in Scotland and how Dundee benefited from that.
“For us it’s not so much the numbers, it’s about making sure the right people are at the right place at the right time.”
Minister for Community Safety, Ash Denham, said: “From firefighting to search and rescue, water rescue and high ropes work I have been struck by the commitment and professionalism displayed by all SFRS firefighters, control room staff and support staff and that was clear last night in the response to the fire at Braeview Academy in Dundee.”
Iain Bushell, depute chief officer at SFRS, said: “It was a great example of how we can flex our resources from around the country to respond, specifically when an emergency occurs.
“There are seven appliances based in Dundee, but last night’s fire needed more, so we brought in other trucks from other parts.
“At the same time, because we brought so many of those appliances and we have all the Dundee appliances busy, we bring appliances from even further afield to provide coverage for the areas that are left.
“We do this with not just appliances but officers and senior officers to make sure that the coverage is balanced.”