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Six months to Brexit: Fire service fears equipment shortage

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Difficulty accessing European supply chains could impact front line firefighters, the service in Scotland has admitted.

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service confirmed it is drawing up an action plan to consider issues it may have to face as a result of Britain leaving the Brussels bloc.

In response to a freedom of information request, it said: “The areas we are focusing on are procurement where we are part of European wide supply chains in some areas of operation and we need to better understand what changes if any Brexit will bring about this.

“Equally in terms of health and safety regulations and technical standards, much of our operational equipment is covered by EU wide safety and other standards and we require to understand what are the implications if the UK, post Brexit, chooses to diverge from such standards.”

We asked the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service for more information about, and examples of, the kind of equipment in its European supply chains.

A spokesman said: “The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service has relationships with a number of organisations who provide us with a range of assets.

“While many of these suppliers have a presence in the United Kingdom, their manufacturing can be based in nations throughout Europe and indeed the world.

“With this in mind, we are presently engaging with our suppliers to ascertain their plans and processes for Brexit to allow us to more fully prepare for any impacts or opportunities arising from Brexit.”

The service is also in the process of identifying it EU national employees to offer support, particularly to those who will seek residency status.

It is also “seeking to identify where we might have gaps in our future workforce if some existing non UK EU national employees choose to leave the UK post Brexit.”

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