Aberdeen’s growing number of elderly and vulnerable people has been identified as one of the key challenges facing Scottish fire chiefs over the next three years.
A new report to next Thursday’s city council public protection committee also lists increasingly extreme weather, flooding, and the threat of terrorism as other key issues ahead in the service’s draft strategic plan for 2019 to 2022.
The report reads: “The most recent report published in 2017 by the National Records of Scotland on the projected population of Scotland predicts there will be a significant rise in the population of over 75s in Scotland.
“Current trends in moving from care in institutional settings towards home-based care will increase the number of people who are potentially at risk of fire and other forms of preventable harm, such as trips and falls, within the home environment.”
Fire chiefs are proposing more home safety visits to the vulnerable to ensure equipment is in working order.
Those suffering with conditions such as dementia and Alzheimer’s are likely to be among the priorities.
Committee convener Jennifer Stewart has called for all city residents to keep an eye out for vulnerable people in their communities – describing citizens as “local intelligence” for the emergency services.
She said: “I have had briefings with the service on the new plan and one thing that was raised to me is that you can bring these things up to neighbours and relatives as part of a friendly conversation.
“Communities need to keep a close eye on people, especially those with conditions like dementia, to ensure they are as safe as they can be.
“The fire service are doing a fantastic job in what are very difficult circumstances.”
The report is now out for consultation with members of the public until July 18.
Responses can be made through the FireScotland website.
Deputy assistant chief officer for the north, David Farries, said: “We want to do so much more for our communities in the north of Scotland.
“This is a direct appeal to those who live and work here to have their say on how we propose to do that.”