The crews at Peterhead Fire Station have been busy with some major incidents this summer – including a blaze which destroyed a family home, an explosive drama at a garage and an ammonia leak at a shellfish factory.
But witnessing these events only spurs on the 24-hour watch teams to train harder.
This month’s focus has been on working safely at height and, with the old quarry at Stirlinghill on the outskirts of the town lying unused, it provides the perfect place to dangle a fake damsel in distress.
As the Green Watch set up their gear to rescue the dummy, watch manager Duncan Elliott explained the system in place to ensure the teams are always at their best.
He said: “We have core training that all of the crew have to take part in, and that is done in rotation once a year – for ladders, pumps and things like that.
“Then we have a three-year rotation of other skills. We do eight hours of these training exercises a month.”
Training goes well and the team return to the station, awaiting any calls.
As the afternoon passes, firefighters are out in the yard training youngsters who are taking part in an education programme in the town.
It is hoped that the young people will develop into good citizens with CPR knowledge and skills for tackling blazes as a result of the assistance.
Firefighter Willie Tocher said: “This is a fantastic programme to be involved with, and rewards both the firefighters and the local kids who are taking part.
“The effort and enthusiasm they are putting in is a credit to Peterhead.”
The group’s safety knowledge will be put to the test on October 3 at the station when they have a passing out parade to show what they’ve learned.
As a firefighter, home safety is a big part of the job and, having just had a toaster fire in a Peterhead home the day before, the Green Watch team heads out to put advice slips through people’s doors.
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But then a siren rings out in the station and the firefighters all sprint towards the engine, their gear prepped and ready in the vehicle.
The team tank their way to the nearby village of Crimond with basic information – simply the fact there is an outdoor fire in a street.
Arriving, they jump to work, knowing their own roles for the day. The small blaze in the park is out within minutes.
It is impressive to say the least – and shows what a well-oiled machine the team are.
Mr Elliot said: “The pump has a mobile terminal that gives us the address and a system shows us where to go – a bit like Sat-Nav.
“Thankfully today there was a lady standing there who directed us and gave us information on the fire – if that was a building we would be asking about its structure, entrances, exits.
“We’re looking at something that could be dangerous from our point of view and need the precautions in place to keep our team safe whether that’s breathing apparatus, hazmat suits or otherwise.
“Pretty much every call is done the same way as we then ask for more help if we need it – like a height appliance or specific equipment.”
But not every job is as simple as that.