Former chief of Grampian Fire and Rescue Service David Dalziel was guest speaker at the first meeting of Ellon Probus Club in 2014.
His talk was based on his life and times in the Scottish Fire Service, starting as a fireman in Glasgow to ultimately becoming the man in charge at Grampian.
Firefighting has its roots in the days when town and village buildings were primarily made of wood and were highly susceptible to catching fire.
Each town had its ‘fire watch’, whose job was to rouse the citizens ‘to man their buckets’ to prevent any major blaze taking hold. The term ‘watch’ is still used to identify specific firefighting teams on duty at a fire station.
In Aberdeen, records show there was an organised local Fire Brigade in the 18th century. However it was only with the introduction of the Fire Services Act in 1947 that national standards were established and were operated through Regional Control Centres.
The meeting heard that prior to this, firefighting was a job done by a motley collection of men, pumps, hoses, couplings and procedures that might or might not be compatible with those of the next town or village. At that time the Fire Service’s principal aim was to safeguard property.
In 2005 the Service was updated to become the Fire and Rescue Service and its role expanded to include the protection and preservation of human life.
In 2013 there was a further re-organisation and the Regional Control Centres were amalgamated to form a single Scottish Fire and Rescue Service based in Perth. The vote of thanks was given by Charles Fox.