On a bitterly cold afternoon a Peterhead Fish factory explodes into a ball of fire close to the town centre.
At 1435 on Saturday 17th January a plume of thick black smoke was seen rising hundreds of feet over the cloudless skyline of Peterhead, Scotland. Further investigations by the RRT revealed that one of the largest fish factories situated on the harbour edge and close to the town centre was engulfed in a volcanic-like eruption of fire. The town centre immediately became a hive of activity as locals of every description seemingly appeared out of the woodwork to view this spectacular sight!
The RRT very soon got to work to locate the muster and command point. The fire crews were extremely busy for the first 2-3 hours but at 1800 an RRT member made contact at the local fire station to offer their services. This was taken up instantly and the teams were escorted through the cordons to the Incident commander who in turn put them in contact with the Risk Manager. Fire Scotland had their own Welfare Unit but didn’t have a huge amount of refreshments to offer for such a lengthy and cold stay.
The delighted Officer took up the offer of help from RRT and asked if we could supply an initial tea for 35 crew members. Within 45 minutes the team had a full squad ready to serve freshly filled rolls, hot drinks and other snacks. The welfare unit was adopted as the RRT hub and the crews were called out in small groups to refresh themselves and take advantage of the RRT offering. Being a small community a number of the fire crew were volunteers and some known to members of the RRT. It was a cold night to be out but the RRT did an amazing job of keeping the crew in good form, with a perpetual string of hot drinks flowing from the unit! The response was incredibly rewarding.
By 1130pm RRT had served over 75 emergency workers including fire, ambulance and police. A notice was posted up on the door informing them that the RRT would be back with the breakfast at 0700 the next morning – Sunday 18th.
Bacon rolls and hot coffee were dished out to the grateful crews, who were half frozen to the bone having unselfishly spent all night fighting the blaze.
A lunch was duly prepared so that the crew could partake of something decent and nourishing, then the hub was cleared up, the refreshments refilled and restocked so the firefighters could help themselves later on in the day, and the RRT left with the assurance that none of the emergency services would be going hungry! Another day of duty fulfilled.
Fire Scotland have since welcomed the RRT to discuss opportunities to work together in other emergencies within the area and gave the below testimonial which speaks for itself:
From: Nicoll, Graeme
Sent: 18 January 2015 14:49
To: Edward R
Subject: Welfare provided
I would just like to personally thank you again for the support you and your members provided at the Incident in Peterhead yesterday. It was a particularly bitterly cold day and crews had been working very hard in the initial stages of the fire. Although we were able to provide basic essentials it was clear that something more substantial was required. Therefore for you to attend and offer your support was extremely public spirited and very generous. The catering you provided meant that all emergency service workers that were in attendance received a high standard of welfare . Having spoken to a number of personnel as they came for their refreshments they all commented on how good it was to have the food provided and how professional you were in delivering the welfare. Being assigned the role of welfare officer can be a logistical nightmare at times and not being from the area I would have had to do a bit of research in to where I could source sufficient supplies. Therefore with your group offering to source and provide whatever we required and for possibly a prolonged period of time. This made the task far easier and meant that within a relatively short space of time everyone received welfare and allowed the emergencies workers to continue conducting their duties.
You and all your support staff deserve a massive thank you. You set a great example of how community spirit can be very positive. I would like to recognise your actions possibly by getting something in the local press in Peterhead to promote your group and the good work you do. I will be in touch when I have had an opportunity to speak to our media department.
Station Manager Graeme Nicoll,
Local risk Manager for West Angus,