Firefighters’ working at the scene of the devastating nursing home blaze, which claimed the lives of 10 elderly people, were left “extremely distraught” by today’s tragedy, the Fire Brigades Union said.
Ken Ross, Scottish secretary of the Fire Brigades Union, said the service was “deeply saddened” at the loss of 10 lives.
Despite the enormous efforts of fire and ambulance personnel in ensuring the safety of more than 20 people from the premises, the death of so many others had left emergency workers at the scene extremely distraught, Mr Ross said.
“This was a dreadful incident in which so many lives were lost,” he said.
“Our condolences go out to the families of those who died.
“Every death in a fire is felt very deeply by those who work in the fire service.
“The tragedy would have been much worse if so many had not been assisted to safety by the emergency services.
“We should all be thankful that many more families are not mourning the loss of their loved ones this morning.”
Mr Ross added that the FBU would be carrying out its own inquiry into the the tragedy.
“It is very important for the whole of Scotland and the UK for lessons to be learned,” he said.
“Jeff Ord, Chief Officer of Strathclyde Fire Brigade, has stated that the lessons learned from this incident will be made available as soon as possible.
“Amongst those lessons must be that proposals to reduce fire cover at night, and to reduce attendances to alarmed premises, is reckless and unacceptable.
“We are calling – once again – for an urgent meeting with Justice Minister Cathy Jamieson MSP, to discuss the future plans for the Scottish Fire Service.
“We sincerely hope that she can now agree to that meeting so that we can ensure the current process of changing fire cover arrangements in Scotland will guarantee to the public true improvements to their safety.”