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RAF Lossie's firefighters to keep their jobs

By Alistair Whitfield

None of RAF Lossiemouth's 27 civilian firefighters will be made redundant, the Westminster Government has confirmed.

A P-8 Poseidon takes off from RAF Lossiemouth.
A P-8 Poseidon takes off from RAF Lossiemouth.

Civilians have served as firefighters at RAF Lossiemouth since the 1970s.

However there had been a proposal to replace them with military personnel when the outsourcing giant Capita takes on the £525 million fire and rescue service contract at Ministry of Defence bases from April.

In a letter to Moray's MP Douglas Ross, the Minister of State for Defence confirmed that proposal had now been ruled out

Annabel Goldie wrote : "We have reviewed the options to provide fire and rescue support at the base given the introduction of the Poseidon P8 aircraft and I can confirm there will be no redundancies amongst the civilian firefighters as a result of their transfer to Capita.

"Furthermore, there will be no change in their workplace location.

"The existing fire and rescue support will, in fact, be expanded in the coming months as firefighters are brought in to support the increased operational outputs that the new aircraft will bring.

"This overall increase in manning compliment will be achieved by a combination of RAF regulars, current firefighters who transfer to Capita under their existing employment terms and new Capita employees who join as sponsored reserves."

Mr Ross welcomed the confirmation.

He said "I’ve been engaged in discussions since October, with the firefighters involved, senior personnel at RAF Lossiemouth, the Secretary of State for Defence and various Ministers.

"The issue has brought about a huge amount of stress and anxiety to the firefighters involved and also their families.

"It was exacerbated by a breakdown in meaningful and clear communication between the civilian personnel involved, Capita, the Defence Fire and Rescue Service and the RAF Command.
"Given the circumstances with thearrival of the Poseidon P8 aircraft, the correct decision has been taken.

"This is great news for all concerned and I’m delighted that through continued and detailed talks and communication a sound and sensible resolution has been found for all concerned."

Douglas Ross talking with some of the firefighters
Douglas Ross talking with some of the firefighters

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