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HSE statement following sentencing of Scottish Fire and Rescue Service

Date:
20 March 2015

Following the sentencing of Scottish Fire and Rescue Service at Edinburgh High Court in relation to the death of firefighter Ewan Williamson in 2009, HSE Head of Operations for Scotland, Alistair McNab, said:

“This was a complex and detailed investigation, which fully considered all the circumstances that led to Ewan Williamson’s tragic death.

“It reaffirmed the bravery shown by firefighters and officers when protecting members of society. However, a balance has to be struck with Fire and Rescue Services providing suitable arrangements to ensure the health and safety of firefighters and officers.

“In this case Ewan Williamson’s employers should have ensured firefighters were given clear instructions and training on how the principals of close personal contact should be applied while firefighting and carrying out fire and rescue activities; there was an effective system for radio communications which firefighters could rely on; and there was full compliance with procedures for using breathing apparatus.”

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