First Minister Thanks Emergency Services for their Work over the Festive Period

 Monday 22 December 2014

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has praised the commitment of Scotland’s emergency services and is thanking them for their work over the festive period.

The Christmas and New Year season is one of the busiest times of the year for the emergency services with staff dealing with thousands of incidents; from the various impacts of severe weather to saving lives.

The First Minister met with paramedics, firefighters and police officers who are working over the festive season during a visit to the Scottish Ambulance Service’s Edinburgh base at Peffermill Industrial Estate. She said:

“Scotland’s emergency services are a credit to the country and we should all be thankful for their hard work and commitment throughout the year, but especially over the festive period, when some time away from families will be necessary for some.

“We are grateful to all of those who work to protect the health and welfare of people across Scotland but we all have a role to play in staying safe this festive season - we can all take steps to take care of ourselves and look out for others.

“This is one of the busiest times for our emergency services, and every year they cope admirably with the demand. We are lucky in Scotland to have such a committed workforce, as well as volunteers in organisations such as the Scottish Mountain Rescue and the RNLI. They all contribute to building safer and stronger communities across the country.

“So, I’d like to thank all those people who are working to keep us safe and Scotland moving. I’d also like to encourage everyone in Scotland to join with me in thanking the emergency services by tweeting messages of support using the hashtag #BlueLightThanks.”

Pauline Howie, Chief Executive, Scottish Ambulance Service, said:

“Our ambulance teams will be working tirelessly over the festive period, responding to high demand and providing the best possible patient care in all conditions.  At this busy time we would ask people to drink sensibly, prepare for the weather and use the 999 system wisely, so that we can dispatch ambulances quickly to those who really need our help.”

Deputy Chief Constable Rose Fitzpatrick, who is responsible for local policing delivery across Scotland, said:

“Throughout Scotland over the festive period, thousands of police officers and members of police staff will be working hard to keep people safe in our communities. The safety of the public is our number one priority, whether enjoying the festivities in town and city centres or using the road and transport networks, as it is every day of the year.”

Chief Officer Alasdair Hay of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service said:

“We want everyone to have a Merry Christmas but of course the reality is there will be emergencies and firefighters will be needed. Operational crews and our Control Room personnel will be on duty throughout the festive season to protect every community in Scotland and I would like to thank the public for the tremendous support they always give to their fire service.”