An “anthrax” alert in Forfar has been highlighted as an example of the type of situation firefighters are increasingly being called to tackle outwith their traditional role.
The incident, just a week after Prime Minister Theresa May called a snap general election and nine days before locals went to the polls to select a new council, led to a safety cordon being set up around the area and the deployment of specialist officers who confirmed the substance posed no public threat.
Figures for the quarter from April to June revealed Angus crews attended 78 non-fire emergencies — an increase of almost 70% on the previous quarter and well above the area’s five-year average.
Scottish Fire and Rescue Service group manager Roy Dunsire said: “As we deal with more special services, there is the risk that the number of casualties will rise with this increased demand.”
There were 22 casualties within the 78 special service incidents, with road crashes accounting for a significant proportion of that figure.