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Rural fire station search for recruits as family retires

Rosie Curtis' brother and sister will step down from the service in Kilchoan, Lochaber.

Reporting by Oliver Dickinson

Kilchoan Community Fire Station is tucked away in the most westerly village in Britain.

The tiny village station, situated on the peninsula of Ardnamurchan, in Lochaber, Highland serves a small population but it is a vital service in rural Scotland.

Run by watch manager Rosie Curtis, the 48-year-old also serves the local community alongside her husband David, brother Hugh and sister Nan.

But after her siblings hung up their fire fighting equipment for the last time, there is a drive to bring new recruits into the service.

"Myself and my sister and my brother and also my husband were all in the fire brigade," explains Rosie.

"My sister has just retired after 27 years and my brother is due to step down after 31 years, so it just leaves myself and my husband David."

Rosie wants more people to get involved with the life-saving service as the next fire station is situated too far away.

Rosie is hoping more people join the fire service.
Rosie is hoping more people join the fire service. STV

"We are at the most westerly point of the mainland, it takes an hour, an hour and a half for the next appliance to get here," she says.

"It's very important, its vital that we keep our fire teams and its vital that young people take on the roles that we did 20, 30 years ago and join up"

One recent recruit, Marc MacMaster, also works with Rosie during her day job at a major seafood supplier.

"It's a small community we live in and I'm fit enough and able enough to be doing it, I would hate to be the one if anything happened in my house and I never joined," Marc says.

"It's a small community and you do anything for this community and it made the most sense to join up."

However if more people like Marc don't come forward and volunteer, the consequences for the remote village could be serious

"At the moment we don't have enough firefighters to keep the station going," Rosie says.

"We have six at the moment, we need 12 so we are relying on all six of us to keep going to keep the unit on the run and to make people feel safe living here."

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