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Chamber and committees

Question reference: S6W-28301

  • Asked by: Alexander Stewart, MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party
  • Date lodged: 21 June 2024
  • Current status: Answered by Siobhian Brown on 2 July 2024


To ask the Scottish Government, in light of reports that the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service spent almost £750,000 on a fleet of state-of-the-art vehicles designed to tackle wildfires that reportedly remain in storage a year after delivery due to technical issues, what due diligence was carried out before this money was spent on vehicles that are reportedly not fit for purpose.


Prior to the development of the technical specification for the overall wildfire project, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) set up a User Intelligence Group (UIG) comprising uniformed wildfire subject matter experts, with relevant union and health and safety representation. The UIG was guided by procurement and fleet technical experts. In line with European procurement law the technical specification was put to the European market further to final amendments made to it by the UIG.

The tender returns were evaluated by the UIG and awarded on the technical aspects of the end user specification and support packages. It should be noted that two representative bodies, the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) and the Fire and Rescue Services Association (FRSA) were part of the UIG for the wildfire vehicles. SFRS has been made aware of concerns raised by the FRSA regarding the all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and has engaged extensively with that group. The FBU, SFRS and wildfire experts do not share the views of the FRSA.

The ATVs are general purpose vehicles and SFRS currently has four in operation. The Service’s newest Angloco models were purchased as part of its wildfire strategy and will be introduced in conjunction with a fleet of other 4x4 vehicles, which arrived earlier this year. The 4x4 vehicles are for transportation of ATVs and once on scene will be used to convey personnel around an incident ground. Firefighter safety is paramount and all new vehicles and equipment will only be rolled out once staff are trained to operate them within safe parameters.