Fire safety on Rathlin Island

Pictured on Rathlin Island to launch new wildland fire prevention signage for the coming season, are Firefighter Fergus McFaul; Michael Cecil, Chairman of the Rathlin Development & Community Association, who is also a firefighter; Area Commander Gary Thompson; Rathlin Watch Commander, Noel McCurdy; Assistant Group Commander Noel Darley; John Morton, Causeway Coast & Glens Borough Council and Crew Commander Kevin Blaney . INBM17-15S
Pictured on Rathlin Island to launch new wildland fire prevention signage for the coming season, are Firefighter Fergus McFaul; Michael Cecil, Chairman of the Rathlin Development & Community Association, who is also a firefighter; Area Commander Gary Thompson; Rathlin Watch Commander, Noel McCurdy; Assistant Group Commander Noel Darley; John Morton, Causeway Coast & Glens Borough Council and Crew Commander Kevin Blaney . INBM17-15S

Fire prevention work on Rathlin Island is well underway, including targeting those known as wildland fires.

Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service’s (NIFRS) unique Volunteer Fire Crew on Rathlin already does a sterling job protecting both the people who live on the island and the thousands of visitors annually.

They are the first attendance at emergencies and as such they were called out to tackle a large outbreak in May 2013 that then required considerable support from mainland colleagues.

Obviously given the remoteness of the island that did present challenges from an operational perspective but NIFRS have contingencies in place to deal with such an outbreak.

Rathlin is unique due to its geographical location and the fact that it is sometimes inaccessible due to weather conditions.

NIFRS Area Commander Gary Thompson said: “We are committed to protecting the whole community and delivering a fire and rescue service in partnership with others to ensure the safety and well-being of all.

“Therefore, much work has been undertaken since 2013 to minimise the risks and to prevent fires from staring in the first place.”

“NIFRS’s approach to this prevention activity is divided into three themes, all of which were highlighted today on Rathlin itself.

“These are the provision of new wildland fire warning signage, Home Fire Safety Checks for residents and holiday home owners and designated premises’ audits being carried out.”