Fun ahead as Scottish Fire and Rescue Service announces charges
Before anyone accuses me of suggesting that the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service should not be charging for its services, I should be clear that this is not the case, and I actually welcome it having the opportunity to do so, as I have seem many news reports showing people calling them out to incidents which were clearly not emergencies (perhaps significant inconveniences, but not emergencies threatening life or property), and which I thought was wrong as their selfish actions were taking personnel and equipment away from the intended service.
At this stage, I’ll avoid commenting on what perhaps should and should not be charged, as we need to see what is considered chargeable first, for a year or two to see if it works as expected.
The change is reported to have come about following a recent revision in the Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004 which took place in February, and is expected to raise some £136,000 per annum.
A price list for attending all non-emergency incidents and industrial training events has appeared in the media, giving the following examples (all plus VAT):
- Firefighters: £24 per hour
- Crew managers: £27 per hour
- Fire engine: £285
Drivers involved in crashes could be billed for clearing hazardous roadside spillages, while homeowners could be asked to pay for summoning firemen to pump out flood water or rescue their cat if it is stuck up a tree.
Those subject to control by our feline overlords will have to take care in future, lest their furry master get upset, and choose to take their revenge by planting themselves up the nearest tree at every opportunity.
I hope they’ve thought this through and in the case of cats up trees, respond with a bill (if issued) to the party that called them out, and not the owner.
My experience of most cats up trees is that they stay up there because they are alarmed by a crowd of people at the bottom of the tree shouting at the, throwing things, or poking at them with sticks or poles. If left alone and ignored, unless they are genuinely stuck for some reason, they come down when it suits them, in their own good time.
Possibly one to watch.
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