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THE FIRE BRIGADES UNION has welcomed the arrival of two new recruits on a remote island, which means its fire brigade has almost as many women as men.
Fair Isle, which lies between Orkney and Shetland, has around 50 residents — of whom nine are trained firefighters.
The newest recruits to the brigade are Cloe Faita, a biologist who initially intended to stay on the island for just five months, and fellow Frenchwoman Marie Bruhat, who works in textiles. Their addition to the team means it now includes four women and five men.
Fair Isle, like many remote communities, employs part-time “retained” firefighters who are paid an annual retainer plus payments for every incident they attend. Because they are regularly on call, they are required to live a short distance from the fire station where they are based.
Ms Faita told the National newspaper: “I knew they needed firefighters — many of the people we knew were already part of it.
“I was available, young and fit. Marie was interested too and was thinking the same thing.
“I never thought about becoming a firefighter before, growing up in France, but I did know I couldn’t stand by and watch thinking ‘Oh gosh, I wish I could help’, if something did happen.”
FBU area chair for the north of Scotland Siana Hughes told the Star: “The FBU is delighted to hear about the new recruits Cloe and Marie on Fair Isle.
“I am sure that they will make a wonderful contribution to keeping the local community safer.”
Conrad Landin is Morning Star Scotland editor.
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