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The Working Life of Christina McKelvie MSP
11th September

Tragedy, Loss, Hope, Help, Rescue and Survival

My title this week is less about the fortunes of my opponents and more about the fantastic work undertaken by our emergency services on our behalf.

I was more than happy to mark the report by the Fire Brigades Union called Tragedy, Loss, Hope, Help, Rescue and Survival by submitting a motion to Parliament.

We all go about our lives with little regard to the sterling work done by our Emergency services until we need them. It is only when we need them that we understand how important they are to our wellbeing and sometimes our lives.

The report detailed below the amount of rescues that the fire services have been involved in.

In Scotland the figures are;   More than 4,200 ( 4,181) people were rescued from dwelling fires in the region in the period 2001-2005, the most recent five years for which data is available. In 2005 alone just over 700 (709) people were rescued. There are no available figures for fires in other buildings.

And over
4,000 (4,280) people involved in road traffic collisions were rescued by fire services in Scotland in the five years to 2005/6, the most recent year for which data is available. Rescues increased in four out of the five years, reaching a record 905 in 2005/6.

The total number of people rescued by the fire service will be much larger, because some figures such as those relating to fires in other buildings, and flooding and water, are excluded.

UK-wide, more than
80,000 (83,668) people were rescued from fires and vehicle crashes between 2001 and 2005, and over 190,000 (190,629) since records began in 1990 . The overall number of recorded rescues in the UK is at record or near record levels.   You can read the full press release at the address below.

I am extremely proud of our Scottish Government because they understand the very important role this service plays. That is why we have maintained control rooms at the current level, given appropriate pay increases and commutated their pensions, which is a stark difference to how Westminster Labour treat our fire service.

May they continue to keep up the great work and may you never need their assistance but if you do you can be assured that it will be the best.

Another visit I had this week was with the Ambulance Service. This meeting briefed me on the developments and improvements to the service for the Lanarkshire area. People are always worried when a service such as this is facing some changes but I was reassured that the developments discussed will be of great benefit to the people of Lanarkshire. That with the Scottish Governments commitment to save Monklands A&E should be welcomed by all in the Lanarkshire area.

Last week I told you about my work in Malawi with the Westminster Foundation for Democracy. One result of that visit is that I am now in communication with one of the schools there and I will be working with them to develop links between Scotland and Malawi. Every child I spoke to knew who David Livingstone was and the work he did in Africa. It is fair to say that the current Education system in Malawi is a direct result of the work undertaken by the likes of Dr Livingstone and other sons and daughters of Scotland.

Below is a great picture taken by my colleague Pete Wishart MP of some kids with the catch of the day.

Well maybe I should be planning a meeting with the police to ensure they don’t feel left out by my concentration on fire and ambulance services.

But they did get their pension situation sorted too so indirectly they have been on the agenda.

Have a great weekend and hopefully you will not need the support of our great emergency services…………be careful out there.

Bye bye.

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