Wake-up Reevel! Scotland has nearly twice the number of firefighters per head of population as England and deaths are falling


Once again Reevel Alderson looked positively uncomfortable as Jackie bird tried to get some vim and vigour into his report of another supposed crisis in public services. This time it is volunteer and retained firefighters whose numbers are falling. Driven by Jackie’s dramatic prompts such as: ‘These people are crucial!’, he gathered his armoury of facts for one more tilt and we heard some statistics which, of course, jar with the official ones, below.

This isn’t the first time, Alderson has looked uncomfortable in cohort with Jackie and presenting more bad news about Scotland. Here he is listening to Jackie tell a blatant lie about knife crime:


Now Reporting Scotland LIES about violent crime RISING when it FELL

Here are the official statistics revealing staff numbers, especially the ‘crucial’ part-time, retained, firefighters, to be fairly constant. English figures for context, later.

‘Staff Headcount On 31st March 2018 Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) had a total headcount of 7,776 staff, which is down 0.7% on the total last year. The 3,546 wholetime operational staff (full-time firefighters) make up the largest staff group at 46% of the workforce. This was a reduction of 2.7% on last year’s headcount for wholetime operational staff. Retained Duty System staff make up the next largest group accounting for 37% of staff with a headcount of 2,863. This is relatively unchanged on last year. The largest proportional change is in the control staff group which increased by 24 (14.5%) in the last year, bringing the total up to 189.’

firesaffing graphs


In England, from 2011 to 2017, the total FTE of firefighters (full-time and retained) decreased from 43,360 to 35,620, 17.8%!


Comparing Scotland with England:

Scotland has 6 409 firefighters while England has 35 620. So, England has 10 times the population but only 5.5 times the number of firefighters. Before the Tory cuts, the ratio would have been 7 times as opposed to 10 times. Bearing in mind Scotland’s larger area per head of population, that might not seem unreasonable.

And, deaths in fires are falling:


Might a journalist be interested in context at all?


8 thoughts on “Wake-up Reevel! Scotland has nearly twice the number of firefighters per head of population as England and deaths are falling

  1. gavin March 26, 2019 / 8:27 am

    Reevel managed to slip in that Police Scotland had lost of whole bag of money to a “VAT fraud”—money that the Scottish government were “warned about”, according to Reevel.

    Trouble is–that both Labour and Tory manifestos had a Single Police force as election commitments, so the VAT bill would also have applied to them.

    Also that PSNI doesn’t pay VAT, though it is a “national” service. Or the Met, which is bigger than Police Scotland and was run by the English Home Secretary at the time VAT was imposed on Scotland.

    Poor show Reevel………. Neues Deutschland would be proud! You were once one of the best.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Alasdair Macdonald March 26, 2019 / 9:25 am

      You have made couple of cogent points, Gavin, about VAT and PSNI and the Met, vis a vis Police Scotland.

      However, BBC Scotland is not interested in caveats and nuances if it can get a kick against the Scottish Government, or, indeed, Scotland, in general.

      After the very brief glimmer of promise when some of the new correspondents on The Nine showed a tendency towards providing balanced and insightful reports, the BritNat propagandists of GMS and Reporting Scotland seem to be reassertion control. Clearly this is related to the crumbling of the UK state under this clueless PM and whomever in the Cabinet is making a claim on power.

      With regard to Professor Robertson’s final question, with regard to Nomedia, any journalist who shows interestin context is sacked on the spot.


  2. johnrobertson834 March 26, 2019 / 9:10 am

    Thanks for filling in. Didn’t have the energy for all of it. I’m no psychoanalyst but does he not seem a wee bit disturbed, depressed?


  3. Bryan Weir March 26, 2019 / 9:26 am

    Actually these repeated and mostly unfounded attacks on the Scottish government infuriate me. It’s OK for us to refute them here but the “BritScot” mob eat them up. They believe them all and that becomes very evident anytime they opine on the subject of independence.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Ludo Thierry March 26, 2019 / 11:52 am

    Hi John and Big Jon – I suspect you may mention them yourself later John but, oddly enough, there are some interesting and newly minted stats on the news.gov.scot website this morning concerning Children’s Social Work issues – seem to be a fair few numbers showing an encouraging set of trends: Link and snippets below:


    – an estimated 14,738 children were looked after in 2018, a decrease of one per cent from 2017, and the sixth consecutive year of decline

    – the number of children starting to become looked after decreased in 2017-18, while the number ceasing to be looked after increased compared with 2016-17.

    – of the estimated 6,109 care leavers eligible for aftercare services on 31 July 2018, 62% were known to be receiving aftercare

    – the number of children on the child protection register increased slightly in 2018 to an estimated 2,668, but remains lower than the recent peak recorded in 2014

    – around half of children registered were on the child protection register for less than six months, while 16% were registered for a year or more

    – 85 young people were in secure care accommodation at the end of July 2018. The average number of young people placed in secure care accommodation during 2017-18 was 81, up from 76 during the previous year. If placements from the rest of the UK are excluded, the average number of young people placed in secure care from Scotland fell by 18% compared to last year

    (From the figures I’m assuming that the welcome reduction (18% over the past year) of young people from Scotland in secure care accommodation is allowing the relevant Scottish agencies to be helpful to our friends and neighbours in the non-Scottish parts of the UK and offer some capacity in Scotland to host some of this client group which require very considerable and highly specialist support).

    Liked by 2 people

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