Isle of Coll Fire - A view from the frontline

Posted on 29 May

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This week I talk about the recent fire on the remote island of the Isle of Coll. I discuss how the professionals and community responded and how this incident compares to others he has read about.

I tell people how to manage disasters not actually take part in one!

As a consultant, I tell people how to manage disasters and incidents, but rarely do I get caught up in one, nor am I involved in the response. Last Friday, I took part in an emergency response to a fire on the Isle of Coll as a part of the community effort. I thought I would share my experience with bulletin readers and discuss how it aligned with the many issues that occur in the disasters I read and study.

Isle of Coll

For those of you who are not familiar with the West Coast of Scotland, the Isle of Coll is a small island around 13x3 miles, with a population of 200 people. We have a part-time volunteer fire service which consists of some permanent residents of the island and a 4x4 fire engine. These volunteers are all trained firefighters and regularly practice how to respond to a fire.