The following brief history shows how our Service has grown
over the last years.
1930 - 1974
Prior to 1940, the public fire service in the UK was, by today's
standards, disjointed, inadequately trained, and under funded.
Every small town had its own fire brigade with its own Firemaster,
fire station - or stations in the cities and larger towns - and its
own way of doing things.
However, the onset of the Second World War changed political
thinking in the area of 'home defence' and the existing diverse
fire services were nationalised to become the National Fire Service
In order to provide support to the NFS throughout the land, the
Auxiliary Fire Service (AFS) was formed in 1938.
The wartime experience led the government to realise the need
for a properly equipped, properly trained and standardised fire
service, and this gave rise to the Fire Services Act of 1947.
Control of the fire services was returned to the local
authorities, and it was left to them to form joint arrangements for
the administration of police and fire services.
Thus, Lanarkshire and the City of Glasgow opted to maintain
their own fire services, (Lanarkshire Fire Brigade; Glasgow Fire
Service) whilst areas such as Renfrewshire, Argyll and Bute
collaborated to form Western Area Fire Brigade; Ayrshire and
Dumfriesshire formed South Western Area Fire Brigade; and
Dunbartonshire and Stirlingshire formed Central Fire Brigade.
1974 - 1996
The fire service remained in the hands of the local authorities
for more than 25 years until local government reorganisation in
1975 gave birth to Strathclyde Regional Council.
The new Strathclyde Regional Council was responsible for all
local authority functions, including police and fire services and
so Strathclyde Fire Brigade was formed and took the shape of the
political boundaries of Strathclyde Regional Council. From its
headquarters in Hamilton, SFR administered six divisions.
The Regional Council succeeded in standardising the fire service
it had inherited and after some 20 years, SFR was restructured
internally, its six Divisions being formed into four Commands -
North, East, West and Central Command.
1996 - Present
In 1996, changes made when the UK government decided to again
reorganise local government, the twelve unitary authorities that
replaced Strathclyde Regional Council agreed to retain Strathclyde
Fire & Rescue (and Strathclyde Police) in their existing
constitution. And so today, Strathclyde Fire & Rescue stands as
it did in 1975.
Strathclyde Fire Brigade was renamed as Strathclyde Fire &
Rescue to reflect the changing role of the service in June
Strathclyde Fire & Rescue is one of the most innovative fire
services in the whole of Europe. It has established a Technical
Support Team(TST), a Maritime Incident Response Group(MIRG), a
dedicated Incident Research & Investigation Section(IRIS) and a
new Technical Rescue Training Centre(TRTC) where crews are
specially trained to deal with a wide range of emergency
Many things have changed since Strathclyde Fire & Rescue was
formed in 1975, but some things have not. Among these are the
public's expectation of the service, and the dedication and
commitment of our staff.