>> 6 February 2009

Buchan firefighters boosted the coffers of a Scottish childrens' charity at the weekend.

Firefighters from the retained station at Maud held a charity car wash in aid of the Scottish Burned Children's Club. Over 100 cars were washed on the day by the volunteers, who had given up their spare time to help.

Grampian Fire & Rescue Service Joint Board member Cllr Stephen Smith paid a visit on the day along with the SNP's Westminster candidate Eilidh Whiteford and firefighters took the opportunity to lobby them on the threat to the retained duty system posed by the ending of the opt-out from the EU's Working Time Directive.

Commenting, Cllr Smith said:

"This was a tremendous effort for a very worthwhile cause by the Maud crew and I congratulate them on their efforts.

"It is this sort of community spirit which is under threat from the EU's wish to have the Working Time Directive apply to our part-time fire crews. If the proposals go through in their current form, the whole system of retained firefighters in rural areas will cease to function. Opinion is being mobilised against this measure and I am confident we can succeed."

SNP Westminster candidate for Banff & Buchan Eilidh Whiteford added:

"The crew were certainly being kept very busy at their car wash and it is obviously that their efforts were being well supported by local people who clearly value the contribution each and every one of them make towards keeping our communities safe."

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