Binn Group’s award-winning fire improvement project owes a lot to the support and dedication of a team of employees tasked as first responders.
Around 18 employees living close to the Glenfarg centre of operations have volunteered to train and respond as required. This guarantees fire-fighting capabilities on the ground in the quickest time possible in the event of an outbreak.
With a water supply reservoir, mobile pump, extinguisher points, hose reels and trained first responders, Binn Group is therefore leading the industry in in-house firefighting capabilities.
But, as Binn Group Safety, Health and Environment (SHE) manager Kris Greig stresses, the team is only a volunteer force with limited capability. “What these guys do is hopefully catch any outbreak of fire at an early stage and prevent further damage. We don’t claim to be professional firefighters and we’ll only do what is safe.”
“A waste collection and recycling centre is a potential fire hazard. Therefore, we are fully aware and compliant with all possible prevention measures,” added Kris. “If the worst does happen, it’s heartening to know that there are employees willing to turn out to protect the site.
“Binn EcoPark is a fairly rural and remote site. It takes emergency services longer to get here than our own employees who live locally. If, with the proper training, they have the confidence and ability to nip any blaze in the bud then we can potentially save property and livelihoods.”
A ring-round system from site security staff alerts the team to any outbreak. A recent unscheduled 3am exercise saw volunteers on site and ready for action within 12 minutes.
Binn Group’s volunteer firefighting team has undergone extensive training in pump operation, hose handling, fire extinguisher use and fire control. Furthermore, they hold regular training exercises and teach-ins with Scottish Fire and Rescue crews. The team are constantly looking at improving.
“This is unique in the industry and well over and above our statutory requirements,” explained Kris.
“Our volunteers include mechanics, yard operators, picking station crew, office staff and many others of all ages,” he added. “They all want to help protect their workplace. I’m extremely proud of what we’ve achieved to date and how Binn Group is leading the way in this area.”