Page last updated at 10:40 GMT, Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Debate over EU fire crews threat

Grampian Fire and Rescue Service
Many Scottish fire stations rely on retained fire fighters

A debate over concerns about the future of Scotland's retained fire fighters under EU working time rules is to take place at Westminster.

MEPs have been criticised for voting to end the UK "opt out" of the Working Time Directive, which prevents people from working more than 48 hours a week.

The debate has been secured by Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael.

It follows a warning from Grampian's Chief Fire Officer David Dalziel that the service could be put under threat.

Mr Carmichael said: "The importance retained of fire fighters cannot be over stated.

"It is important therefore that we get the message across as soon as possible that this is potentially very important to us and that we have to get it right."

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