Highlands and Islands Fire and Rescue Service have recently opened the UK's most northerly fire station at Baltasound on the Shetland Islands. The station was given an official opening by Shetland Islands councillors and Highland and Islands Fire Board members Allison Duncan and Alastair Cooper.

According to the brigade, Baltasound Fire Station is a conversion from a modern industrial building, with the accommodation remodelled. The building, located on the Hagdale Industrial Estate, is suitable for providing a Fire and Rescue Service response for the whole of Unst.

The new Station accommodates a fully equipped, modern appliance, which enhances the capability of the crew. It is intended to raise Fire and Rescue provision in Unst to the optimum level. As well as an improved level of service, the new facilities provide full welfare and training accommodation for the crew, including a substantial garage for the appliance

Speaking after the opening, Cllr Cooper said: "The Highland and Islands Fire Board are committed to continue to improve Fire and Rescue provision in the more remote parts of the service area through substantial capital investment. In 2010/11, the board will invest over £1 million in the Shetland Islands, with planned asset developments at Scalloway, Whalsay, Sandwick and Sumburgh."

Assistant Chief Fire Officer Mike Holme said: "The provision of these new facilities not only allows us to deliver a higher level of service to our communities, but also to enhance the wellbeing of our personal, our most reliable asset. From here, they are able to deliver not only emergency response, but also community safety advice."