Cycling Friendly guest blog: Scottish Fire & Rescue Service
16th November 2020
Guest blog: Michael Rumgay (Station Commander, Scottish Fire & Rescue Service)
The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service has always promoted a healthy and active lifestyle for its employees through various health and wellbeing initiatives. One of these initiatives was the Cycle Scheme which allows employees to buy a bike which can be used to commute to and from the workplace. The uptake amongst the workforce has always been high as it allows you to buy a bike for a discounted price. We had installed a bike storage area at our station in Perth to allow bikes to be stored on our premises so that staff were able to cycle to work safe in the knowledge that their bikes were securely stored for the duration of their shift.
Becoming Cycling Friendly
We were first made aware of Cycling Friendly by one of our partners in Perth and Kinross Council: there is a strong contingent of cyclists at the station, in an amateur and social capacity with groups going out weekly on bike rides around the stunning Perthshire countryside (and further afield). We also have personnel at the station who assist on their days off with delivering Bikeability locally. It made sense to us that applying for the award would be a good idea.
The process for applying to become recognised as a Cycling Friendly Employer was very straightforward. We applied on the Cycling Scotland website and worked through the assessment.
Supporting staff through cycling
Promoting cycling within the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service has had such a positive impact on our workforce. Operational firefighters are required to maintain a high level of fitness to allow them to carry out tasks to the best of their abilities and cycling to and from work allows for them to keep their fitness at a high level. It also promotes a healthy lifestyle for non-operational staff to commute to and from work on a daily basis.
A boost to morale
Being awarded the Cycling Friendly Employer Award has given a lift to the station personnel in what has been a challenging time for everybody. It also reinforces that the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service as an employer is proactive in encouraging and promoting cycling within the workplace. In the future we are hoping to expand our cycling facilities at Perth Community Fire Station to allow for even more bikes to be stored securely whilst our employees are at work. The demand is always increasing and it is fantastic to see so many enjoying their daily commute on their bikes.