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Fire service death hearing postponedPosted on 23/12/2013

The prosecution of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) into the death of a firefighter more than four years ago has been postponed.

The case, which alleges that inabilities within the fire brigade led to the death of Ewan Williamson, will reopen in January 2014. Proceedings have been adjourned to allow further investigations by the defence.

At the time of the incident, 35 year old Williamson worked for the Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS), which was formed in April.

The SFRS is accused of a number of health and safety breaches whilst it fought a blaze in the basement of a Glasgow property. A total of three charges have been brought under the Health and Safety at Work Act.

The first claim is that there was no necessary 'instruction and supervision' to the attendant firefighters, including a lack of appropriate training for taking on basement fires.

The second claim is that there was an inadequate ‘system of work’, risking safety. It is alleged that an adequate response did not follow Williamson becoming trapped in a toilet on the premises.

There is an additional claim regarding personal protective equipment (PPE); the prosecutors allege that an emergency situation over breathing apparatus was not responded to correctly.

There is also an allegation that effective communication systems were not in place.

Adjourned earlier this month, judge Lord Armstrong said the case will next be called at Glasgow High Court on 29th January 2014.

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