The Clutha Tragedy: Firefighters used lessons from Stockline

FORMER Strathclyde Fire Chief Brian Sweeney explains how lessons learned on previous major incidents enabled fire crews to respond quickly and professionally to the Clutha tragedy.

Loading Comments

FOLLOWING the Stockline Plastics Factory disaster in Maryhill in 2004, a great many lessons were learned and a great deal of planning and training was undertaken.

We quickly established a new training facility at our Hamilton HQ.

This facility was dedicated to urban search and rescue, specialising in the rescue of casualties from collapsed buildings.

The centre quickly earned a reputation as a centre of excellence and services throughout the UK, and from around the world, flocked here to train and to learn from our experience.

The staff named it the Grovepark Centre, in memory of the street on which Stockline had stood.

The level of technical expertise grew over the years and it would be fair to conclude that our organisation was widely regarded as one of the best prepared, in the world, to deal with these events.

The centre also became a haven for manufacturers of rescue equipment to trial their latest developments.

As a result, it also became a focal point for innovation and the creation of new techniques.

Over many years, our ability to prop, shore and stabilise collapsed buildings was enhanced and refined.

Our use of vibration detectors and sound monitoring equipment led industry developments.

We created new and innovative procedures to maximise the use of endoscopic cameras and heat-seeking, infra red, thermal imaging cameras.

In short, we were at the forefront of this area of expertise and, as I watched the images unfold on Friday night, I knew that we could not have been any better prepared.

From Cowcaddens to Calton, from Clydebank to Cumbernauld and from Easterhouse, Yorkhill and Springburn, all around the city, the first responding firefighters were experts in their field, specialists who, with the best equipment available, did all that they possibly could.

Their city, quite rightly, has every reason to be proud of them.


Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on Evening Times on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis. If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.


Have you got a story?

Contact the news desk on 0141 302 6520 or email
            Michelle McManus            

Michelle McManus


Sussed in the City


What Robert De Niro and my mum have in common

Free swim at a Glasgow Club pool for every reader - Click here



Janice Bell

Janice Bell

You couldn’t make up half the stuff that happens to PA Janice Bell- some of the jams she gets herself into are worth a story or two.

                Games news:                

Putting the world to rights


Gail's Gab


Embrace the sun but be careful

Cat’s Eyes on Glasgow

Cat’s Eyes on Glasgow

Cat Cubie’s job is to find and share with you the fabulous things the city has to offer, from gigs to gastro.