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UK Fire Service mourns the loss of Barry Martin

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Firefighters from across Scotland joined family and friends of Barry Martin in paying tribute at his funeral service to be held at St Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh on Friday 17 February.

The 38-year-old died on Friday, 27 January following the serious injuries he sustained during a large-scale fire at the former Jenners building in Edinburgh earlier that week.

Hundreds of people gathered in Edinburgh to pay their respects as the cortege made its way along the Royal Mile to St Giles’ Cathedral for the funeral service.

A minute’s silence was observed by guests and Barry’s fellow Blue Watch firefighters, who were the pallbearers, accompanied their colleague for one last time.

‘We all feel this loss deeply’

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) Interim Chief Officer Ross Haggart gave Barry the last salute before entering the Cathedral.

ICO Haggart said: “Our thoughts remain with Barry Martin’s wife Shelley, his sons Oliver and Daniel, and all his family, friends and colleagues who mourn his loss.

“Barry was part of Blue Watch at McDonald Road Community Fire Station, many of whom joined the cortege today to pay a fitting tribute to their colleague.

“They will remember Barry as a Firefighter who was hardworking and loyal and who displayed an unwavering commitment, not only to his family, but to his role within the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service.

“I’d also like to say a heart-felt thank you to all the well-wishers who joined us here in Edinburgh, not only those in St Giles’ Cathedral but everyone who took their place along the Royal Mile.

“Since Barry’s death, we have been overwhelmed with messages of support from around the world and we are grateful to everyone for the time they have taken to share these.

“We all feel this loss deeply and we will ensure that Barry’s selfless duty will never be forgotten.”

‘We honour his dedication, his comradeship and selflessness’

In a statement shortly after the service, FBU General Secretary Matt Wrack said: “Today, we mourned the loss of Barry Martin. 

“Above all, this is a moment for those who loved Barry and knew him well. For his wife and his children, for the rest of his family, for his friends, and for all those who worked with him – at McDonald Road Station and beyond.

“I am deeply proud that Barry was a member of the Fire Brigades Union, and I say that on behalf of every one of our members across the UK. 

“Barry was a dedicated, brave and dutiful in his work, and was a well-liked and popular colleague. The number of firefighters on the streets today is a witness to that fact and to the solidarity which exists within our profession.

“His death is a sobering reminder of the dangers that firefighters may have to face to save lives and protect others. 

“Sacrifice is a word that can sound abstract. For many of the people present today, it is, tragically, very real. 

“As a union, we honour Barry’s sacrifice. We honour his dedication, his comradeship and selflessness. 

“We extend our thoughts and condolences to his loved ones, and we will be on hand to provide support to them in the months and years ahead.”

[image credit: Craig Maclean]

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