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From stacking shelves to saving lives

A local Fife resident combines saving lives with HM Coastguard alongside working as a produce colleague at Asda Dalgety Bay

May 16, 2017 08:55am
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Coastguard Colleague

Andy Reid, 51, carries a pager with him at all times, enabling him to dash out of the store when the HM Coastguard put out an emergency call.

The store’s management fully support Andy’s role with HM Coastguard, and give him the required allowance to answer emergency calls from the stations based at the Firth of Forth, which can range from people stuck in mud, cliff rescues and boats in trouble.

Andy, who has worked at the Dalgety Bay store for 10 years said: “I’ve always wanted to do something to help the local community and HM Coastguard appealed to me with the fantastic work they do. I went through lots of training and qualified 12 years ago.

"When I then joined Asda 10 years ago I was already working with HM Coastguard and the store couldn’t have been more flexible in allowing me to continue my role and respond to emergencies when at work.

“If the pager goes off, I stop what I’m doing, let my duty manager know I’m leaving and drive to either Kinghorn or Queensferry Coastguard stations which are about 15 minutes’ drive away.I can literally go from stocking the fruit and vegetable aisle to rescuing people cut off by the tide in less than half an hour.”

Joe Mitchell, Senior Coastal Operations Officer for Fife and Edinburgh Coastguard, said*: "We’re very grateful to Asda. We rely on employers being very flexible and allowing their employees to attend rescues of people in trouble at sea or on the coastline.*

“Andy is one of a team of 14 who attend to persons injured on the shoreline, boats sinking or people cut off by the tide.”

Lynne Harrison, General Store Manager, said: “Andy is a great colleague. His dedication to both the store and the Coastguard is terrific and we’re very happy to support him.

“Our customers are very understanding when Andy has to rush off to a rescue and think it’s terrific that he combines both roles.”- ends -

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