In June 1941 Glala was retired from the Navy and became a hospital tender in Belfast with a civilian crew. Other than the bare naval record there is little to document this period. The bombing of Belfast was over by this time, it is possible that she was servicing the Atlantic convoys that now arrived from the US and Canada.
In May 1943 her status changed from requisitioned to compulsorily acquired. In July 1943 she was sailed to Glasson Dock, Lancashire for maintenance work.
In October 1943 Glala joined the National Fire Service. She was one of 23 fireboats in NFS District 26, and would have been based at Gladstone Dock, Liverpool. Glala was equipped with two pumps with an output of about 750 gallons per minute each. These photographs, from the archives of the Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service, show her in a very damaged state. It’s not clear what had happened but the absence of fire damage suggests a gas explosion. It may be worth noting that AEC had installed a bottled gas cooker in the galley.