Fire call-out charges proposed in Dublin

Mon, Nov 28, 2011, 00:00

HOUSEHOLDERS IN the capital could be hit with hundreds of euro in charges for fire brigade call-outs if a proposal from Dublin City Council is approved.

The council is proposing to introduce domestic fire service charges next year, including a first-hour rate fee of €500 for call-outs to domestic fires and €610 for vehicle fires; and a €610 charge to attend a chimney fire. It also includes a first-hour fee of €610 for road traffic incidents.

The first-hour rate will be fixed and following hours are charged per tender attending. The council will discuss the plan at its annual budget meeting.

But Dublin Fire Brigade Siptu convenor Gerry Harris said the charges could cost lives. “A person who cannot afford to pay a charge might attempt to put out the fire themselves and that could put their lives at risk and put fire fighters’ lives at risk, as the fire would be more developed when they got there.”

Mr Harris said there were other ways to fund the fire service that would not compromise safety.

“A change of legislation is needed to allow the 1.5 per cent fire levy, as part of all householders’ insurance, to be given directly to the fire service.”

Dublin Central TD Maureen O’Sullivan said an abuse of the fire service should incur a fine but not legitimate call-outs.

Dublin City Council confirmed the fire service charge proposal but would not comment further.