Less than a third of fire brigade call out charges are collected, council told
Homeowners in Dublin are charged €500 for calling out the fire brigade in an emergency
Dublin Fire Brigade collects less than a third of call-out charges owed to it, Fingal County Council has heard. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times
Homeowners in Dublin are charged €500 for calling out the fire brigade in an emergency but only “about 30 per cent” of the charges are collected, fire service executive Gerry Geraghty said. He added that the fire brigade would be raising the matter with insurance companies.
In a wide-ranging presentation from Dublin Fire Brigade, councillors also heard of plans to recruit 25 frontline firefighters and 28 emergency response controllers.
Dublin Fire Brigade acts as a full-time fire, ambulance and emergency rescue service for the four Dublin local authorities. Last year it responded to some 84,000 incidents, almost 13,000 of which were fires.
Pat Fleming, the recently appointed chief fire officer, told councillors the number of fires attended to by the service has fallen by about 20 per cent in recent years. He said the economic downturn probably accounted for the decline.
Mr Fleming also praised a Government national policy on fire services launched earlier this year. Keeping Communities Safe provides national guidance to fire services “for the first time”, he said, adding that it would “remove notions that other regions were receiving a better fire service than others”.
Asked about gender ratios, he told councillors that just 5 per cent of Dublin firefighters are women but added that women are well represented in non-frontline positions. He said that 36 officers and 138 firefighters work day to day and added that 98 per cent of the population of Fingal lives within 20 minutes of a fire station.
Fire and rescue services for all four local authority areas are expected to cost €93.4 million net this year, of which Fingal County Council will pay €17.8 million.