Fire services to get €19m investment boost


Five new fire stations are planned this year under a €19 million investment plan in fire services announced today by the Department of the Environment.

The stations are planned for Ardmore, Co Wicklow; Bunclody, Co Wexford; Killybegs, Co Donegal; Kinsale, Co Cork; and Westport, Co Mayo.

Minister of State Mr Pat The Cope Gallagher said he intended to approve six priority fire station projects, which are advanced to pre-tender stage, with the cost of completing these projects estimated at €6 million.

He said that, in addition to 40 new fire appliances are due for delivery this year, he is also issuing approval to 15 fire authorities to invite tenders for the purchase of 20 more fire appliances.

Recent investment in the Fire Services Capital Programme has seen the completion of over 30 new or refurbished fire station projects and the development of a regional Computer Aided Mobilisation Project (CAMP). More than 130 fire appliances have been approved and extra fire-fighting and rescue equipment has been purchased.

Once fully operational CAMP should provide fire authorities with an efficient and reliable mobilisation and communications system.

Tenders for two more stations at Carndonagh and Donegal Town are due to be completed by the end of the year, and projects at Ballymahon, Co Longford; Blessington, Co Wicklow; and the Navan headquarters extension should begin this year. These five projects will get about €2 million in grand aid.

Mr Gallagher said the Department will being a review, with fire authorities, on other proposed station projects to determine where new fire stations are a priority.

Eleven fire station projects were completed last year including those in Swords, Co Dublin; Birr, Co Offaly; and Portlaoise headquarters.