Dublin Fire Brigade protest changes to call and dispatch services

Firefighters gathered at 12 fire stations across Dublin on Saturday to protest changes

SIPTU members Dublin Fire Brigade with members of the public and elected representatives protest against the break up of the DFB Emergency Medical Service, at North Strand Fire Brigade Station. Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times

SIPTU members Dublin Fire Brigade with members of the public and elected representatives protest against the break up of the DFB Emergency Medical Service, at North Strand Fire Brigade Station. Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times

 

Members of Dublin Fire Brigade (DFB) and their supporters gathered outside 12 fire stations across the capital on Saturday to protest the removal of the service’s ambulance call and dispatch service.

The DFB strike committee is due to announce its next step in the campaign to protect DFB emergency medical services in the coming days after 93 per cent of firefighters voted in favour of strike action and 97 per cent voted in favour of industrial action last month.

Siptu sector organiser Brendan O’Brien thanked former Lord Mayor Christy Burke for calling the protest which he said had allowed local communities across the city and country to show their support to the DFB Emergency Medical Service.

“The protests highlighted the very strong opposition there is to an attempt by senior management in Dublin City Council to break up the DFB Emergency Medical Service by removing its ambulance call and dispatch function,” said Mr O’Brien. “Removal of this function breaks a key link in the DFB Emergency Medical Service chain, which would result in a reduction in the effectiveness of the service, response time delays and expose the public to increased risk.”

Firefighters were joined by Lord Mary of Dublin Brendan Carr and former Ireland rugby captain Brian O’Driscoll who took part in protests in the capital.

Dublin City Councillor Noeleen Reilly also joined the call for Dublin City Council to “reengage” with the DFB and warned that moving their call centre to Tallaght would put people in need of emergency services at risk as ti would “lead to greater response times”.

“Removing the call centre element of the service means that DFB would not have the same control or oversight over crew changeover therefore impacting on response times,” said Cllr Reilly.