Dublin fire service experiencing serious staff shortages, says Siptu

Union says a number of fire engines had to be taken out of service for staffing reasons

Many areas in Dublin experienced a reduction of 50 per cent in fire cover on some days this week due to staff shortages, Siptu has said.

The trade union said on Thursday that its members in Dublin Fire Brigade (DFB) had raised serious concerns at the number of fire engines taken out of service due to severe shortages of personnel.

Siptu convenor in DFB Shane McGill said the service was short five fire engines and three senior officers on Wednesday.

"In most cases, fire stations all over Dublin had to operate with only one fire engine instead of two, which in real terms amounts to a reduction of 50 per cent fire cover in those areas including Donnybrook, Dolphins Barn, Phibsborough, North Strand and Tara Street stations," he said. "The situation was even worse the previous night with six fire engines out of service due to staff shortages."

Mr McGill said this situation was “now happening all too regularly”.

“Fire engines are either not available or turning out under-crewed. The impact of this on the citizens of Dublin could result in a lack of resources to deal with an incident and to carry out effective rescues from fires. It could also lead to serious delays in backup crews arriving at an incident. This also has serious implications for the fire cover expected by businesses and industry.”

Siptu DFB section chair, Deirdre Taylor, said research carried out by the union's members clearly showed that this lack of firefighters was becoming more frequent and putting firefighters and the citizens of Dublin at risk.

"Our members are calling on Dublin City Council to immediately honour the commitment it gave in the Workplace Relations Commission in March this year to advertise for a new panel of firefighters and for emergency service controllers for the Fire Brigade control room in line with the terms of the Croke Park agreement."

Martin Wall

Martin Wall

Martin Wall is Washington Correspondent of The Irish Times. He was previously industry correspondent