Shocking figures show fire fighting equipment out of date and second hand

23 March 2018

Dublin Labour Senator Kevin Humphreys has called for the equipment being used by firefighters across the country to be urgently updated to ensure the safety of workers and all members of the public that may be involved in a fire situation.

It comes after a survey carried out by Senator Humphreys of all 27 county fire authorities across the country, to which 19 responded, revealed that half of the aerial fire appliances being used are second hand, while 53% are 15 years or older.

Senator Humphreys said:

“Of the 19 fire authorities from across the country that responded to my survey, half of the aerial fire appliances, such as long ladder turntables for high-rise buildings, are second hand, with 53 per cent of this equipment more than 15 years old.

“The figures also show that a quarter of the fire engines in use are second hand, while 41 per cent are more than 15 years old.

“Our fire-fighters put their lives on the line in their jobs every day and it’s simply unacceptable that they should have to use old or discarded second-hand equipment.

“Just this week the Ballymun fire served as a stark reminder of the potentially devastating consequences of a high-rise blaze.

“In the aftermath of the Metro Hotel fire it has been reported that since 1981 there has been no increase in the provision of high reach fire appliances in the city.

“While thankfully there was no loss of life in the incident in Ballymun, the bravery and dedication of our fire fighters in responding to the blaze highlighted the dangers they face on a daily basis in unpredictable situations.

“As any firefighter would tell you, these dangers are part and parcel of the job.

“But when being sent out to bat as first responders in these situations, they should be resourced with the best and most modern equipment.

“This week’s events must be a wake call for the Government. Since the fire in Grenfell Tower in London, I have been raising this issue in the Seanad.

“The Minister must now commit to an urgent programme of investment in equipment and training for our fire services.”

ENDS

The compiled survey data is available here:

www.labour.ie/download/xls/fire_appliances_by_authority_23318.xls

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