On the 125th anniversary of Dublin Fire Brigade’s ambulance service, serious recruitment, risk assessment and equipment issues must be addressed.

02 March 2024
  • Recruitment shortfall means that for 27 days in the past three months, fire trucks could not be deployed if needed
  • Four years after Metro hotel fire, no progress on the long promised fire intelligence survey of the city

Labour Senator Marie Sherlock congratulated Dublin Fire Brigade and its firefighters on celebrating 125 years of serving the people of Dublin city with their dual fire and ambulance emergency service.

Senator Sherlock said

“Dublin Fire Brigade plays a crucial role in keeping residents and the city safe and I want to pay tribute to the immense professionalism, commitment and care that fire fighters give to the people of this city.

“While the training standards and facilities have evolved greatly over the decades, there is currently a lot of concern about staffing shortfalls, about the condition and age of vehicles and most significantly the failure to progress plans to undertake pre fire intelligence plans for buildings across this city.

“I understand that the current panel for recruitment is not sufficient to fill the next two classes expected to take place this year and that there is currently no process in place to open up a new panel. The issue of recruitment rears its head every few years and it is exceptionally frustrating that Dublin City Council does not have a comprehensive plan in place to ensure sufficient, safe staffing levels. Right now, fire fighters are facing daily shortfalls of an average of 20 staff per day and the retirement of almost a third of all its firefighters over the next two years.

“In the aftermath of Metrofire in Ballymun in 2019, serious questions were rightly raised about the future capacity and readiness of Dublin Fire Brigade to speedily deal with the growing number of high rise buildings in the city. While an Organisation Intelligence Unit was established to undertake pre fire intelligence plans for buildings across the city, I understand there has been stalemate on the collection of this vital information. Firefighters are understandably frustrated at the absence of this vital intelligence about water sources and the basic layout of buildings, that is available to the fire services of most other European cities.”

Senator Sherlock concluded by calling on Dublin City Council to expedite the recruitment process in advance of the current staffing shortfall getting worse and to progress the work of pre fire surveys. “The growth in taller buildings plus the large size of derelict and long term vacant homes means that it is crucial that Dublin Fire Brigade is not hamstrung by a lack of information about the buildings in this city. Today is a day to celebrate the fantastic contribution fire fighters make to our city but we also need to protect the safety of the service and fire fighters themselves.”

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