Press Release

SIPTU firefighters highlight urgent need for more aerial appliances in Dublin

Date Released: 01 November 2017

SIPTU members in the Dublin Fire Brigade (DFB) have highlighted the urgent need to purchase new aerial appliances, with only one of the vehicle mounted long ladders available for dispatch in the city today (Wednesday, 1st November), only a third of the agreed minimum required.

DFB Convenor, Shane McGill, said: “On Halloween night, DFB was reduced to two aerial appliances being manned in the city. One was based in the DFB headquarters in Tara Street and one was manned in Dún Laoghaire. This left us with a third less cover than the minimum agreed safety level. Today, the situation has deteriorated further with only one aerial appliance in operation.
 
“Our members have been informed by DFB management that this situation will continue until a suitable replacement aerial appliance is found or repairs can be carried out on a currently inoperable one. However, no time frame has been presented for either option.
 
“The aerial appliance now in Dún Laoghaire was purchased by the Chief Fire Officer for training purposes only. It is 18-years-old and cannot carry the required amount of firefighters needed to operate the ladder. This means it must be followed by a chase car with extra personnel and equipment in it.
 
“This situation presents an unacceptable health and safety risk for our members and the public. In light of the Grenfell Tower fire in London, this situation is particularly unsatisfactory as there are over 700 high rise buildings that have been identified in Dublin as possibly requiring an aerial appliance if an incident takes place."  
 
He added: “There has been a severe lack of capital funding for the purchase of aerial appliances for DFB with only second-hand appliances from Britain being bought in the last eight years. In London they have just placed orders for over 60 new aerial appliances, in the wake of the Grenfell fire, and we are concerned that DFB will continue to buy their old ones which are not fit for purpose.   
 
“This issue needs to be addressed by the DFB management and Dublin City Council. Funding must be immediately approved to purchase new aerial appliances in order to ensure the safety of our members and the public.”


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