The Department of Social Protection has confirmed that it intends to introduce legislation recognising the special position of Retained Fire Fighters in regards to social welfare. SIPTU Local Authority Sector Organiser, Michael Wall, said: “SIPTU has been lobbying the last three governments in relation to the pressure which our members in the Retained Fire Service come under on a cyclical basis in relation to social welfare claims depending on the different opinions of local Social Welfare Deciding Officers. “This lobbying has finally seen results. Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton, has confirmed her intention to introduce legislation which will recognise the special ‘social good’ of the work of retained fire fighter personnel. “It is expected that the legislation will address three fundamental concerns of Retained Fire Fighters in relation to social welfare. These are their exemption from the sub-loss rule, the need for continuous re-qualification for benefits and other issues concerning the satisfaction of social welfare criteria.” He added: “This will be the first time ever that the work performed by Retained Fire-Fighters will be given statutory recognition in relation to social welfare.”