Press Release

Serious risk to public from shortage of firefighters in Dublin Fire Brigade

Date Released: 16 July 2021

SIPTU members in the Dublin Fire Brigade (DFB) have highlighted the crisis situation in the service today (Friday, 16th July) due to a lack of trained firefighters resulting in several vehicles being unavailable for deployment.

SIPTU DFB Convenor, Shane McGill, said: “Across the city DFB fire appliances and other vehicles are not available due to a lack of firefighters. The fire stations affected include Donnybrook, Dolphins Barn, Phibsboro, North Strand and Tara Street.

“In the Tara Street fire station a foam tender is also not available. Such an appliance is essential to responding to incidents in Dublin Port or in the Port Tunnel. The ambulance in Rathfarnham fire station is also out of service due to the staffing shortage. 

“The remaining vehicles currently in operation are understaffed in several stations including Donnybrook, Dolphins Barn, North Strand, Tara Street, Dún Laoghaire, Rathfarnham, Phibsboro and Tallaght. In addition to these issues Dún Laoghaire fire station had no officers on duty at 9.00 a.m. this morning meaning the only seven firefighters in the station were effectively unavailable for work.

“Throughout the city three district officers, who would oversee the response to an incident, were also not available today. The control room which takes emergency calls is also under staffed by five members.”

He added: “The situation in the city today in terms of emergency response coverage is deeply unsatisfactory. It results in increased risks for firefighters due to a lack of support in emergency situations due to the shortage of personnel. It also increases the risks to the public due to vehicles having to come from further away to respond to incidents.”

SIPTU Sector Organiser, Brendan O’Brien, said: “The current situation is a direct consequence of the senior management in Dublin City Council and DFB not having a proper plan in place for the recruitment of firefighters. Instead they are trying to force unions to agree to reduce the numbers of firefighters on fire appliances rather than recruit.”

He added: “The situation is only going to get worse with an unprecedented number of retirements due and only 36 recruits to be employed this year despite requests for more from the DFB management. These 36 recruits will not be available until next January due to their training so will have no effect on shortfalls we expect on a daily basis for the rest of 2021. There is a panel of approximately 120 people open for recruitment, with the capacity for a recruit class of 54.”


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