SIPTU members in the Dublin Fire Brigade (DFB) have highlighted a crisis situation in the service today (Monday, 31st, July) over a long delay in risk assessments for buildings across Dublin city. SIPTU Industrial Organiser, Geoff McEvoy, said: “Following the Metro Hotel fire in Ballymun, it was agreed that Dublin City Council (DCC) and DFB would establish a systematic process for fire and other risk assessment. Five years later, this process has still not concluded, with the latest delay being over the procurement of the software needed for vital risk information to be collated and shared with firefighting crews. This is unacceptable and puts lives on the line.” SIPTU DFB Chair Tom Larkin said: “The Government’s ‘Report’ on Defects in Housing says that up to 80% of Celtic Tiger buildings have fire safety defects, so we know the risks are out there for firefighters and the public. But at this moment, fire crews have no knowledge of what those defects are or where they are.” McEvoy added: “There is a basic knowledge gap that firefighters are exposed to before they enter a burning building. Investment is needed in software and hardware to make that risk information available. Every day that management delays full implementation of our agreement on risk assessment for Dublin adds to the risks facing firefighters and the public. This is coupled with an extraordinary staffing shortage in the service that has resulted in increased risks for firefighters due to a lack of support in emergency situations.”