SIPTU representatives have called for increased support and resources for frontline Local Authority staff who are required to work through extreme weather events such as Storm Barra, in order to maintain essential services and protect the public. SIPTU Sector Organiser, Brendan O’Brien, said: “As the frequency and severity of these extreme weather events increases, so does the demand on Local Authority staff to maintain critical services and infrastructure including water, roads, public spaces and fire, rescue and ambulance services.  “SIPTU members in the Retained Fire Services are calling for the standardisation of equipment to ensure a consistent level of response across the country to extreme weather events. Our members working for local authorities are calling on the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage to consult with stakeholders, including workers representatives, to ensure the required resources are available to respond to extreme weather events such as Storm Barra.” He added: “Local Authority staffing levels remain almost 18% below 2008 levels while the demands placed upon them by extreme weather events has increased.”