SIPTU firefighters in the Dublin Fire Brigade (DFB) have highlighted continuing staffing and ambulance shortages which are seriously undermining the effectiveness of the vital frontline service. SIPTU Organiser, Jim Sheridan, said: “It is ironic that on the day that Minister for Justice, Helen McEntee, visited the headquarters of Dublin Fire Brigade, to launch Fire Safety Week, the service is a quarter below its recommended staffing level. He added: “On a daily basis, fire appliances are unavailable because of a lack of crew. With less fire appliances available, it can mean longer travel times to emergency incidents. A shortage of personnel also hinders the application of DFB procedures to ensure the area of an accident is safely secured. SIPTU Sector Organiser, Brendan O'Brien, said: “SIPTU representatives have been highlighting these issues for more than four years. During this period, it has only been the threat of industrial action which has resulted in the necessary recruitment taking place. However, as people leave the service we find that staffing once again drops to unacceptable levels while recruitment lags behind until our members threaten action. “This situation has continued even though all these issues where highlighted and noted in the report into the fire at the Metro Hotel in Ballymun. He added: “The fear is that with the mounting demand on Dublin City Council funds due to the Covid-19 crisis this situation will only get worse, placing the safety of firefighters and the citizens of Dublin in even greater peril.”