SIPTU Retained Firefighters today (Monday, 28th April) launched a nationwide campaign calling on local election candidates to make a commitment to oppose the implementation of measures that will endanger the lives of the public and firefighters. At a press conference in Buswells Hotel, Dublin, members of the SIPTU Retained Firefighters Committee launched a pledge card and information leaflet that outlines the threat to local Fire Services from further cuts.SIPTU Organiser, Michael Wall, said: “Firefighters, based in over 200 fire stations across the country, have been placed in a position where their lives are at risk resulting from the decision to reduce crew levels on fire appliances. “This ill thought out policy will delay turnouts at rescues and endanger lives. Firefighters are calling on local election candidates to pledge to vote against the adoption of Section 26 of the Fire Services Act which will be placed before local councils later this year.”Local election candidates will also be asked to make a commitment to rescind local fire charges on domestic dwellings. Local Authorities are currently collecting fire charges for private car accidents and house fires, costs that should be covered by the monies already paid by households in the property tax.Michael Wall added: “Firefighters are also highlighting the lack of coordination between the ambulance and fire service. This results from the total failure to integrate these services in a strategic way due to a ‘turf war’ between the Health and Local Government sectors over who pays the bill.“Firefighters and their families will canvass candidates in all constituencies to highlight these issues. These are issues which should be highlighted by local election candidates in order to show that they support local communities and the firefighters who defend them.”SIPTU represents over 2,000 Retained Firefighters across the country.