SIPTU and its members in Dublin Fire Brigade (DFB) have today (Wednesday, 14th November) responded to recent criticisms relating to the performance of the service. Speaking after meeting of the SIPTU DFB Section Committee, SIPTU Sector Organiser, Brendan O’Brien said: “Our members have been providing vital and life-saving services to the people of Dublin for over 120 years. The removal of the ambulance call and dispatch function from the DFB, as implicitly suggested by former Health Service Executive (HSE) chief executive, Tony O’Brien, in a recent newspaper interview, would break a key link in the DFB Emergency Medical Service (EMS) chain. It would result in a reduction in the effectiveness of the service, response time delays and expose the public to increased risk.”  “SIPTU members in DFB are seeking that the recent cross-party Dáil motion calling for the implementation of the recommendations as outlined by an Expert Review Panel be honoured in full. This would enable the nearest available resource to be sent to the patient and present a workable solution to improve communications between DFB and the HSE in relation to their respective call centres. Our members want a solution that best serves the people of Dublin. It is recognised worldwide that simultaneous notification and dispatch are critical elements in saving lives. That is what our members in DFB are committed to retaining.” “SIPTU has advocated the technical solution put forward by the Expert Panel Group, which satisfies the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) requirements. We are concerned that the Minister for Health, Simon Harris, has been ill-advised about the availability of a cost-effective technical solution to resolve this long-running issue.” He added: “Our members will continue to work to find an agreed solution that places patient safety and care first while maintaining the simultaneous response and integrity of DFB’s Fire Based EMS.”