The SIPTU National Retained Fire Fighter Committee has agreed to undertake a national consultation at all retained fire stations as strike action continues around the country. Following a meeting held yesterday (Tuesday, 1st August) in Liberty Hall, SIPTU Public Administration and Community Divisional Organiser, Karan O'Loughlin, said: "Over 2,000 retained fire fighters are on strike seeking improved and more secure pay and conditions with more structured time off. The full strike has been running for a week now, with stations only responding to life-threatening incidents and 50% of stations off the run at any one time. “Retained fire fighters find it emotionally and psychologically difficult to undertake this action because of their huge commitment to their communities. They realise, however, that their employers and the Government are not listening and that there is currently a lack of political will to engage meaningfully to resolve this dispute. In these circumstances, the dispute actions will have to be escalated. That is why, over the next week, the union will be undertaking a series of meetings with members in all of the stations to ensure everyone is escalation ready and that our actions can be co-ordinated and effective. The week on the picket line had hardened our members’ resolve to carry on and deliver for the service and for the public. The national committee will meet again next Wednesday (9th August) to consider the consultation outcomes and actions.” SIPTU Sector Organiser, Brendan O'Brien, said: “The longer the management and the Government continue to turn away from the retained fire service, the harder it will be to resolve this dispute. There is a window of opportunity now for engagement on a resolution before a serious level of escalation further entrenches positions. The retained fire service is a necessary and essential service in our communities and deserves the support of employers, government and the general public.”