SIPTU Retained Firefighter members will begin co-ordinated strike action tomorrow (Tuesday, 13th June) which will result in up to 50% of fire stations in the service closing in a dispute concerning a staff crisis which threatens this vital community resource. SIPTU Public Administration and Community Division Organiser, Karan O Loughlin, said: “Our members have warned for some time that this strike action will result in very serious disruption to services. However, they have been left with no option but to commence it as the very future of the service is in doubt if the current crisis in recruitment and retention of firefighters is not resolved.” She added: “SIPTU representatives today received a phone call from representatives of the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien. In this call the Minister’s representatives expressed concern over the possible impact of the dispute on emergency services. They also informed the union that the Minister will deliver ‘a positive statement’ in relation to the dispute in a Dáil debate on the matter tomorrow.” She added: “Our members will evaluate this statement after it is delivered but have no option but to proceed with their strike action as planned tomorrow morning.”  SIPTU Sector Organiser, Brendan O’Brien, said: “Retained Firefighters are striking to ensure that a government report on the future of the service is implemented in full in order to resolve the recruitment and retention crisis that threatens to collapse this essential community resource.   “SIPTU members in the Retained Fire Service are serious and will escalate their industrial action to a full all out strike on 20th June if the measures that are necessary to safeguard the future operation of this vital resource are not implemented.” He added: “As always, SIPTU representatives are available to engage in meaningful dialogue on the outstanding issues with the employers of our members at all times.” The Retained Fire Service is a 2,000 strong part-time workforce which provides fire and first responder emergency services across the country.