Crowe calls for public support for Dublin Firefighters
Dublin South West representative Seán Crowe TD has called on the public to get behind Dublin's Firefighters and support their demands for critically low staffing levels to be addressed.
Crowe said that the huge vote ( 96% of SIPTU members balloted for industrial action ) reflects the widespread concerns shared by Firefighters that the service is being run down to a critical level and that any reduced service is going to impact on safety and people's lives.
Deputy Seán Crowe said;
"Dublin Fire Brigade have voted in favour of industrial action, up to and including strike action .around plans to row back on the recruiting new Firefighters.
"96 per cent of SIPTU have taken the unprecedented step and voted for industrial action with 87 per cent voting for strike action in a recent ballot.
"Staff shortages have reached a “critical point”, with members being forced to do huge amounts of overtime as there is no cover for peo out sick,on holidays or having retired..
" The decision to contain recruitment within a closed panel has previously exacerbated the problem and doesn't make any sense to continue with this practice.
"Staff shortages also mean that crew levels can be down by as much as 15 to 20% on what they should be, and this is seriously impacting on the level of cover across the greater Dublin area.
"Any reduced service will inevitably impact on safety and directly on people's lives. Reduced staffing puts firefighters lives and their safety at a an even greater risk.
"Behind the threat of strike action is the unpalatable reality that the fire service in Dublin is not up to the high standards that we
have come to demand and expect. .
"A Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government directive makes recommendations in relation to retained fire-fighting
crew levels which firefighters believe will pose a threat to public health and safety.
"Dublin Fire Brigade representatives estimate that the staff cohert is currently at 70 firefighters below the required number to meet safety
standards, with this gap expected to rise to 100 by January 2016.
"I am calling on the Dublin public to support the just demands of these firefighters who are taking a stand for safety and a credible fire service.
"Environment Minister Alan kelly needs to use his office to urgently address the firefighter shortage and Dublin's pending fire safety crisis."