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Dublin Sinn Féin launches document on Dublin Fire Brigade

21 March, 2006

Dublin Sinn Féin this morning launched a discussion document calling for investment and reform in Dublin Fire Brigade. Dublin South East representative Councillor Daithi Doolan said it is a scandal that no fire risk assessment has been carried out in Dublin for 20 years, despite repeated requests from frontline firefighting staff.'

The paper, entitled, A Safer Dublin was launched at a press conference in Buswells Hotel, Dublin where Sinn Féin representatives Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD and Cllr Daithí Doolan were joined by SIPTU Dublin Fire Brigade Convenor Tony McDonnell. The press conference was chaired by newly selected party candidate for Dublin Mid-West, Joanne Spain. ( Click here to Download PDF)

Focussing on the issue of planning and fire safety Cllr Doolan said: "No fire risk assessment has been carried out in Dublin for 20 years, despite repeated requests from frontline firefighting staff. Such an assessment could make determinations for the development of the Fire Service over a number of years, analyse the current structures and systems and identify gaps that are not being met.

"There is also a short-sighted approach taken to the involvement of the Fire Brigade in planning in Dublin. Since the Fire Brigade is not represented on many of the major planning forums in the city and county due consideration is not given to how good planning can impact, for example, on access to fires and other emergencies; a faster reaction time; allowing multiple units to congregate at a serious incident; and enabling sustainable traffic diversions to be put in place.

"The Council's position that the views of the Fire Brigade can best be represented by City officials rather than the Fire Brigade itself is one that Sinn Féin does not accept."

At present the Dublin Fire Brigade is not represented on the Northern Fringe Forum, which is planning huge developments with a population of over 20,000 around Malahide and a host of other developments around Dublin.

Deputy Ó Snodaigh, speaking on the issue of emergency ambulance provision said: „The number of fire brigade ambulances has not increased since 1986, when one extra ambulance was added, while the number of emergency calls received annually has increased from 26,000 to over 80,000, almost 69,000 of which are emergency ambulance calls.

"Dublin Fire Brigade must cater to a geographic region approximately 365 sq miles in size and containing a population of 1,122,821 persons with eleven ambulances over ten stations.

"Lack of resources in A&E departments across Dublin hospitals also has a knock-on effect on the provision of emergency ambulance cover. It is not uncommon for fire brigade crews to face delays of two to three hours while they wait for a patient to be seen and the ambulance trolley to be freed up." ENDS

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