Saturday 17 August 2019

Firefighters at risk of death if numbers reduced

Fire engine. File picture
Fire engine. File picture

By David Looby

WEXFORD'S firefighters will be at risk of death or being maimed if reductions in the personnel on fire tenders is reduced.

This was the view expressed by one councillor at the meeting.

The county's Chief Fire Officer John Maher stated categorically at the meeting that the controversial Section 26 Fire service changes will not affect how the fire service is run in the county.

Cllr Oisin O'Connell brought the motion calling for the council to ensure a six person response on every fire tender as per international recommendations.

Cllr O'Connell said no changes should be implemented without consultations with Wexford firefighters and their union and until the Keeping Communities Safe document is resolved.

Director of Services John Carley said: 'There are no proposed changes and the industrial relations process is ongoing.'

Cllr Fergie Kehoe said the problem is between full and part-time firefighters, adding that a number of councils have indicated that they will be rejecting the whole Section 26 package changes.

Cllr Ger Carthy said: 'We don't want a situation like what happened to the fire fighters in Bray to happen in Wexford.

'Reducing staff in the fire service especially is unacceptable.'

Mr Maher said: 'There is no plan at the moment to reduce the number of firefighters; if anything the plan enforces that. There is nothing in the plan about the number of people responding to calls and I have no plan to change that.'

Cllr O'Connell said the Keeping Communities Safe document outlines a reduction in staffing in fire fighters.

'We have a very good fire service in Wexford and we want that maintained.'

The motion was passed by majority.

Wexford People

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