Sinn Féin TD for Dublin South West Seán Crowe has criticised the Government’s failure to properly fund, equip, and staff Dublin Fire Brigade, saying their failure to do so is leaving the public vulnerable.

Speaking today after the issue was raised in the Dáil, Teachta Crowe said:

“Dublin Fire Brigade responds to fires, car crashes, and accidents and emergencies 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, running twelve full time stations, including the one on the Belgard Road in Tallaght, and two part-time stations in strategic locations across Dublin.

“Staffing levels are at a critical level however and set to worsen as there are currently a significant number of vacancies in Dublin Fire Brigade and many more due to arise in the short term due to retirements. Appliances are regularly leaving stations down one or even two personnel.

“Just last week, nine appliances were operating across Dublin in one day without the appropriate number of personnel abroad. This endangers not only the firefighters, but inhibits their abilities to respond to incidents as they are trained to do.

“No one should have to wait for hours to access a fire tender or ambulance service but that is starting to happen in Dublin and its suburbs.

“A fully resourced and staffed fire service is not optional. It is an essential public service. The failure by government to ensure that Dublin Fire Brigade has the support it needs is leaving the public vulnerable.

“It is essential that Dublin City CEO Owen Keegan and the Ministers responsible, Minister Darragh O’Brien and Minister Stephen Donnelly, meet with firefighters and their unions immediately in order to address these funding and staffing issues.

“These staff shortages directly affect the emergency service response time of Dublin Fire Brigade and must be immediately addressed because any understaffing or delayed response time puts the public at serious risk.”