With emergency services during the busiest time of the year just around the corner, here’s what you need to know about the firefighter shortage in Dublin.
Why are there staff shortages in the Dublin Fire Department?
Currently, the agreed number of firefighters for the Dublin Fire Department staff is 965, which is part of an agreement reached with the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) in 2015.
However, there are only 930 currently working in the service with 35 more in training who will not be available until January.
As reported in The Irish Times, SIPTU said that the current situation “is a direct consequence of the failure of the senior management of Dublin City Council and the Dublin Fire Department to put in place an appropriate plan for the recruitment of firefighters”.
It is expected that there will be more staff shortages with an âunprecedentedâ number of retirements due.
With new hires not available until January, it is expected that there will be shortages for the remainder of 2021.
SIPTU has requested that the minimum number of employees be increased from 965 to meet the demand.
Dublin City Council (DCC) and the Dublin Fire Department leadership recently said they continue to engage with unions through the conciliation process as spelled out at the WRC.
DCC and Dublin Fire Brigade management said a lot of time and resources had been spent trying to find a deal.
In addition, CDC management has said that it is also proposed to have a new roster of recruits as soon as possible after the failure of the current class at the end of this year.
Are shortages affecting services?
The devices have been left out of the way and in some cases are operating without the required level of personnel.
On September 27, six aircraft were left on the road at Rathfarnham, Dun Laoghaire, North Strand, Phibsborough and Tara Street.
On the same day, nine devices were operating without the required level of personnel: seven devices were understaffed by a firefighter and the other two devices were broken down by two staff members each.
The shortage of staff also affected the response time of the emergency service.
In one case, a 91-year-old man was left lying on the ground for three hours while he waited for emergency services.
This happened despite the fact that there are two Dublin fire stations located near his home.
SIPTU has constantly warned that the continuing shortage of personnel endangers both firefighters and the public.
And the rest of the country?
Other towns in the state do not appear to be experiencing the same staffing issues as in Dublin.
In a statement on staffing, Galway County Council said it had no concerns.
âThe Galway Fire and Rescue Service, through a shared service agreement, provides service to both the city and the county with approximately 166 firefighters employed in the geographic area,â a door said. – board talk at breaknews.ie.
âWhile vacancies and recruiting are an integral part of operations on an ongoing basis, the council continues to meet its emergency response obligations throughout the city and county.
“There is absolutely no concern about our ability to provide emergency service on Halloween or any other time of the year.”
Limerick City and County Council have said the Limerick Fire and Rescue Service is not experiencing a staff shortage.
Cork City Council said Cork City firefighters recently welcomed 17 new full-time recruits who began training on Wednesday with a plan for 17 more recruits to be hired in 2022.
âCork City Fire Brigade is in a good position to provide fire blanket in the Cork City area,â the local authority said.
âOn a day-to-day basis, officers manage their resources to ensure that the brigade is operationally prepared and can provide coverage throughout the city.
There are no concerns about the ability of the Cork City Fire Department to provide emergency cover. “
The Waterford Fire Department currently has 4 vacancies in its 10 fire stations and recruitment competitions are ongoing.
“This is not unusual and is not considered a shortage, nor does it have a direct impact on service delivery,” Waterford City and County Council said in a statement. .