Date Released: 13 January 2017
SIPTU members in Dublin Fire Brigade (DFB) have served notice of a ballot for strike action following a refusal by the senior management of Dublin City Council to resource an additional four ambulances to meet service demands in the city.
SIPTU Sector Organiser, Brendan O’Brien, said: “The Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) has identified that there is a capacity issue in relation to the operation of the ambulance service in Dublin. The management of Dublin Fire Brigade has advised Dublin City Council that it is prepared to put four additional ambulances on the streets immediately so that its Emergency Medical Service (EMS) can achieve HIQA targets.
“However, senior management in Dublin City Council has stated that it is not in a position to provide the ambulances. This leaves the Dublin Fire Brigade EMS unable to provide the necessary ambulance service for the people of Dublin. In December, senior management of Dublin City Council was informed by SIPTU members that if the DFB was denied the resources necessary for it to achieve its HIQA targets it would automatically trigger a ballot for industrial and strike action.”
He added: “Our members are now calling upon the Department of Health, and the Department of Local Government, which have joint responsibility for the service, to provide financial resources to Dublin City Council so it can act on the recommendation of the management of Dublin Fire Brigade concerning ambulance provision.
“A failure to do this will result in the Dublin Fire Brigade EMS being unable to meet its statutory obligations. This situation is completely unacceptable to our members as it places the public, communities and businesses at unnecessary risk as well as placing undue and unsustainable strain on DFB paramedics.”
IMPACT National Secretary, Peter Nolan, said: “Our members in the DFB will be consulted over the coming days with a view to also proceeding with a ballot for strike action due to this unacceptable situation.”