Date Released: 07 February 2017
SIPTU members in Dublin Fire Brigade (DFB) will within two weeks complete a ballot for strike action which results from the refusal of 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 ballot is expected to be completed within the next two weeks. A full ballot of our members in Dublin Fire Brigade is not a simple process due to the large number of shifts and stations involved. Due to the importance of their work our members in Dublin Fire Brigade only contemplate industrial action in the most acute of situations.”
“However, the refusal of senior management in Dublin City Council to adequately resource their work so that they can provide the necessary emergency cover for the residents of Dublin is such an acute situation.
He added: “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 so that its Emergency Medical Service (EMS) can achieve HIQA targets. Unfortunately, Dublin City Council has not made the resources available for these ambulance to go into operation.”
SIPTU Public Administration and Community Division Organiser, John King, said: “This issue emerges from the decision of senior management in Dublin City Council to walk away from a tripartite ambulance forum which had held meetings for nearly two years and was close to agreement on the future of emergency medical services in Dublin.
“Our members' primary concern is the wellbeing of those they are called to assist in emergency situations. There is growing concern among our members that the management of Dublin City Council is increasingly only concerned with divesting itself of responsibility for providing ambulance provision within the city by running down the Dublin Fire Brigade service. This is something which our members, the public and city councillors have indicated they are completely opposed to.”
He added: “The opposition of the City Council to any moves to run down the Dublin Fire Brigade ambulance service will be clear again at its meeting this evening when an emergency motion proposed by Councillor Alison Gilliland is debated. This motion, which is supported by our members, specifically deals with the need for agreement on issues relating to the operation of Dublin Fire Brigade call and dispatch operations. The operation of this facility is essential to the future of the Dublin Fire Brigade ambulance service.”