Press Release

Firefighters seek urgent meeting with Minister in wake of Ballymun high-rise fire

Date Released: 22 March 2018

Representatives of SIPTU and Fórsa members in the Dublin Fire Brigade (DFB) are seeking an urgent meeting with the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, Eoghan Murphy, concerning the provision of adequate training, resources and risk assessments to deal with the threat of high rise fires.

SIPTU Sector Organiser, Brendan O’Brien, said: “DFB firefighters believe that the high-rise fire in Ballymun, last night (Wednesday, 21st March), has starkly illustrated why their repeated demands for high rise firefighting training as well as the provision of adequate resources and risk assessments must be acte.
 
“Since 1981, there has been no increase in the provision of high reach fire appliances, despite the city having grown considerably since then.”
 
SIPTU DFB Convenor, Shane McGill, said: “In the aftermath of the Grenfell Tower fire in London last June, we participated in a task group established by the Minister to examine fire safety in high-rise buildings. Sadly, to date the concerns we have raised at this group in relation to training, resources and risk assessments have been ignored.”
 
Fórsa Head of Communications, Bernard Harbor, said: “The Government’s fire safety policy, called Keeping Communities Safe, has again been shown to be flawed as it fails to address the need for comprehensive risk assessments, training, and resources for high rise fires. We are calling for an urgent meeting with the Minister to discuss what action must be taken to ensure the safety of both the public and firefighters.”
 
DFB SIPTU Section Chair, Deirdre Taylor, said: “We knew it was only a matter of time before a large scale high-rise fire incident occurred in Dublin. The Area Risk Categorisation document for the Ballymun area does not include high-rise buildings such as the Metro. Thankfully there has been no loss of life in this case. We hope that lessons can be learned from this incident before it is too late.”


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