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Growing concern over Dublin Fire Brigade staff shortages

There are growing concerns about staff shortages at Dublin Fire Brigade in the lead-up to Hallowe...
Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

15.31 16 Sep 2021


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Growing concern over Dublin Fi...

Growing concern over Dublin Fire Brigade staff shortages

Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

15.31 16 Sep 2021


Share this article


There are growing concerns about staff shortages at Dublin Fire Brigade in the lead-up to Halloween.

There are calls for an immediate recruitment drive, in order to urgently recruit around 60 more firefighters.

The Fire Brigade's union SIPTU says the number of new recruits won't be enough to fill vacancies left by retirements this year.

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They want the minimum number of firefighters - currently 965 - increased.

Dublin firefighter Shane McGill - a member of DFB since 1983 and the outgoing SIPTU Convener - told Newstalk Breakfast the summertime was “particularly bad” for staff shortages.

Growing concern over Dublin Fire Brigade staff shortages

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He said he has heard of days where three to four trucks were taken off the roads due to understaffing.

Shane said many staff members are also retiring this year after delaying it last year.

He said: “Even management agrees that the agreed manning level of 965 is no longer fit for purpose.

“There’s an unprecedented number of people retiring of people retiring this year - a lot of people who were due to retire last year didn’t because of COVID.

“The 36 recruits of this year will not even cover the number of retirements we have - that’s going to put us in a bigger deficit.”

Dublin’s Lord Mayor Alison Gilliland will put down a motion next month, calling for an immediate recruitment drive to address the shortage.

She also wants more training classes to commence.

The Labour councillor says services are being impacted, despite members of the fire brigade doing “everything in their power” to ensure fire engines are fully crewed.

She observed: “There are firefighters coming in off annual leave and doing extra hours just to make sure the tenders are fully crewed.

“One of the concerns I would have is if the service is running on a lot of overtime, that you’d have firefighters risking burnout because they don’t have the proper downtime to recover either emotionally or physically.”

The concerns come with just over a month to go until Halloween - traditionally one of the busiest periods of the year for firefighters.

Main image: File photo. Picture by: Dublin Fire Brigade / RollingNews.ie

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