Get out and show your support for your local fire station and ambulance service tomorrow

By Mary Dennehy

THE community is being encouraged to visit their local fire station this Saturday between 1pm and 2pm in a show of support for firefighters, and the life-saving work they do as paramedics and through the Dublin Fire Brigade ambulance service.

In February, SIPTU firefighters voted overwhelmingly in favour of taking industrial and strike action following a dispute with Dublin City Council over “attempts” by senior management to “break-up the Emergency Medical Service” provided by Dublin Fire Brigade.

Tallaght Fire Station 1 23022017

Alongside responding to fire incidents, Dublin Fire Brigade has also been providing an emergency 999/112 ambulance service for nearly 110 years, with all firefighters fully trained as paramedics.

Last year, firefighters based at Tallaght Fire Station responded to more than 10,200 medical emergencies, while the crews based at Nutgrove attended more than 7,000.

This Saturday, March 4, the community is being encouraged to support their local fire crews by visiting their local station between 1pm and 2pm, and standing in solidarity with fire fighters.

One firefighter, who wishes to remain unnamed, told The Echo: “Firefighters don’t want to relinquish the work they do, the ambulance service works well and for a fraction of the budget.

“We did not vote to go out on strike for extra wages, we simply voted to retain services that work.

“Because of the ambulance service all firefighters are equally trained as paramedics, which means when we respond to call either in an ambulance or a fire-truck we are equipped to provide medical assistance.”

The firefighter added: “We are asking anybody who has ever been assisted by a Dublin Fire Brigade ambulance or medically by a firefighter to come out and support us on Saturday.

“If this service was to be taken away it would have a major impact . . . it would diminish the emergency service and increase ambulance waiting times, not to mention putting added pressure on the already overloaded NAS [National Ambulance Service] team.”

Visit your local fire station in Tallaght and Nutgrove this Saturday, March 4, between 1pm and 2pm.

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