Friday 26 May 2017

Dublin Fire Brigade to ballot for strike action over ambulance shortage

Fire Brigade (Stock image)
Fire Brigade (Stock image)
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Dublin fire fighters are to ballot for strike action due to what trade union Siptu has said is a shortage of ambulances in the city.

In a statement this evening the trade union said:

"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".

“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," SIPTU Sector Organiser, Brendan O’Brien said.

"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 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," he added.

Siptu said it had advised management about the possibility of industrial action in December.

Impact, the other union which represents DFB staff, is to consult its members in the coming days.

A spokesman for Dublin City Council said DCC "has no comment to make on this matter at the moment".

Last year, the service responded to 115,000 calls, representing some 40pc of the national volume, an increase in calls on 2015.

At the January meeting of the city council a motion was passed asking both Local Government Minister Simon Coveney and Health Minister Simon Harris to act and provide funds for the new vehicles.

The motion was tabled by Labour councillor Alison Gilliland, who said and increase in calls and incidents meant 12 ambulances were not sufficient.

The service was world class but needed immediate funding for additional ambulances to operate safely and effectively she said.

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