Firefighters make our capital one of 'safest places' to have heart attack
IF you have a heart attack in Dublin, you're much more likely to survive than if it happened in almost every other city in the world -- and it's all thanks to the city's firefighters.
A little known fact about the 150-year-old Dublin Fire Brigade is that it is the only one in Ireland -- and one of only a few in the world -- whose members are all trained paramedics.
This means that Dublin also has the second highest success rate for survival of cardiac arrests after Seattle.
This will be one of the achievements which will be highlighted in a march through the city centre on June 2, celebrating one of the oldest institutions in the State.
Up to 600 people from fire brigades around the country and the world -- along with 15 marching bands -- will celebrate the fire service, which was set up in 1862.
Greg O'Dwyer, a third officer in the fire brigade, said it has a number of events scheduled to celebrate its century and a half of existence. He said that before the service was set up, insurance companies would deal with fires directly.
"If you were insured, your house would have a plaque and the insurance company would send out firefighters, if not, they wouldn't," he said.
Pride of place in the parade will be a horse-drawn ambulance first used by the Dublin brigade in 1898. It has recently been restored with the help of 14 FAS students.
Mr O'Dwyer explained that the ambulance was restored with the help of an Irish Independent article of the time, which gave a detailed description of the vehicle.
Dublin's fire service provides an emergency response service to more than 1.2 million people -- and one of its stations, Kilbarrack fire station, is the first and only 'green' fire station in the world.
Meanwhile, Tallaght fire station is one of the busiest in Europe.
Both will feature in a new documentary revealing the behind-the-scenes work of the service.
The eight-episode programme 'Fire Fighters' will also detail how their life-saving work is often impeded, for example with stones being thrown at officers.
The fly-on-the-wall series was recorded over the past six months and is due to air on RTE 1 this autumn.
In one scene, officers said youths were throwing bricks and stones at them while they tried to put out a fire.
In another, a girl has climbed on to the roof of a Luas stop and wastes officers' time when she calls the fire brigade as she can't get down.
Shane Brennan, who directed and produced 'Fire Fighters', revealed how much work had gone into it and how grateful he was for the access his production team was able to have.
"We were on call 24/7, sometimes the call centre would ring us up at two or three o'clock in the morning and we would go out," he said.
A number of further events will take place over the June bank holiday weekend but details remain to be finalised.