Dublin Fire Brigade protest in bid to retain call and dispatch services

Joe Duffy joins the Dublin Fire Brigade protest. Credit: SIPTU / Facebook

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Dublin firefighters and their supporters protested outside a number of fire stations across the capital today in response to management's plans to break up the Dublin Fire Brigade (DFB) Emergency Medical Service by removing its ambulance call centre and dispatch function.

Siptu's Dublin Fire Brigade Section Committee will announce its plan of action in the coming days for its "campaign to retain the DFB Emergency Medical Service as a fully functioning operation" in the coming days.

Last month its members voted by 93 percent in favour of strike action and 97 percent in favour of industrial action last month.

Protests were held outside 12 fire stations across Dublin today.

Among the supporters today were Dublin's Lord Mayor, Brendan Carr, former Ireland rugby captain Brian O'Driscoll and Liveline presenter Joe Duffy.

Speaking about the protests, SIPTU Sector Organiser Brendan O'Brien said "The protests were initially called by Dublin City Councillor and former Lord Mayor Christy Burke.

"Our members would like to thank him for the initiative which allowed local communities across the city and county to show their support from the DFB Emergency Medical Service.

"The protests highlighted the very strong opposition there is to an attempt by senior management in Dublin City Council to break up the DFB Emergency Medical Service by removing its ambulance call and dispatch function.

"Removal of this function breaks a key link in the DFB Emergency Medical Service chan, which would result in a reduction in the effectiveness of the service, response time delays and expose the public to increased risk," said Mr O'Brien.

Dublin's combined ambulance and dire service is a model that is considered best practice internationally - and is operated in many major cities including Paris, Helsinki, Copenhagen, and Hong Kong, and most of the largest cities in the US.