Thursday 12 December 2019

Hundreds protest as Dublin Fire Brigade fears services will transfer to HSE

Allison Bray

Hundreds of members of the Dublin Fire Brigade and their supporters held a protest this evening over worries that the capital’s vital ambulance service may be transferred to the HSE.

Led by the Dublin Fire Brigade Pipe Band, about 500 DFB officers in uniform and rank and file members and their supporters marched from the Tara Street fire station along Dame Street to Dublin City Hall where they rallied in torrential rain.

The protest, organised by the trade unions SIPTU and IMPACT, was called among union fears of a proposed review of the brigade’s ambulance service by the Health Service Executive (HSE) and Dublin City Council.

SIPTU vice president Patricia King said the union received an eleventh-hour announcement from Dublin City Council this afternoon that it would be deferring the proposed review of ambulance services pending the outcome of a national capacity review of the service by the HSE.

Ms King told the cheering crowd that the union welcomes the announcement.

But she warned that the members will continue to protest and remain vigilant to ensure that the service is not tinkered with as part of any cost-saving agenda.

“That’s only one piece of that battle won,” she said.

The service is run by Dublin City Council but is funded by the HSE at approximately €10m a year.

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