Wednesday 22 November 2017

Service losing number of local retained firefighters

Retained firefighters are being lost because of the upturn in the economy
Retained firefighters are being lost because of the upturn in the economy

Louth County Council is losing retained firefighters because of the upturn in the economy, and the local authority remains concerned about the fire safety of some apartment complexes, councillors have been told.

Director of Services, Joe McGuinness, outlined in his Budget 2017 report how 'the retention of staff is a major issue for our service, especially for our retained staff who have to provide a significant commitment to ensure an effective service'.

He told councillors that retained firefighters have to be no more than five minutes away from their stations when they are on call. People were getting full time jobs and perhaps travelling longer distances to work, which was, he said, affecting the provision of the service.

Mr McGuinness said: 'It takes over a year to select and fully train a retained firefighter at considerable expense, so any retirement or resignation presents a challenge to the service.

'We will be endeavouring to fill a number of vacancies over the coming months and maintain crew levels'.

In his report to the meeting about the fire service, Mr McGuinness said the number of incidents in the county for 2015 was 1,151, and to date this year, the number is running at around 10% less.

He noted: 'The ongoing, reducing trend of building fires may be due to improved building fore safety as a result of the fire safety certification process and community fire safety initiatives.

'The council would, however, still be concerned about the standard of construction and compliance in some developments, especially apartment complexes and continue to work with the developers, receivers and owners to remedy any defects identified.

Drogheda Independent

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