Friday 14 December 2018

Dáil hears case for keeping DFB fire ambulances

Fianna Fáil motion ramps up campaign to preserve service

John Manning

An ongoing campaign to preserve the ambulance service within Dublin Fire Brigade which has served this county so well over the years, gained new impetus in the last week with a Dáil motion that sought to ensure the 'full retention' of the service.

Fianna Fáil TD for Dublin Fingal, Darragh O'Brien, who has campaigned on the issue for some time, said that a Dáil motion submitted by his Party this week is aimed to ensure the full retention of emergency services provided by Dublin Fire Brigade across the city and county.

Deputy O'Brien commented: 'Dublin Fire Brigade (DFB) has been providing crucial ambulance services to the citizens of the city and North County since 1898.

'The Brigade now operates with life-saving equipment and over 800 trained fire-fighter paramedic's work to provide immediate medical assistance to members of public in need of treatment 24/7, 365 days a year.'

He added: 'The HSE has proposed to remove the delivery of Dublin's ambulance service from Dublin Fire Brigade and instead merge the service with the National Ambulance Service;

#Such a proposal could have a huge negative impact on the delivery of services from the DFB call centre while removing any element of DFB's fire based EMS system will have an adverse effect on safeguarding those in our community.'

The local Fianna Fáil TD said: 'I am calling for the full support for the almost 1,000 personnel employed, to maximise service delivery and provide greater efficiency to protect those in fire stations across Dublin who provide a full-time fire, rescue, and ambulance service which serves our whole community.'

He added: 'Staff must be lauded for their ability to respond to thousands of emergency calls across the capital every year. A direct funding mechanism should be designed to allow DFB to continue to operate all areas of DFB's fire based EMS service.'

Deputy O'Brien concluded: 'Our motion underscores the seriousness of this threat and reiterates our firm commitment to the full retention of ambulance services provided by Dublin Fire Brigade across Dublin.'

The issue is particularly important in Swords and its surrounding areas. Dublin Fire Brigade has an ambulance stationed in Swords which combines with the local HSE ambulance service to provide a service to a vast area across Fingal.

Deputy O'Brien has also been working in recent days on another issue at Swords Fire Station over water shortages following Storm Emma. Deputy O'Brien reported last week that after representations made to him by the station he contacted Irish Water to have an emergeny water tanker placed at the station to protect its water supply.

Fingal Independent