Friday 22 March 2019

Government row behind FF bid to save DFB service

Darragh O’Brien TD (centre) and Senator Lorraine Clifford Lee.
Darragh O’Brien TD (centre) and Senator Lorraine Clifford Lee.

The Government has decided to support a Fianna Fáil motion calling for the retention of the full range of emergency services provided by Dublin Fire Brigade to Fingal, including its ambulance service.

The service has been under threat for some time and while Government support for the Bill has been welcomed, Local TD, Deputy Darragh O'Brien (FF), said it should have come earlier.

Fianna Fáil TD for Dublin Fingal, Darragh O'Brien said that Government's decision to finally support a motion raised by his party and debated in Dáil Éireann this month was needed for a long time.

The Deputy is optimistic that this cross party support will ensure the full retention of emergency services provided by Dublin Fire Brigade in Fingal.

O'Brien commented: 'The almost 1,000 highly trained and skilled personnel working with Dublin Fire Brigade (DFB) has been providing essential ambulance services to Dubliners in the North County for the past 120 years.

'The Brigade provides immediate, lifesaving medical assistance to members of the public in need of treatment 24/7, 365 days a year.

'Thousands of families in Fingal, including my own, have had experience of being protected by the members of the DFB.

'The HSE's proposal to remove the delivery of Dublin's ambulance service from Dublin Fire Brigade and instead merge the service with the National Ambulance Service could have an adverse effect on safeguarding those in our community.'

The Fingal TD from Malahide said: 'Staff should be lauded for their ability to respond to thousands of emergency calls across the capital every year, not denigrated, to have funding withdrawn, or to have their service run down.'

He explained: 'There should be 133 firefighters and paramedics as well as 36 officers on duty at all times maintaining front-line fire appliance.'

'However, there is currently a deficit in staff and resources. We need at least another four ambulances within the service.'

Deputy O'Brien concluded: 'We need to send out a clear statement that the Dáil establishes policy and makes decisions on behalf of, and in the best interest of the people who elect us.

'I am pleased that Government have at last listened to opposition and have recognised the importance of this issue.'

Fingal Independent