Families face having to pay s600-a-time for fire brigade call-outs

Martin Flanagan

HOMEOWNERS face having to pay hundreds of euro in fire brigade call-out charges following the adoption of Dublin City Council's budget.

The figures under the scheme will see charges of €500 for call-outs to domestic fires and fees of €610 for vehicle and chimney fires.

It also includes a first-hour fee of €610 for road traffic incidents.

Councillors are already warning that the plan will "put lives at risk" because they believe people will be "hesitant" in calling a fire brigade because of the charges.

Despite the extra charges on households, families can still expect to notice severe funding cuts to roads, social housing and sports facilities.

Council officials said the fire services charge will be imposed on householders -- but that the cost will be covered by home insurance. Homes without insurance would be dealt with on an individual basis.

Cllr Mannix Flynn (Ind) called on council officials to review their emergency plans under the budget because the implementation of the charges are "seriously concerning".

He said some homeowners may not be able to afford the charges which could have a detrimental impact on the reporting of fires.

City Manager John Tierney said householders would be covered by home insurance and those without insurance would be dealt with on a "one to one basis".


Meanwhile, Dublin Fire Brigade SIPTU convenor Gerry Harris warned the proposed cuts could cost lives.

"A person who cannot afford to pay a charge might attempt to put out the fire themselves and that could put their lives at risk," he said.