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City could not cope with disaster -- fire union

DUBLIN does not have the resources to deal with a major disaster and our "luck will run out" according to a leading Fire Service representative.

The warning came after it emerged that only one extra ambulance had been provided in the capital in the past 25 years.

John Kidd, national secretary of Siptu's full-time fire officers' committee believes that authorities in Dublin are playing a risky game that could cost lives.

"We were congratulated for our work during the recent fire at Guinness but we were lucky. There could have been a chemical release that would have affected one third of the population in the capital," he said.

"Imagine if there was an accident at Dublin airport, on average there would be about 150 passengers on a flight, we have just 18 ambulances to cater for this accident and each ambulance has just one stretcher.

"We do not have the resources to deal with a major incident."

Authorities are continuing to cut costs with the loss of an ambulance in Swords.

"That ambulance dealt with 8,000 cases last year and they plan on cutting it," he said.

Union bosses have been instructed to serve strike notice after workers voted overwhelmingly to take strike action over pay and conditions.

Kidd says that their main motivation is the safety of the public and their colleagues in the fire service.

"The recent cuts are putting us under serious danger," he said. "Our members feel that if we don't strike nothing will improve."

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