Dublin Fire Brigade: Union representatives withdraw from WRC talks on workforce crisis

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Staff shortages at Dublin Fire Brigade have been described as completely unacceptable, while the union representing the firefighters will present their concerns to the HSA on Thursday.

Dublin Fire Brigade staff fear chronic understaffing as Halloween approaches.

Six aircraft were off the road yesterday at Dun Laoghaire, Rathfarnham, North Strand, Phibsboro and Tara Street stations due to low numbers.

While seven other devices were without a staff member, and two more operated in the absence of two staff members.

As Halloween approaches, firefighters are expected to take on a heavy workload in the coming weeks, with staff shortages highlighted as particularly dangerous for firefighters and the public during this time.

Senator Marie Sherlock said this kind of crisis was unacceptable in a frontline context.

“It is quite simply unacceptable for the inhabitants and the communities but also for the firefighters who are very worried at the moment vis-a-vis the risk which they must face.

“We need to ensure that Dublin City Council and the Minister of Local Government and Environment rise up to address the systemic failures that have occurred over the years.”

On Tuesday, after years of negotiations to alleviate staffing issues at the Dublin Fire Department, representatives of the Fórsa and SIPTU firefighters withdrew from the workplace relations commission talks.

They now plan to present their concerns to the Health and Safety Authority on Thursday, to highlight the dangerous conditions they are currently experiencing.

SIPTU official Luke McCann said they had no choice but to escalate the situation.

“The industrial relations process has failed to resolve the problem.

“We believe there is a lack of confidence in the process from both the Dublin Fire Department and Dublin City Council.

“The document that was produced and that was not agreed upon did not specify when they were going to bring in crews to alleviate the crisis.

“He also did not specify how they were going to constitute another panel to alleviate this crisis.”

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