Tuesday, 12 December 2006
Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government
Question 136: To ask the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government his views on involving the fire services more closely with local communities as outlined in the Farrell Grant Sparks report; and if he will give consideration to linking the fire service to the developing first response movement. [42619/06]
Question 146: To ask the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government his plans for linking the fire services more closely with local communities as outlined in the Farrell Grant Sparks Report; and his views on developing links between the fire service and the emerging first response movement. [42503/06]
I propose to take Questions Nos. 136 and 146 together.
In February 2005, I announced a Fire Services Change Programme to implement the key fire services and fire safety recommendations of the Review of Fire Safety and Fire Services in Ireland. This Programme includes measures addressing the development of community fire safety programmes and the development of a competency based approach to recruitment, retention and career progression in the fire services. A number of community fire safety programmes are now being implemented including schemes aimed at increasing smoke alarm ownership and an educational programme for primary school children.
First Responder Training has been provided to fire-fighters by individual fire authorities over the last five years, with most fire authorities having completed this training. First Responder Training is being considered as a standard module for inclusion in the recruit programme being developed under the competency element of the Fire Service Change Programme.