Written answers

Wednesday, 8 December 2021

Department of Housing, Planning, and Local Government

Fire Service

Photo of Catherine MurphyCatherine Murphy (Kildare North, Social Democrats)
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55. To ask the Minister for Housing, Planning, and Local Government the number of full-time and retained firefighters, respectively by firehouse in tabular form. [60588/21]

Photo of Darragh O'BrienDarragh O'Brien (Dublin Fingal, Fianna Fail)
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The provision of a fire service in its functional area, including the establishment and maintenance of a fire brigade, the assessment of fire cover needs and the provision of fire station premises, is a statutory function of individual fire authorities under the Fire Services Acts 1981 and 2003. My Department supports fire authorities through setting general policy, providing the legislative framework, running a central training programme and issuing guidance on operational and other related matters and providing capital funding for priority infrastructural projects. Fire services issues are managed in my Department by the National Directorate for Fire and Emergency Management (NDFEM).

Fire services are provided in Ireland by local authorities in accordance with the provisions of the Fire Services Acts, 1981 and 2003. Under this legislation, there are 31 fire authorities which provide fire prevention and fire protection services for communities through 27 service delivery structures. Local authority fire services are delivered by approximately 3,300 local authority staff engaged at 217 fire stations nationwide, with 16 of these stations being staffed by full-time firefighters, a further 4 are mixed full-time and retained, and 197 are staffed by retained firefighters.

In 2013, my Department published 'Keeping Communities Safe (KCS) - A Framework for Fire Safety in Ireland'. The adoption of KCS as national policy saw national norms/standards being established for fire services in Ireland for the first time, against which local authority fire services could benchmark themselves. In respect of crewing levels, KCS establishes a national norm of 5 personnel on the first pump mobilised from a station to include a designated Incident Commander, with 4 personnel on the second or subsequent pumps mobilised from the same station. The report of the Fire Service Validation Group, ' Fire Services in Ireland, Local Delivery - National Consistency', published in 2016, noted the varied staffing arrangements in place in fire services across Ireland to achieve these standards and that fire services manage staffing levels in fire stations to achieve the national standards of fire service response.

While my Department does not routinely collect the data in the format requested by the Deputy, a breakdown of the number of firefighters in each fire service as of October 2021, based on data supplied by local authorities, is set out in the table below. Information in relation to staffing in individual fire stations is not available at this time.

Fire Service Total no. of operational staff in stations
Carlow 45
Cavan 93
Clare 76
Cork City 152
Cork County 204
Donegal 154
Dublin 963
Galway 154
Kerry 104
Kildare 63
Kilkenny 65
Laois 66
Leitrim 42
Limerick 140
Longford 44
Louth 100
Mayo 119
Meath 72
Monaghan 51
Offaly 52
Roscommon 45
Sligo 47
Tipperary 127
Waterford 124
Westmeath 46
Wexford 63
Wicklow 94
Total 3305


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