Bray Fire Ser­vice op­tions dis­cussed

Bray People - - NEWS -

THE fea­si­bil­ity of hav­ing a full-time ser­vice at Bray Fire Sta­tion rather than the cur­rent re­tained ser­vice was dis­cussed at length at Wick­low County Coun­cil on Mon­day.

Wick­low Fire Chief Ai­dan Dempsey pre­sented a com­pre­hen­sive re­port to mem­bers out­lin­ing the pos­si­bil­i­ties for the Fire Ser­vice in North Wick­low in terms of ef­fi­ciency and cost ef­fec­tive­ness.

Mr Dempsey out­lined that the ad­van­tages of mov­ing to a full-time ser­vice in Bray would see a five minute de­crease in re­sponse times which would see 90 per cent of in­ci­dents re­sponded to in ten min­utes or less, in­creased scope for com­mu­nity fire safety ini­tia­tives, avail­abil­ity of crews for main­te­nance, pre in­ci­dent plan­ning and in­creased wa­ter hy­drant checks.

He also ex­plored the op­tion of amal­ga­mat­ing Bray and Grey­stones sta­tions but said that this would again im­pact on re­sponse times as per a new lo­ca­tion.

A draft plan in terms of Wick­low Fire Ser­vice is to be pre­pared for the mem­bers by the first quar­ter of 2015 which must be in line with sim­i­lar plans on a na­tional scale.

A pi­lot project will also com­mence next year to iden­tify the mem­bers of the pub­lic most vul­ner­a­ble in terms of fire safety and will take in high risk ar­eas and ar­eas wheres se­ri­ous in­ci­dents have oc­curred in the past.

Mr Dempsey ex­plained that cur­rently a pop­u­la­tion of 28,531 is cov­ered by fire sta­tions in Bray with a break­down of 50 peo­ple per square kilo­me­tre and that at present an av­er­age of 273 in­ci­dents take place ev­ery year which rep­re­sented a 26 per cent re­duc­tion.

Cllr Derek Mitchell ex­pressed the view that coun­cil mem­bers, in his opin­ion are not qual­i­fied to as­sess the bal­ance be­tween safety and ef­fi­ciency and cited the na­tional de­bate about whether five or six crew mem­bers are re­quired for the first fire unit on any call­out.

He also voiced op­po­si­tion to any changes to the Grey­stones ser­vice which he said was work­ing well.

Cllr John Ryan cited the need for a Na­tional Fire Au­thor­ity which he said was re­quired to over­see each county ser­vice.

He also queried the main causes of fires in the county and asked how many houses have fire alarms if a break­down was avail­able.

Mr Dempsey said that around 30 per cent of fires in Wick­low are of a ‘se­ri­ous na­ture’ and said that in the re­gion of 75 per cent of homes have alarms fit­ted.

He added that the re­main­ing 25 per cent ex­pe­ri­ence the majority of fires and en­cour­aged mem­bers to see if ad­di­tional fund­ing is avail­able in the 2015 bud­get to roll out a fire alarm scheme across the county.

The im­por­tance of putting pro­pos­als for the ser­vice out to pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion was stressed by Cllr Joe Be­han who said that the peo­ple should be asked for their views.

‘If any of us lost a loved one we would feel that no money is too much. What value will we put on life,’ he said.

Cllr Vincent Blake who asked what im­pact that changes in Bray would have on smaller sta­tions was as­sured that train­ing stan­dards would not drop.

Bray Fire Sta­tion

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