Sinn Féin Wicklow TD John Brady has called for a full time fire service for the Bray area after revealing that manning levels for the two-pump station in Bray continues to be inadequate some twelve years after the deaths of two firefighters from that station.
Speaking in the Dáil this evening Teachta Brady said;
“In February 2005, the retained firefighters in the fire station in Bray staged a day of protest over major difficulties in how the service was operated.
“One of their main concerns was the manning level in the station. Bray is a two-pump station which means there should be fifteen firefighters, however at the time there was only ten.
“Two years later on 26th September 2007, two of the firefighters that took part in the day of protest in Bray, Sub Officer Brian Murray and Firefighter Mark O’Shaughnessy, died in the line of duty serving the community of Bray.
“Brian had said prior to his death that unless the serious issues in the fire service were addressed someone would lose their lives, little did he know two years later it would be himself and one of his colleagues.
“Fourteen years after the protest at the station in Bray, and twelve years after the deaths of Brian and Mark there are still very serious issues with the fire service in Wicklow.
“A recent response from Aiden Dempsey, Chief Fire Officer in Wicklow, shows that the current manning level in the Bray station is ten and two of those are on long term sick leave – so out of an establishment of what is supposed to be 15, there are eight firefighters to provide the cover for a population of nearly 40,000.
“The only way to protect lives and address the serious problems in the Fire service in Wicklow is to provide a full-time fire service in the Bray area. So, Minister what is going to be done to immediately address the serious problem with manning levels in the fire service in Wicklow?”