A recent article was produced outlining the staffing issues within the fire service of Waterford county, although now the wrath has really been felt from this as of September the 8th of this year. An RTC occured outside Bank of Ireland on the main street of Kilmacthomas where the roof had to be removed to extricate a casualty due to suspected head and spinal injuries. The station based in the town however was “Off the Run” during this time as the crew was not fully comprised of the required numbers for attending a call. 2 units from Portlaw and 1 from Dungarvan was asked to attend, both 15km and 21km away respectively.
The previous amount of staff required for this station to attend a call was a minimum of 4 from a crew of 8.Now requirements are set for a minimum of 5 to attend. Prior to this, issues were raised over the fact that whilst Kilmacthomas was off the run, Portlaw also were off the run due to the same reasons. When the numbers drop below 5, for whatever reason, the station in question is declared off the run, and cannot attend calls, even ones that happen 110m away from your station.
Taken from Munster Express article on the 20th September: (Read full article here)
A recent statement issued by Waterford City & County Council stated that issues had been resolved and that all fire services in County Waterford were fully operational.
However, firefighters in Kilmacthomas, who have been available and willing to respond to recent incidents, maintain that the situation has not improved and say they continue to be ‘off the run’.
When contacted last week, Director of Services with Waterford City & County Council Ivan Grimes said: “As the issues affecting the availability of individual retained Fire Brigades have been referred to the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) for conciliation, Waterford City & County Council will not be commenting further on the matter until the conciliation process has concluded.”
The issue is due to come before the WRC on September 26th.