THE CHAIRMAN OF union claiming to represent over half of Dublin’s firefighters says he has been barred from entering all fire stations in the capital as of this morning.
John Kidd, the chair of the Irish Firefighters and Emergency Services Association (IFESA), has been barred from entering all stations effective from this morning amid ongoing dispute with management over cuts to resources in Dublin Fire Brigade.
A spokesperson for Dublin Fire Brigade was unable to confirm that Kidd had indeed been barred.
Kidd, who retired from active fire service duty two years ago, told TheJournal.ie this afternoon that management “did not want me talking about inefficiencies”.
“They are trying to instigate 20 per cent operational cuts in Dublin,” he said adding that he did not know specifically why he had been barred having only found about it this afternoon.
A recent policy document published by the Department of Environment has caused outrage among many rank-and-file firefighters.
The ‘Keeping Communities Safe’ policy document proposes to reduce the manning of fire engines by a fifth.
It also proposes that certain automatic fire calls would be replaced with manual calls with union representatives warning that the planned changes will increase the risk to the safety of firefighters and the general public.
IFESA claims to represent around 380 of the 700 firefighters working in Dublin and says it has 120 more who want to join the association. But it is not recognised by Dublin City Council and fire brigade management who only negotiate with SIPTU and IMPACT.
IFESA claims that it is entitled to negotiating rights under its affiliation with the Psychiatric Nurses Association (PNA), which is part of the 24/7 Alliance of frontline, emergency services alliance.
Kidd said that being barred from fire stations in Dublin would “make me even more popular”.
Earlier this month firefighters in SIPTU were reported to be undertaking a national ballot for industrial action in response to the DoE policy document.