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Dublin: 13 °C Saturday 15 August, 2020
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'We've been forced into this': Dublin Fire Brigade to go on strike for two days

Two work stoppages will take place on Saturday 18 March and Monday 27 March.

Image: Rollingnews.ie

SIPTU MEMBERS IN the Dublin Fire Brigade (DFB) are set to conduct two 24-hour work stoppages this month, on Saturday 18 March and Monday 27 March.

They made the announcement this evening, and say that the move will highlight “their opposition to attempt to break up the DFB Emergency Medical Service by removing its ambulance call and dispatch function”.

Siptu sector organiser Brendan O’Brien said: “It is with deep regret that Siptu members in Dublin Fire Brigade have been forced into conducting these work stoppages.

This dispute results from our members’ total commitment to providing the best emergency services possible to the residents of Dublin.

O’Brien added that these 24-hour stoppages would signal to Dublin City Council their complete opposition to the removal of the ambulance call and dispatch functions in “the strongest manner open to them”.

He said that the fragmentation of this service would reduce the effectiveness of their service, lead to response time delays and expose the public to increased risk.

Earlier today, a rally was held by Siptu firefighters outside City Hall to protest the move.

One man speaking at the rally talked about how he’d went into cardiac arrest in Marlay Park, and how the help of the DFB Emergency Medical Service was vital for him.

Thankfully I am here today to tell the story. If it wasn’t for the way the system operates at the moment, it wouldn’t have been so good for me. Both myself and my family are very grateful.

In February, firefighters voted overwhelmingly in favour of strike action, with an overall margin of 81%.

A letter sent to Siptu members in January seen by TheJournal.ie, refers to a recent Hiqa review that requested Dublin City Council (DCC) “urgently identify and implement measures to address ambulance capacity issues in Dublin”.

The letter described the decision to ballot members on industrial action as “regrettable” but “the only option available”.

With reporting from Michelle Hennessy

Read: Firefighters in Dublin have voted to go as far as striking

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Sean Murray

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