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Dublin firefighters still considering strike action over ambulance changes

Members of Dublin City Council met with trade union representatives today.
Mar 9th 2015, 5:43 PM 8,787 33

DUBLIN FIREFIGHTERS ARE still considering going on strike over proposed changes to how ambulance dispatches are carried out in the county.

Organiser Brendan O’Brien said Siptu’s Dublin Fire Brigade Section Committee will meet later this week “to decide on its next steps”.

Last week Dublin City Council announced that the HSE’s National Ambulance Service (NAS) operations centre in Tallaght is to take responsibility for all 999 calls.

Siptu’s Patricia King, Impact’s Shay Cody, and Dublin City Council’s Owen Keegan and Brendan Kenny met today to discuss the proposed reforms.

In a statement, Dublin City Council said the four agreed on the following principles:

  • The Control Centre Reconfiguration Project, as recommended in the HIQA Report, and including integrated emergency ambulance call taking and dispatch will be pursued;
  • Dublin Fire Brigade will continue to be fully involved in emergency ambulance service delivery as part of this reconfiguration project;
  • There will be no diminution in emergency ambulance service delivery to the population of the Region.

“It was agreed that a Joint Forum within Dublin City Council, inclusive of Management and SIPTU and IMPACT representatives, will be established under an independent chair, Mr Stephen Brady, former Dublin Chief Fire Officer,” it read.

All matters arising from this reconfiguration project will be addressed in this Forum.

O’Brien said the forum represented progress, but it “remains to be seen” if industrial action will go ahead.

“As things stand, the ballot is continuing.”

‘Second to none’ service

He said the forum will allow all parties to have “meaningful engagement” on the issue.

We were opposed to the fact there had been no consultation with stakeholders … There’s no-predetermined outcome [of the forum], which I think is good.

O’Brien said Siptu wants to ensure the service to the public is protected.

He had previously said the ambulance service delivered by DFB is “second to none”, adding: “It is economical and effective.”

Minister for Health Leo Varadkar said he would ”not stand for a single Fire Brigade ambulance being taken out of service”.

Additional reporting by Órla Ryan

Read: Dublin firefighters to vote on industrial action over ambulance dispatch move

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Nicky Ryan


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