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Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

Firefighter rushed to hospital after breathing equipment failure

The woman was treated for smoke inhalation and has since been released from hospital.

A DUBLIN FIRE brigade crew member was taken to hospital in the early hours of yesterday morning after her breathing equipment failed and she inhaled toxic fumes, has learned.

The fire brigade was called to a domestic fire at a house on Richmond Road, Drumcondra, at around 3.30am. There had been reports of a person inside the property and a number of firefighters were in the basement when one of their breathing apparatuses failed and left the woman without air.

Rushed to hospital

Her colleagues dragged her out of the building and she was rushed to hospital treatment. understands she was taken to the resuscitation section of the Emergency Department due to the severity of the smoke inhalation.

One person who had been inside the building at the time was also taken to hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation.

It is understood the lung demand valve may have disconnected from the breathing equipment’s face mask leaving the firefighter inhaling the toxic fumes from the blaze. This equipment has been criticised in the past as there have been a number of failures which placed firefighters at considerable risk.

Last year, SIPTU said its members were only using the breathing apparatuses “under protest” and the IFESA representative group is currently in the middle of a High Court action against Dublin City Council over the failures. It sparked an investigation by Dublin Fire Brigade and an assessment of all 500 BA sets took place last year.

Yesterday’s issue has caused concern among firefighters as it is the third failure in the space of two months in Dublin. A source said these types of incidents are “very traumatic” for the people involved and for their colleagues.

Dublin Fire Brigade confirmed the firefighter was taken to hospital and said she was released later yesterday morning. They have now launched an investigation into the circumstances of the equipment malfunction.

Read: Failed breathing apparatus forced firefighter out of apartment block blaze>
Read: Firefighter group brings council to court over failed breathing apparatus sets>