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Dublin: 5 °C Wednesday 27 March, 2019
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Here’s what it’s like for a fireman on Halloween night

Firefighter Trevor Hunt says tonight will be the busiest night of the year for the Dublin Fire Brigade.

Trevor Hunt

I AM A firefighter / paramedic since 2005 and I joined the job for several reasons, one of which is we do both fire and ambulance, so it gives us great variety in our job and you never know what you are going to attend.

There are a lot of routine calls, but it is the more exceptional calls that we tend to talk about and stay in our memories. Dublin is a big city and there is always something happening and at some stage the fire or emergency ambulance service will get involved.

Halloween is the busiest night of the year for Dublin Fire Brigade (DFB) along with New Years Eve and St Patrick’s Day. We in DFB are trained as both firefighters and paramedics and on Halloween night, no matter what duty you are assigned, it is guaranteed to be a busy night.

I have worked on both fire engines and emergency ambulances during the Halloween period.

Our shift starts at 6pm, the fire engines will already be out from early afternoon, crews
change over and then we are straight back out the gates. A normal night shift is 15 hours  and we finish up at 9am the following morning. We are checking fires constantly until midnight and generally take action when a bonfire becomes a hazard to people, property or our crews.

After midnight we are still attending fires but our emergency ambulance crews tend to get busier and we often have to assist at serious incidents. In a fire engine crew there is one officer and four firefighters, if I am on the emergency ambulance there are two of us.

No matter what time of year, we are always careful going to incidents, we always protect
ourselves because if we are injured we cannot deal with the emergency.

Do I get frustrated that the safety message goes out every year and there are still incidents? We work hard to promote fire safety messages every year especially in schools and throughout the broader community. I personally do not get frustrated; it is my job to help people, it is why we joined the job in the first place.

Memorable Halloween nights

Incidents involving fireworks and bangers tend to result in serious injury, these are the worst sort of incidents I have seen at Halloween, especially when they involve young children who are very distressed. It also causes great distress for their families.

With Halloween being the busiest nights for DFB, there is generally a great atmosphere across DFB. On the busier nights everyone pulls together to help each other out.

We come into work knowing we are going to be really busy and there really is a great can do attitude in the station.

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Trevor Hunt

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