Dublin Fire Brigade ‘V’s National Ambulance Service in Charity Boxing Match

Dublin Fire Brigade and the National Ambulance Service went head to head against each other in a Charity Boxing Match for Cystic Fibrosis recently. The match involved ten bouts between both services and was held on Saturday 15th August at TEK Sports Grounds at Deansgrange in Dublin.

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Photos Courtesy: Mick Sayers, Joe Daly and Declan Keogh

The charity night was organised by John Paul Gray of Tara Street fire station and Derek Grey of Cherry Orchard Ambulance base. Overall, it was a draw with six draws while Dublin Fire Brigade won two and the National Ambulance Service winning two bouts.

Speaking to Emergency Times.com John Paul Gray explains the background to the event. “Dublin Fire Brigade and the National Ambulance Service boxing teams go together and decided to bring the rivalry and the competitiveness between the two services into the ring for charity. This event is very close to the heart of one of our boxers tonight, his son suffers with Cystic Fibrosis and this is the main reason were here tonight. It was done last year and this year we are hoping to better the figure last year.”

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In one of the fights, despite the age gap between DFB’s Shane Walsh and Dylan Gray of the NAS, both boxers put up a good fight against each other in the 1st round, however, Walsh gained the upper hand in the 2nd round while Gray was undeterred and seemed to come out fitter and faster than his opponent in the last round making it a draw between both fighters.

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(DFB’s Shane Walsh V Dylan Gray NAS)

The pressure was on when John Long of Tallaght Fire Station and Robert Kelly of Cherry Orchard Ambulance base entered the ring, they stepped up the mark early on in their fight with Robert Kelly coming out as winner for the National Ambulance Service, with Long putting up a very good fight.

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(DFB’s John Long V Robert Kelly NAS)

However, the pressure was truly deflated in the next round as Wayne Rapples and Donal Fitz seemed to wander around the ring for a half an hour, throwing the odd shape here and there, they even had time to chat among themselves about their summer holidays, gardening and shopping! However, things turned very nasty when DFB’s Wayne Rapple suggested that Donal Fitz’s gardening skills was ‘not really all that’! At one point, even the referee had time for a break. Well, it is for charity after all!

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(DFB Wayne Rapples V Donal Fitz NAS)

As the boxing tournament continued into the night, things began to heat up, and as boxers struggled with the night lights, Dublin Fire Brigade fought fire with fire against the National Ambulance Service.

Co-organiser of the event is Derek Gray. Derek’s Godson suffers from CF, Mason Merrigan, son of boxer Stephen Merrigan was one of the youngest people in Ireland to be diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis through the ‘HealPrick’, which is a new way of detecting CF.

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Derek told Emergency Times that the whole event was about raising awareness and much needed funds. “This is probably one of the biggest evens between ourselves in the NAS and the DFB, and it also involves the Voluntary Services so it’s like a multi-agency EMS night, and we’re trying to raise money for Cystic Fibrosis, and in doing so we are also raising awareness for the illness. Raising money is a big part of t but also awareness, more people are becoming more aware of Cystic Fibrosis and this is a great way of getting the awareness out and the much needed funds as well.”

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(NAS Derek Gray V Alaric Collier DFB)

Joint event organiser and NAS Derek Gray took on DFB’s Alli Collier. Both men were almost equal in each round making it a draw.

DFB’s Martin McCabe was consistent with the punches against Bryan Brannigan in their first two rounds. However that changed after the second round when Brannigans coach changed tactics, but that didn’t last too long either as DFB’s McCabe came out as winner.

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(NAS Bryan Brannigan V Martin McCabe DFB)

The next fight was probably one of the toughest of the night between Dave Manders of the NAS and DFB’s Mark Dempsey. Each fighter fought well, with good punches and good foot moves, and it’s a god job there was a ambulance paramedic present…or 20 of them as Manders goes down towards the last round, leaving Dempsey the second time winner for Dublin Fire Brigade.

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(DFB Mark Dempsey V Dave Manders NAS)

In the second last fight, Dave Cowley of the NAS takes on joint event organiser DFB’s John Paul Gray. Both men lasted the three rounds and it was a draw between both team.

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(NAS Dave Cowley V John Paul Gray DFB)

The Title Fight was between Dave Cahill of DFB and James Kelly of the NAS. This was another good fight, and like his brother Robert earlier, Kelly puts the pressure on again and provided a good fight to the audience; however DFB’s Cahill knows the pressure points to and proves his point! The National Ambulance Service won this fight leaving an all even score of six draws, two wins for Dublin Fire Brigade and two wins for the National Ambulance Service.

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(DFB Dave Cahill V James Kelly NAS)

The charity event was in aid of cystic Fibrosis and was sponsored by PHECC, the Pre-Hosptal Emergency care Council, and supported by St. Kevin’s Boxing Club and Monkstown Boxing Club.

Photo Gallery including Voluntary Services

Video Highlights of the night

Man in serious condition in Hospital following Cork Collision

One man is in a serious condition in Cork University Hospital after a single vehicle collision in the early hours of this morning. Gardai are investigating the collision which occurred on the Douglas Road, Cork.

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Scene of the Collision  – (Photo courtesy Padraig Barrett)

Cork Fire Brigade and the National Ambulance Service attended the scene. The road between Capwell Road to the South Douglas Road, to the off ramp at a local school remains closed.

Garda Forensic Collision Investigation have attended the scene and Gardai are appealing for witnesses to the incident to contact Anglesea Street Garda station on 021 4522000.

Multi-agency Search Operation stepped up in Clare for Japanese tourists

The Irish Coast Guard has warned members of the public to avoid exposed cliff tops where a search for two missing Japanese tourists is continuing.

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A multi-agency Search & Rescue operation has been stepped up. Coast Guard Units from Kilkee, Doolin and Ballybunion, Clare Civil Defence, K-9 Units of the Civil Defence from Laois and Dublin and Technical Support from the Civil Defence Headquarters in Roscrea, Co. Tipperary are involved in the search with An Garda Siochana and the Limerick Marine Search & Rescue Unit.

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Report by Pat Flynn

Specially trained cadaver and other sniffer dogs joined the search yesterday for Mr Eiji Takagi (63) and Ms Ushio Azaki (61) who are feared to have fallen from the cliffs in the area of Georges Head in Kilkee, Co Clare. The couple’s red Hyundai rental car was found parked at Bynres Cove near Kilkee golf club last Tuesday.

Gardaí have said that information secured from the vehicle’s computer tracking system has confirmed it arrived in the small carpark on Saturday morning and was not moved after that. The pair arrived in Ireland on August 18th and are known to have spent three nights in Doonbeg before moving onto Spanish Point where they stayed in a local hotel on Friday night.

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Photo: (Laois Civil Defence)

The alarm was only raised on Tuesday when their car was seen parked in the same place, without being moved, for a second consecutive morning. The pair also failed to board a flight from Shannon to London last Monday while they were also due to catch a connecting service to Tokyo.

A garda spokesman said: “We have drawn a blank on this and we have found no trace of the couple. We now know the car was parked at Byrnes Cove on Saturday morning and not moved after that.” Gardaí are particularly anxious to establish whether the couple had a reservation in any other hotel or guesthouse for Saturday and Sunday nights before they were due to fly out of Shannon Airport on Monday.

“We are still asking any accommodation providers to contact use if they had a reservation for a couple who failed to check in. We are also hoping the some of the couples personal items may turn up. We know that she was wearing a purple puff jacket and the man had a short black leather jacket,” the spokesman added.

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Weather conditions have hampered the search in recent days prompting the Irish Coast Guard to issue a public warning.

“We are appealing to members of the public to avoid the local area from Georges Head to Chimney Bay where experienced searchers will be operating. This is an exposed and unsafe area,” a Coast Guard spokesman said.

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Coordinated by the Irish Coast Guard, including units from Kilkee, Doolin and Ballybunnion, members of Clare Civil Defence are again involved in the search operation and have been joined by Civil Defence K-9 units from Laois and Dublin and additional personnel from Tipperary. Personnel from Limerick Marine Search Rescue brought two jetski’s to assist in the search.

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Gardaí at Kilrush can be contacted on 065 908 0550 while anyone with information can also call the Garda Confidential Line 1 800 666 111 or any Garda Station.

Ten People Rescued off Wexford Coast by Kilmore Quay RNLI

One man has died following a Search & Rescue operation off the Saltee Islands, Co. Wexford last night. In total, ten people were rescued from water by Kilmore Qualy RNLI volunteers, assisted by the Irish Coast Guard and other Search and rescue units and a crew of the Saltee Island passenger ferry ‘An Crossan’.

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File Photo: (Kilmore Quay RNLI at Night Incident)

The ten were are believed to have been in the water for up to five hours after their boat, an 18ft leisure craft overturned in choppy waters when a breaking wave stove in the windows in the wheelhouse and swamped the vessel.

The alarm was raised at around when the boat became overdue and failed to return home at sunset. A known person to the group raised the alarm with Kilmore Quay RNLI’s Coxswain at 11.15pm

Kilmore Quay’s RNLI all-weather lifeboat was immediately launched at 11.30pm with five crew members on-board under Coxswain Eugene Kehoe.The Saltee Islands passenger ferry, the An Crossan, crewed by three Kilmore Quay RNLI lifeboat members also joined in the search along with Fethard RNLI, Kilmore Quay Coast Guard Unit and the Dunmore East Coast Guard Unit.

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Kilmore Quay Lifeboat (Photo courtesy RNLI Press Office)

The lifeboat from Kilmore Quay was making its way towards Ballyteigue and the Coningmore Rocks when they received contact from the An Crossan that they had spotted an upturned hull and 10 people, one woman and nine males including a teenage boy, in the water, half a mile south of the Great Saltee Islands.

The Irish Coast Guards Rescue 117 was also scrambled from Waterford to assist.

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Stock Photo: (Irish Coast Guard Helicopter R117 in Wexford) 

It was when the passenger ferry’s search light went out temporarily that its crew members heard shouting from the sea. It is thought the party all of whom were wearing lifejackets had been in the water for four to five hours.

The crew of the An Crossan pulled all 10 people from the water and onto the ferry. One man who was in need of urgent medical attention was immediately transferred to the lifeboat which was alongside two minutes later. Lifeboat crew members administered casualty care before being winched by the Coast Guards R117 helicopter and airlifted to Waterford University Hospital. The man later died in hospital.

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Stock Photo: (Wexford RNLI Crews)

The nine other people were transferred to Kilmore Quay on the passenger ferry where they were then brought into the RNLI lifeboat station and medically assessed before then being transferred to Wexford General Hospital by a number of Ambulance from the National Ambulance Service.

Kilmore Quay RNLI Volunteer Press Officer Aidan Bates has said the group had done the right thing in letting them know when to expect them back. ‘We would like to wish them all a speedy recovery from their ordeal. The party had done the right thing in letting someone know when they were due back and thankfully as a result of that the alarm was able to be raised. Thankfully, all 10 were wearing lifejackets which was crucial given the time they had spent in the water. Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone involved in this incident’

The Irish Coast Guard has advised people to always log at TR with your local Coast Guard station and use the SafeTrx app, always carry EPIRBs, well fitted lifejackets and if possible PLBs. The Coast Guard concluded that these anglers were lucky in that the call went out early as darkness fell. Many are not!

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Two men die in Limerick River Incident

Two men have died following an incident on the River Shannon in Limerick City this evening. It’s understood the men were carrying out pointing work on the outside of Thomond Bridge when a cable attached to a cranes cage on which the men were standing on snapped.

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The cage crashed into the river, trapping both men under the water. A third man managed to free himself from the cage and swim to safety. The Irish Coast Guard, Limerick Marine Search and Rescue Service, Limerick City Fire Service and the National Ambulance Service were called to the incident.

A Swift Water Rescue team from Limerick Fire Service and divers from the Limerick Marine Search & Rescue Service removed both men from the cage and handed over to awaiting ambulance paramedics.

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Rescuers worked tirelessly to resuscitate the men at the scene and later again at University Hospital Limerick, sadly however, both men lost their battle for life and were pronounced dead at UHL before 5pm.

It is understood that the three men were wearing life jackets and fall arresting safety harnesses. These are generally used in line rescues or by anyone working from dangerous heights. Gardai and teh Health & Safety Authority are investigation the incident.

Ar dheis De go raibh siad.

Gardai give the public a #ThumbsUp following ‘Operation Slow Down’ Day

The Garda National Traffic Bureau gave a massive #ThumbsUp to the majority of motorists and the general public this weekend as the national ‘Operation Slow Down’ day which so far appears to have proved positive.

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Pearse Street Traffic Unit (Pic @gardatraffic )

However, the Gardai are still concerned at the high number of dangerous drivers who were detected for speeding despite the national publicised campaign.

The 24 hour nationwide speed enforcement campaign ‘Operation Slow Down’ was initiated by An Garda Síochána in conjunction with GoSafe, and supported by the RSA, Local Authority Road Safety Officers and other stakeholders, including many of the country’s Fire, Ambulance and Voluntary Services personnel.

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Social Media played a key role in promoting the campaign, and the hashtag ‘ThumbsUp’ was trending on Twitter throughout the campaign with many people, businessess, groups & bodies posting their photos to the @gardatraffic twitter page using #ThumbsUp

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Overall, 115,003 vehicles were checked with 451 vehicles detected travelling in excess of the speed limit between 7am Friday 28th to 7am Saturday 29th August. These results showed a compliance rate of 99.6% within the monitored zones. A list of some of the notable seed detections are listed at the end.

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The objective of operation ‘Slow Down’” is to reduce the number of speed related collisions, save lives and reduce injuries on our roads. The aim is to get drivers to slow down by reminding them of the dangers of speeding, increasing compliance with speed limits and acting as a deterrent to driving at excessive and inappropriate speed.

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Students at the Garda College giving their #ThumbsUp

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#ThumbsUp from Firefighters from Athy, Co. Kildare. Pic: (Kildare Road Safety)

Early on in the campaign, by 10.45am yesterday morning, the speed of approximately 18,000 vehicles were checked by both the Gardai and GoSafe. Of those 18,000 early results, 57 vehicles were detected travelling in excess of the speed limit. Within that period, one vehicle was detected travelling at 119 km/h in an 80 km/h in Co. Louth, another vehicle was detected travelling at 108km/h in a 60 km/h zone in Donegal while a vehicle in Co. Mayo was detected travelling at 124 km/h in a 100 km/h zone in Castlebar.

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Garda Air Support Unit (Pic Garda Traffic Twitter)

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Athy Ambulance crew with Kildare Road Safety’s ‘Slow Down’ bar

Speaking ahead of yesterday’s campaign, Garda Superintended Con O’ Donohue said “Excessive or inappropriate speed causes death and injury on our roads, and remains the primary contributory cause of road traffic collisions. Slowing down keeps you and others around you safe on our roads, and although this is a targeted 24 hour operation, we appeal to drivers to always abide by this advice – slow down, save lives.”

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Garda Supt. Con O’ Donohue speaking ahead of the Operation

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#ThumbsUp from Limerick City Fire Service

The Local Authority Road Safety Officers also supported the nationwide campaign locally, and Meath County Council’s Road Safety Officer Michael Finnegan said that drivers don’t realise the damage caused following a crash while speeding and he said the #ThumbsUp campaign was a novel way to get the message out. “Many drivers just don’t realise the damage caused to them and others following a crash while speeding. It’s horrendous and this national #ThumbsUp campaign for national ‘Slow Down’ day is a novel idea and its one that’s got people talking, tweeting and interacting, and all the time, the vast majority of drivers are slowing down”.

Pic: Michael O'Rourke

Meath County Council Road Safety Officer Michael Finnegan (Photo: Michael O’ Rourke)

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Cork City Fire Brigade give their #ThumbsUp

An Garda Siochana has thanked those who supported the campaign by slowing down and driving within the designated speed limits. Speaking this morning, at the end of the ‘Operation Slow Down’, Assistant Commissioner John Twomey of the Dublin Metropolitan Regions Garda National Traffic Bureau said “An Garda Síochána wish to thank the many individuals and organisations who heeded the National Slow Down Day and supported the campaign by sending their photographs to An Garda Síochána at #thumbsup ”.

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Emergency & Security Services at Trinity College, Dublin

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Notable incidents over the 24 hour period include:

* 141 km/h in a 100 km/h zone on the R238 Ture, Muff,Donegal
* 133 km/h in a 100 km/h zone on the R446 Curragh, Aughrim, Galway
* 86 km/h in a 50 km/h zone on the Ballybough Road, Dublin 3, Dublin
* 93 km/h in a 60 km/h zone on N25 Garranbaun, Dungarvan, Waterford
* 125 km/h in a 100 km/h zone on the N25 Parkeennaglogh, Kilmacthomas, Waterford
* 148 km/h in a 100 km/h zone on the N55 near the town of Glasson in Westmeath
* 144 km/h in a 100 km/h zone on the N6 Clonbrusk, Athlone, Westmeath
* 105 km/h in an 80 km/h zone on the R166 Drumleck, Castlebellingham, Louth
* 118 km/h in an 80 km/h zone on the R772 in Gorey
* 119 km/h in an 80 km/h zone on the R173 in Ballyonan in Co. Louth
* 108 km/h in a 60 km/h zone on the R267 Bundoran
* 124 km/h in a 100 km/h zone on the N5 Castlebar

Minister for Defence publishes White Paper on Defence

The Department of Defence has published the Governments new White Paper on Defence at a special launch by the Minister of Defence Simon Coveney T.D. on Wednesday 26th August at Dublin Castle.

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The White Paper sets out Ireland’s defence policy framework for the next decade. Based on a forward looking assessment of the security environment, the Government have set out the defence policy response to security challenges, including the defence contribution to international peace and security. To ensure a flexible and adaptive response from Defence, the White Paper provides for regular reviews of defence requirements.

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File Photo: (Minister for Defence Simon Coveney TD)

The Minister said “The White Paper on Defence reflects the important role of defence as part of the State’s security framework and whole of Government response. It provides clear direction and a pragmatic approach to defence and to ensuring that we can continue to reflect with pride on the service provided by the Defence Forces to the security of the State. The Defence Forces and Civil Defence are also an integral part of the State’s response to major emergencies and natural disasters”

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The Civil Defence included in White Paper on Defence (Photo: Declan Keogh)

The Minister went on to say, “The approaches in the White Paper reflect the wider Defence and Security Policy framework and the increasingly complex nature of security threats in the world today and the need for a full spectrum comprehensive response.  The White Paper looks not alone to promoting Ireland’s values in the world but also protecting our interests based on a-rules based world order and the importance of global stability and security to our continued social and economic wellbeing.”

In highlighting the wide range of other supports provided, the Defence Forces will also continue to provide a broad range of “non-security” supports to other Government departments and agencies. This approach minimises the duplication of service provision and ensures that the State gets additional value for money from defence expenditure.”

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(Photo: Declan Keogh)

In commenting on future capability requirements the Minister said “The White Paper sets out the roles that Government have assigned to the Defence Forces and considers associated capability requirements. It sets out decisions on the replacement of major equipment platforms for the next decade and other priorities for the Army, Air Corps and Naval Service. This will guide long term defence planning.”

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(Photo: Declan Keogh)

The White Paper also explores several new initiatives for Defence. This includes an Institute for Peace Support and Leadership training with a focus on international education in the field of peacekeeping and conflict resolution. The Minister said “we have looked at international best practice to learn what might work in Ireland and I look forward to exploring this concept”. The White Paper also includes a proposal for a new employment support scheme, with the direct involvement of the Defence Forces, aimed at people in the 18-24 age group, who might otherwise struggle to break out of cycles of disadvantage. It is intended to initiate a pilot scheme in 2016.

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The Minister concluded by saying that “I am very pleased to have had an opportunity to shape this White Paper on Defence. It provides a policy framework, including capability priorities, which will provide the necessary flexibility to respond to a very dynamic security environment. I now look forward to commencing work on its implementation. ”

Dublin Fire Brigade vote in favour of Strike Action over recruitment failure

SIPTU Sector organiser Brendan O’Brien has issued a letter to SIPTU members saying the result of the ballot was that 96 % were in favour of industrial action and 87 % were in favour of strike action. Mr O’ Brien said the ballot was taken ‘following the decision by the chief executive of Dublin City Council to renege on the agreement reached in May on recruiting new fire fighters.’

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An overwhelming mandate’ was received by the union to take action in support of it’s members in Dublin Fire Brigade who O’Brien said, ‘have been exposed by management to increased and unacceptable levels of risk arising from their failure to uphold our agreement to maintain minimum staffing levels.’

According to a source within Dublin Fire Brigade, staff shortages mean that sometimes crew levels can be down 20% on what they should be and this ‘seriously reducing the level of cover to the city.’

It was agreed in may that Dublin City Council would hold an open competition for new fire fighters to join Dublin Fire Brigade, however, SIPTU says the council wants to proceed with internal recruitment which Mr O’Brien does not believe will succeed in recruiting the numbers needed as quickly as they are needed.

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Currently, there is deficit of 70 fire fighters at the moment and SIPTU expects that to reach 100 by the end of this year due to the rate of retirement. Mr O’Brien said that fire fighters recruited today would not be ready for one year as they have to go through training and “in the meantime we sometimes do not have enough fire fighters to allow our appliances to be dispatched,” without calling in staff who are on rest days or on training days.

“It is a matter of urgency that the open competition starts.  We do not want to see our members or the public at unnecessary risk,” he added.

The Dublin Fire Brigade SIPTU dispute committee are expected to hold a meeting to consider the outcome of the ballot and the union will decide on what course of action will be taken next.

Dublin Airport Fire contained quickly

A FIRE at a hanger at Dublin Airport caused a suspension to all flights at Dublin Airport this morning following a fire which took hold at one of the hangers at the airport.

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Photo( Dublin Fire Brigade)
The fire occurred at around 7am. A number of fre appliances from Dublin Airport Fire Service and fire crews from Swords, Finglas, Kilbarrack and Tara Street (HQ) fire stations from Dublin Fire Brigade attended.

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A dramatic photo of the fire has circulated on social media. Dublin Airport Authority have confirmed the fire was in a confined area away from passengers, however staff in Hanger 3 were evacuated.

Two aircrafts were in the hanger at the time but were not damaged as a result of the fire.

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Communications Manager with Dublin Airport Authority is Siobhan O’Donnell. She said all people had been accounted for. “All flight operations were suspended because all emergency services have been brought to fight the fire and as a result if something happens on the airfield the fire cover is not available. This is standard procedure.”

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(File Photo  Un-related to Incident)

During the incident, a number of flights were circling around Dublin, while some others were diverted to Belfast and Shannon Airports. The last aircraft to land before the suspension was a Ryanair flight from Leeds Bradford Airport at 7.26am, while the last outgoing journey was also a Ryanair service, to Wroclaw in Poland at 7.25am.

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Nobody was injured in the fire and flights and normal operations at the Airport resumed at around 8.15am.

Donegal Fire Service undergo trainng with Irish Coast Gaurd

Donegal Fire Service and the Irish Coast Guard held a familiarisation training course with the Irish Coast Guard’s Ballyshannon based rescue Helicopter R118.

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Firefighters from Donegal Town, Ballyshannon and Bundoran fire stations, along with Senior Assistant Chief Fire Officer Shaun Campbell underwent the training.

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As part of the training, the team were fully briefed on all aspects of the helicopters equipment and they were also instructed on what procedures should be taken if the Coast Guard helicopter calls the fire service for assistance at incidents such as Road Traffic Collisions, Cliff rescues or in the event of an ‘Aircraft Down’ incident, resulting in fire or crash.

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During the course of the training exercise, firefighters were winched up into the helicopter, and later lowered down.
Pics: (Bundoran Fire & Rescue facebook)