The Sinn Fein Ard Fheis has been told there are ‘too many chiefs and not enough Indians’ in the fire service as the majority of delegates voted in favour for an all-Ireland fire authority.
A Wicklow delegate, from Bray, told the Sinn Féin Ard Fheis that the creation of a national fire authority could save €70m.
According to the Irish Times, delegates heard there are currently 21 Chief Fire Officers and over 270 Assistant Fire Officers throughout Ireland with a population of 4.5m, compared to Scotland, which has one Chief Fire Officer and eight assistant fire officers for a population of 5 million people.
File Photo: (Courtesy Pat Flynn)
In 2002, a Grant Farrell Sparks report recommended the establishment of a national fire authority. Delegates at the party’s national conference were told that the fire service could be properly funded without having to rely for resources on local authorities.
The Ard Fheis also rejected a 2013 Government document called ‘Keeping Communities Safe’, which it described as “primarily a cost-cutting exercise which would have serious implications” for fire service members and the general public. *Source: The Irish Times