Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Questions (495)

Clare Daly

Question:

495. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he will indicate the way the authors of the Keeping Communities Safe document arrived at the manning levels for Dublin as outlined in Appendix One of the document; and his views on whether the levels indicated in the document will have an effect on the standards of operations in the Dublin Fire Service. [31499/13]

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Written answers (Question to Environment)

The provision of fire services in a local authority area is a statutory function of the local authority. Under Section 10 of the Fire Services Act 1981, a fire authority is required to make provision for the delivery of fire services in its functional area, including the assessment of fire cover needs and the provision of premises. Under section 159 of the Local Government Act 2001, each county and city manager is responsible for the staffing and organisational arrangements necessary for carrying out the functions of the local authority for which he or she is responsible.

My Department supports fire authorities through setting of general policy, training support and issue of guidance on operational and other related matters, and the provision of capital funding.

I recently adopted and published the policy document Keeping Communities Safe (KCS), which sets the future direction of fire services in Ireland. This is intended to ensure that Ireland continues to manage its fire risk effectively and that our success in reducing fire fatalities, at their lowest level for four decades in 2012, continues.

The KCS policy document was prepared by my Department’s National Directorate for Fire and Emergency Management through a collaborative approach betwe en central and local government. The national standards that are contained in KCS are in keeping with international good practic e and are crucial to a consistent approach across fire services in Ireland. The fire service response is based on the particular incident type at the location given. The PDA (Pre-Determined Attendance) is the initial automatic turnout, but can be varied by the officer in charge. The PDAs are set down by the Chief Fire Officer for each fire authority. However, there is now detailed , at Appendix A to the KCS policy document, a set of nationally determined PDAs which relate to different categories of incident types. It is expected that each fire service, Dublin Fire Brigade included, will review their PDAs in the light of Appendix A and make any necessary adjustments.