The provision of a fire service in its functional area, including the establishment and maintenance of a fire brigade, the assessment of fire cover needs and the provision of fire station premises and fire appliances is a statutory function of individual fire authorities under the Fire Services Act 1981. My Department supports the fire authorities through the setting of over-arching policy, providing a central training programme, issuing guidance on operational and other related matters and providing capital funding for priority projects.
Management of the number and type of fire appliances is a matter for each of the local authorities, which have responsibility for the assessment of their individual fire cover needs, including the provision and management of a fleet adequate to their requirements, taking account of national policy.
My Department funds new fire appliances under national procurement programmes, the most recent of which operated in 2015 and 2017. Dublin City Council were approved and grant-aided to procure three Class B fire appliances under both of these programmes. Continued investment in the fire appliance fleet is one of the key national priorities for the Fire Services Capital Programme.
Dublin City Council provides fire services on behalf of the four Dublin local authorities. In September 2018, the Council sought approval to purchase a new turntable ladder/aerial appliance at a cost of €800,000 plus VAT. Further information in relation to deployment and staffing of specialist vehicles was requested from the City Council in January 2019. A further submission was received this month and the request is now being considered further.
All requests for funding from my Department’s Fire Services Capital Programme are considered within the constraints of available resources and have regard to local authorities’ own priorities, consistency with national policy, the value for money offered by proposals and the totality of requests from fire authorities.