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Fire Services.

Dáil Éireann Debate, Wednesday - 8 March 2006

Wednesday, 8 March 2006

Ceisteanna (74)

Kathleen Lynch

Ceist:

52 Ms Lynch asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the progress that has been made to date on implementing the recommendations of the report Review of Fire Safety and Fire Services in Ireland, 2002; the progress which has been made to date towards modernising the fire service under Government strategy; and if he intends to review his decision to shelve plans for a national fire authority, as recommended in the review. [9583/06]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government)

My Department has implemented a number of the important recommendations of the report Review of Fire Safety and Fire Services in Ireland. These include in particular the enactment of the Licensing of Indoor Events Act 2003, which addressed several legislative changes called for in the review. In addition, the high level of capital investment in the fire service has been continued and now stands at almost €20 million per annum. The interdepartmental committee on major emergency planning, which is chaired by my Department, has just completed a review of the major emergency planning framework on which local authority, Health Service Executive and Garda major emergency plans are based and I will be taking proposals to Government shortly for the implementation of an updated framework.

In February 2005, I announced a fire services change programme to implement the key fire services and fire safety recommendations of the review of fire safety and fire services. This programme sets out the strategy for the future development of the fire service and includes measures addressing the development of community fire safety programmes, the development of a risk-based approach to the determination of fire cover standards, the introduction of a competency-based approach to recruitment, retention and career progression in the fire service and the enhancement of health, safety and welfare programmes within the fire service. Work on the change programme is being carried out by a dedicated project team and is progressing satisfactorily. My priority under the fire services change programme is not to pursue further institutional change at this time but to use the available resources to bring about direct improvements in these key areas

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