Kelly calls on Government to properly fund retained firefighter service

Photo © Pat Flynn

A Tipperary TD is calling on the Government to provide the necessary funding to sustain the Premier County’s retained fire services now and into the future.

There are just over 2,000 retained firefighters in Ireland who form the core pillar of the fire service.

Half of the 12 fire stations in Tipperary will be closed today as part of a rolling nationwide dispute over pay and conditions with the others closed tomorrow. Every on-call fire station will close next Tuesday if a resolution to the dispute isn’t reached.

Labour Deputy Alan Kelly says firefighters put their lives at risk for very little reward.

“Retained firefighters provide critical services. They are pillars of our community and often put themselves in harms way. The way they are being treated is not acceptable. They have to live very close to the fire station. They also have to be on call for 48 hours, 48 weeks of the year.

Alan Kelly says it’s time the Government actually values the crucial work that firefighters carry out in Tipperary and beyond according to a local TD.

Retained firefighters are paid a basic €8,500 retainer each year plus a fee per call-out. There has been no adjustment in their pay structures for 20 years.

Deputy Kelly says the current situation is simply not good enough.

“Their terms and conditions of employment simply are not acceptable and the 2,000 retained firefighters in Ireland having to go on strike is a national disgrace. The Government needs to intervene and resolve this issue once and for all.”