KILKENNY’s last remaining full time firefighter will retire this Friday leaving the city without a dedicated full time fireman.
For the past 35 years there were three full time fighters but they have all retired and there are no plans to replace them.
The city is manned by 13 part time firemen who are divided into two separate crews. When a call is received in Dublin the crew on call their bleepers are activated they assemble at the fire station. The response time from when they receive the activation alert to when they leave the station to go to the fire is between five and ten minutes.
In a statement Director of Services, John Mulholland said that Government policy is committed to reducing the numbers employed in the public service right across the board. “The council does not make statements in relation to staffing issues and has no local discretion in this matter given the moratorium on recruitment to the public sector,” he said.
Mayor of Kilkenny Sean ohArgain pointed out that the fire service would have to do the best they can with the resources available to them. “We are in very difficult times and the fire service is in the middle of readjustment. Of course one wants a full time firefighter service in Kilkenny but the reality is we have to do the best we can with the resources we have,” he added.