herald

Friday 15 December 2017

Fire crews moving abroad due to cuts, says union

IRISH firefighters are moving abroad as pay and career prospects continue to worsen, it was claimed.

Up to a dozen fire service personnel are believed to be seeking work in Dubai, Australia, Canada, and other countries, claimed a spokesman for the Irish Fire and Emergency Services Association (IFESA).

John Kidd said firefighters, like other public service workers, are dismayed by the deterioration in their pay and conditions through the Government's cutbacks.

"Firefighters are becoming aware there is a lot of demand for their expertise abroad. The Canadian fire service is seeking recruits to fill firefighter and paramedic positions. Cities such as Dallas, Texas, are also offering very good jobs to trained personnel.

"It costs around €100,000 to train a firefighter and fire services are very happy to hire people who already have the expertise," he said.

There were also jobs for trained firefighters and paramedics in Iraq and Afghanistan, he added.

Mr Kidd, acting general secretary of IFESA, called on the Government to seek a similar debt repayment deal to Greece to cut the pressure on the public finances.

He said firefighters and other public sector workers had suffered falls of up to 30pc in their pay and conditions.

Firefighters complained that the cutbacks have reduced the opportunities for career breaks and part-time work.

aokeeffe@herald.ie

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