Fire station safety fears after worker electrocuted
A DUBLIN fire station is in such a bad state of repair that a worker was electrocuted on the premises.
The accident happened to a staff member at Tallaght fire station, South Dublin County Council was told, as it emerged that the Government has withdrawn the €3m funding earmarked for extension and upgrading.
The council passed a motion at its monthly meeting calling on the Government to prioritise the upgrading of the station.
Concerns were also voiced over the availability of suitable equipment to tackle fires at the high-rise apartment complexes in Tallaght.
Cllr John Hannon (FF) told the meeting "one of the staff was electrocuted some time ago", but, luckily, was not killed. He said the incident showed the need for refurbishment of the station.
The motion called on the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government to prioritise the upgrading of Tallaght Fire Station.
It also called for a meeting with council officials and the Chief Fire Officer to expedite the process "given the urgent need for a fire service that is appropriate to the needs of the very large population that is served by the fire station". A council report stated that Dublin Fire Brigade had submitted detailed plans and had received approval in principle for the extension and upgrading of the station.
However, the brigade has now been told the funding is no longer available and it is examining interim arrangements to refurbish the station, particularly the kitchen and dormitory areas, and to update electrical works.
This will rely on funding coming from revenue budgets and will rely on savings being made elsewhere.
Cllr John Lahart (FF) said it had been 20 years since work had been done on the station. He said there were concerns from a health and safety point of view and also raised the issue of equipment for fighting high-rise fires.
Cllr Cathal King (SF) said the nearest ladder suitable for high-rise fires was in Pearse Street fire station. The council said there were "no issues" about extinguishing high-rise fires and pointed out that these buildings all had fire stairs.
The meeting was told the council would be paying more than €17m for the fire service in 2011.