Fire brigade’s value for money questioned

by Gazette Reporter

A local councillor questioned the value for money that South Dublin County Council (SDCC) gets from Dublin Fire Brigade (DFB) at a county council meeting this week.
Cllr William Lavelle (FG) tabled a motion asking “the manager to provide a detailed report, for discussion, on DFB’s ongoing risk-based analysis of its area of operations; including a report on measures to address deficits in service provision in our county”.
Cllr Lavelle said that reviews carried out by the council and the fire body “raised serious questions” about the level of service the council receives.
“I feel this situation raises serious questions regarding the level of service which [we] receive from the fire brigade; and the accountability to the council; in particular in the light of the fact that in 2013 the council will contribute €17.3m to the running of Dublin Fire Brigade.
“South Dublin County makes ups 21% of the population of the total Dublin City and County area covered by the brigade. Yet only two of its 14 stations are located in the South Dublin County; and both are located in the south of the county, in Tallaght and Rathfarnham.”
Lavelle went on to say that in comparison with other local authorities, South Dublin’s contribution was disproportionate.
“In comparison Kildare County Council will spend €5.1m in 2013 running six fire stations. I accept that comparisons are somewhat limited due to differing geographical and population make-ups.
“Nonetheless the question naturally arises as to whether SDCC is getting value-for-money for our €17.3m spend; especially given the lack of a single fire station in the heavily-populated northern part of our county, including Lucan?”
Cllr Lavelle said at the meeting that he had been informed that response times to certain parts of South Dublin, including Lucan and Clondalkin, had fallen “outside of best practice”.
The council said that Dublin Fire Brigade was preparing a formal plan for fire operations nationwide, to follow on from the publishing of their framework document in February.
Cllr Lavelle said he was “disappointed” with the council’s response.

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