August 1, 2021

Manning levels at Bray fire station ‘still inadequate’ – 12 years after deaths of two local firefighters, Dáil hears

A local TD has called for a full time fire service for the Bray area after claiming that manning levels are still inadequate – 12 years after the tragic deaths of two local firefighters.

Speaking in the Dáil today, Sinn Féin Deputy John Brady said: “In February 2005, the retained firefighters in the fire station in Bray staged a day of protest over major difficulties in how the service was operated.

“One of their main concerns was the manning level in the station. Bray is a two-pump station which means there should be 15 firefighters, however at the time there was only 10.”

“Two years later on 26th September 2007, two of the firefighters that took part in the day of protest in Bray, Sub Officer Brian Murray and Firefighter Mark O’Shaughnessy [pictured above], died in the line of duty serving the community of Bray.

“Brian had said prior to his death that unless the serious issues in the fire service were addressed someone would lose their lives, little did he know two years later it would be himself and one of his colleagues.”

Deputy Brady said that, 12 years on following the double tragedy, there are “still very serious issues with the fire service in Wicklow”.

He told the Dáil: “A recent response from Aiden Dempsey, Chief Fire Officer in Wicklow, shows that the current manning level in the Bray station is ten and two of those are on long term sick leave – so out of an establishment of what is supposed to be 15, there are eight firefighters to provide the cover for a population of nearly 40,000.

“The only way to protect lives and address the serious problems in the fire service in Wicklow is to provide a full-time fire service in the Bray area.  So, Minister what is going to be done to immediately address the serious problem with manning levels in the fire service in Wicklow?”

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