Mr. Michael Finneran T.D. Minister for State at the Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government, this morning officially opened the Chief Fire Officers Association (CFOA) annual conference at which he was told that continued Government investment in the sector is critical to the delivery of efficient frontline services.
Ireland’s 30 Chief Fire Officers and estimated 120 Senior Fire Officers have gathered at the Radisson Blu Hotel in County Clare for the first day of their two-day annual conference, which will be addressed by a number of international experts in the emergency services sector.
Addressing conference delegates today, CFOA Chairperson and Galway Chief Fire Officer Michael Raftery said there was a myriad of issues in the fire service and fire safety area that were in urgent need of being addressed.
He explained: “The CFOA is seeking a review building control regulations introduced by the Department in October 2009, the establishment of national fire cover standards to maximise emergency responses throughout Ireland, a review of legislation for the policing and licensing of large indoor events, and the development of national standards to ensure all local authority services are providing the same level of public service.”
“A robust system of funding will have to be provided to deliver the expected service and a Fire-Fighter/Fire Officer development system in put in place to drive the necessary change to reform and deliver a renewed Irish Fire Service. The health and safety agenda will also have to be underpinned”, added Mr. Raftery.
Commenting on proposals outlined under the national public service pay deal 2010-2014 to shrink the number of public servants by approximately 10%, Mr. Raftery stated: “We welcome the fact the Department has approved all current requests by local fire authorities to fill local Fire-Fighter and Fire Officer vacancies and promotional opportunities to date. The CFOA urges Local Authorities to fill any current senior fire officer vacancies including Chief Fire Officers and submit such requests to the Department for approval.”
Among the other topics to be discussed at the Conference later today and tomorrow will be the role of the Fire Service in Emergency Medical Services, encouraging behavioural change in people to improve fire safety, the progression of the new National Directorate for Fire and Emergency Management, and the challenges facing the Emergency Services across the European Union.
Keynote speaker during the two-day conference will be Alan Merry, New Zealand’s Fire Services Principal Advisor on Fire Risk Management, who will set the scene on international change and innovation.
Sean Hogan of the National Directorate for Fire and Emergency Management will discuss the Directorate’s role in developing Fire Services and Emergency Management in Ireland, Ger Dollard of Clare County Council will discuss the local authority’s response to recent flooding in the County, and Fire and Safety Consultant Dr. Ray Connolly will present “A Perspective On The Future For An Bord Pleanala As The Final Arbitrator Of Fire Safety Design In Ireland”.
The annual showcase event for Ireland’s Fire and Emergency Services sector also features a Fire Industry and Technology Exhibition that includes 52 internal trade stands and 17 outdoor exhibits.
The CFOA comprises the Chief Fire Officers of Ireland’s 34 Local Authorities. The Association is also a member of the Federation of European Fire officers Associations and attends their twice yearly meetings.
For more visit www.cfoa.net.
Notes To Editor:
- Michael Raftery, CFOA Chairperson and Galway Chief Fire Officer is available for interview and further comment. To arrange please contact Mark Dunphy of Dunphy PR on 086-8534900 or email@example.com
- Conference images are available from Press 22 at (00353) 61-204222.