Limerick County Fire and Rescue Service today became the first fire authority in Ireland to be presented with OHSAS 18001:2007 certification, the only auditable international standard for health and safety.
Jan O’Sullivan TD, Minister of State, Department of Environment, Community and Local Government, made the presentation at a ceremony in Foynes Fire Station which also featured the official handover of two new water tankers to the local Fire Service fleet.
The “OHSAS 18001 Occupational health and safety management systems – Requirements” standard was first published by the National Standards Authority of Ireland in 2007 and is currently held by approximately 16,000 certified organisations in more than 80 countries. The standard sets out a preventative and proactive approach to identifying workplace hazards and assessing and controlling risk.
Speaking today, Minister of State O’Sullivan said: “The safety and management awards we are celebrating here today are another step in improving the overall standard of our safety performance and provide both service providers and the public with independent assurance of a high quality service. I would like to congratulate all involved in Limerick County Council on this achievement.”
According to Councillor Jerome Scanlan, Cathaoirleach of Limerick County Council: “I would like to congratulate the Firefighters and support staff of Limerick County Fire and Rescue Service for their planning, organisation and hard work in providing a quality fire and rescue service to the people living, working and visiting County Limerick. It should also be noted that this invaluable service is delivered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.”
Along with receiving OHSAS 18001:2007 certification, Limerick County and Fire Rescue Service is also certified to ISO9001:2008, a separate standard of excellence in service delivery that has been maintained since 2000.
Carmel Kirby, Chief Fire Officer, Limerick County Fire and Rescue Services explained: “Since being first accredited to our first international standard in 2000, our service has grown and matured in terms of how we do our business. We have also successfully managed to keep our resources up to date in order to meet the growing needs and expectations of our community. In addition, we are working to ensure that Fire Service staff are provided with proper facilities and a proper working environment.”
“As Chief Fire Officer, I look forward to continuing our service to the highest possible standard. We face new challenges in the Fire Service regularly and we will continue to plan and further upskill ourselves to deal with those,” Ms. Kirby added.
Today’s certificate presentation was followed by the official delivery of two new water carriers costing a total of $370,000, which was funded by the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government. The vehicles will be used primarily for the provision of Fire fighting Water Supply.
The water carriers were built by High Precision Motor Products Ltd., Carlow, and each have a water carrying capacity of 8,500 litres, main bodies constructed from recyclable plastic, significant equipment storage space, a retractable electronic road traffic management sign and twin scene lighting masts.
The addition of the vehicles to the fleet increases the number of the County’s water tankers to 5. County Limerick Fire and Rescue Service operates a total fleet of 19 operational fire appliances, which include fire pumps, water carriers, an emergency tender and an aerial ladder platform.