• IFESA - The Irish Fire and Emergency Services Association
  • IFESA - The Irish Fire and Emergency Services Association

The Irish Fire and Emergency Services Association (IFESA) said today (May 7 th ) that support expressed by the Chief Fire Officers Association at their AGM yesterday (May 6 th ) for the use of fire officers as first responders in cases where an ambulance in not available confirmed that there is now a growing consensus in support of IFESA ' s call for the development of a National fire based emergency medical service (EMS) and the development of a National Fire and Ambulance service in Ireland to respond to medical emergencies.

‘ IFESA Vice President, Ros MacCobb, said that the support for a fire based EMS by the Chief Fire Officers Association comes just weeks after Health Minister, Leo Varadkar expressed similar support for such a service when he told the Seanad that there was a ‘ strong case ‘ for training fire crews to assist with emergency ambulance service responses.

Mr. Mac Cobb said: ‘ IFESA has been the leading advocate for the development of fire based emergency medical services ( EMS) and the coordination of a National Fire & Ambulance service in Ireland to respond to medical emergencies. '

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The Irish Fire and Emergency Services Association (IFESA) has today (Thursday) called for greater action to address cancer risks to firefighters following evidence to MEP's of unacceptably high rates of cancer among the profession.

Following a European Parliament meeting of the European Fire Fighters Unions Alliance (EFFUA) - of which IFESA is a member - with the MEP group MEP's Against Cancer (MAC), IFESA President John Kidd said the international evidence is now conclusive that constant exposure to deadly toxic smoke and particles in the line of duty is resulting in unacceptably high rates of cancer among firefighters.

“The cancer rate emerging among firefighters globally is truly concerning and yet there is little or no response from national governments or at EU level, to the issue of the impact of occupational exposure by firefighters throughout their careers to toxins and deadly chemicals resulting in higher cancer incidence. It is now time to take action to address this growing problem at both a national and EU level.'

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IFESA President John Kidd explained to Joe Duffy on Liveline why  IFESA is opposed  to the proposals for the HSE to take over the running of the DFB ambulance service.

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The Irish Fire and Emergency Services Association (IFESA) said today (Tuesday) the key to solving the issues with the ambulance services in Dublin was not in the amalgamation of the Dublin Fire Brigade (DFB) and HSE National Ambulance Service (NAS)control centres but in the establishment of a national integrated fire and ambulance service.

IFESA President, John Kidd said confidence in the fire and ambulance services in Dublin would be completely undermined if control for the Dublin Fire Brigade ambulance service was transferred to the HSE ' s National Ambulance Service. He said IFESA welcomed the recent assurances from Minister for Health, Leo Varadkar that no changes would take place in the current arrangements until there was full consultation with all stakeholders, but City Manager Owen Keegan seemed intent on ignoring those commitments from the Minister.

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The Irish Fire and Emergency Service Association (IFESA) today (Thursday 29 th Jan ) expressed serious concerns at proposed reductions in the manning levels and changed rostering arrangements of Retained Firefighter crews being adopted by Chief Fire Officers throughout the country as part of the implementation of the Department of Environment Community and Local Government's ‘Keep Communities Safe' (KCS) policy.

IFESA said the implementation of the new guidelines (Good Practice Note 2.6) issued by the NDEFM in December 2014 and endorsed by the National Director for Fire and Emergency Management will mean that the weight of response to Fire Service incidents in Ireland will now be at danger levels both to the public but also to the Safety of Retained Firefighters that arrive on the scene. IFESA said it totally rejects the justification by the National Director to Chief Fire Officers and County Mangers throughout the country that these manning and roster changes are in the public interest.

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The Last Word with Matt Cooper - Tuesday 4th Nov. with IFESA's National Chairman,John Kidd and Consultant in Emergency Medicine, Dr Luke Clancy discussing the findings of a major new report on the health implications of long periods of shift and night work.

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Irish Fire and Emergency Services AssociationThe proposed new Irish national postcode, to be called Eircode, will not be suitable for Irish Emergency Services and it will cost lives John Kidd, National Chairman of the Irish Fire and Emergency Services Association. (IFESA) said today. (Thursday 9 th Oct.)

Mr. Kidd said the mainly random nature of Eircode will mean that errors by users will not be conspicuous, will cause confusion and may be catastrophic in terms of sending services to the wrong location. ‘Response times for the emergency services are always critical and anything that makes them worse is not suitable for our members.

‘Because Eircode does not identify small local areas, it will be of little benefit for the large number of callouts to RTA's and other emergencies that are along roads and in other industrial and transport infrastructure rather than inside buildings. Our colleagues in Northern Ireland are used to postcodes that can be learned and are predictable so that they can find localities easily from memory. Eircode does not offer that capability and it will not be visible on street signs to help the public raise the alarm when they are in difficulty.'

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Irish Daily MailYET another fireman was left gasping for air while fighting a blaze in a burning building when his breathing apparatus malfunctioned.

It is the second time in eight weeks this has happened.

It follows an incident in January when the breathing apparatus of two other firemen stopped working during an operation to rescue eight people from a blazing building.

As reported in the Mail at the time, at least another eight 'catastrophic episodes of equipment failures' had been reported to Dublin City Council chiefs in less than two years.

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Leanna Byrne

The Irish Fire and Emergency Services Association have called on the Controller and Auditor General to investigate practises of tendering in the Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government. The concerns were raised as a number of applications for fire and rescue service vehicles that have been approved since 2004 have failed to deliver operational vehicles.

Speaking to The Sunday Business Post , IFESA Chairman, John Kidd said: “I can't stand over incompetent management. We ordered a foam tender [vehicle] in 2006 and it was only delivered last year. That is seven years of knocking around.”

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Article by the Irish Mirror

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Article from Limerick Post:

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Firefighter cancer is a looming personal catastrophe for each and every fire fighter. Cancer is the most dangerous and unrecognised threat to the health and safety of our nation's firefighters.  Multiple studies across the globe, including the soon to be released NIOSH cancer study, have repeatedly demonstrated credible evidence and biologic creditability for statistically higher rates of multiple types of cancers in firefighters compared to the general American population