The Irish Fire and Emergency Services Association (IFESA) has today (Wednesday 30 th Oct.) appealed to the public to recognize that the water shortage and restrictions in the Dublin region will put extra pressure on the fire services over Halloween and they should control and monitor bonfires wherever possible.

IFESA National Chairman, John Kidd said water restrictions being introduced in Dublin from this evening (Wednesday) could not have come at a worse time for the fire service as it deals with one of the its busiest periods over Halloween.

‘There is genuine concern about the pressure that the water restrictions will put on the services over the coming nights. Clearly it will be a drain on existing resources because additional fire engines (which carry a 5 minute water reserve in their tanks) will have to attend at the scene because of the lack of access to mains water and the limited access to rivers, canals and lakes from which to fill engine tanks. We know that a lot of bonfire material is stored and often lit in disused houses, flats and industrial units so the fire hazards are increased considerably at this time of year.'

Mr. Kidd said that unfortunately there has not been the necessary investment in firefighting tankers to deal with water shortages and restrictions of the scale being introduced from today.

‘There are currently only two firefighting tankers in the Dublin city and County fire service and management have not learned the lessons from previous water crisis in the city and county. We clearly need investment in tankers to create a bigger water reserve to deal with situations like the current one.'

‘We would appeal to the public to recognize the implications of the water restrictions for the fire services and to be extra vigilant and responsible this Halloween in setting up and lighting bonfires.'

‘Finally, we would also reiterate our appeal to the public throughout the country to ensure that firefighters and other emergency personnel are allowed to do their work over Halloween without injury and assault or damage to emergency vehicles'.

Media Contacts : National Chairman , John Kidd 087-6588999/ Derek Cunningham 086-2430535