The Irish Fire and Emergency Services Association (IFESA) has met with Global Fire Fighter Unions to discuss a range of common issues and concerns facing firefighters globally. Among the issues addressed at the recent International Fire Fighters Union Alliance Summit in Denver, Colorado were the impact of cuts in resourcing of fire services and equipment and emerging health and safety issues facing fire fighters including assault and injury and high incidence of cancer.

John Kidd, IFESA National Chairman and Vice President of the European Firefighters Union Alliance said :

‘Fire-fighters are finding common cause internationally on a range of issues and concerns that confront them. Globally fire fighters have been experiencing tremendous pressures as a result of the fall-out of the financial crisis with public spending and investment in fire-services being cut dramatically. These cuts have resulted in the safety of the public being compromised and greater risks to the health and safety of fire-fighters.'

‘Now more than ever, the unions that represent fire fighters throughout the world see the benefit and value of the strength that comes from sharing their knowledge and experience to campaign for evidence and fact-based standards to demand :

• safe and credible staffing levels,

• fire ground tactics and operations

• proper building and construction fire safety codes,

• highest standard protective equipment and clothing.

• Action and research to address occupational hazards of firefighters including the higher incidence of cancer and behavioural and physical health problems.

‘The unions meeting in Denver pledged to strengthen the International Fire Fighters Union Alliance and to use the solidarity of fire-fighters internationally to protect the interests of fire-fighters and the vital services they provide to the public.'

NOTE : Among the unions attending the Denver summit and representing over 400,000 firefighters were the International Association of Fire Fighters (United States and Canada), Fire Brigades Union (United Kingdom), United Firefighters Union of Australia, Confederation of Swedish Firefighters, New Zealand Professional Firefighters Union and the Irish Fire and Emergency Services Association (IFESA)

Media Contact : John Kidd , Chairman IFESA 087- 6588999