Chief Fire Officers call for Government funding increase

The Irish Chief Fire Officers Association (CFOA) will host its annual Conference and Fire Technology Exhibition in Tullamore, County Offaly, tomorrow (Wednesday 6th May) and Thursday.

Fire Officers, academics, industry experts, and Government and Local Government officials from Ireland and overseas will gather for the annual showcase event for Ireland’s Fire and Emergency Services sector. This year’s conference will host expert speakers from within the Emergency Services Sector and the Fire Technology/Industry in Ireland, Denmark, Spain and the UK.

There will be presentations on a wide range of topics including major emergency management, event licensing, crowd safety at large outdoor events, the licensing of businesses premises and the Local Government Change Programme.

Pat Fleming, CFOA Chairperson and Chief Fire Officer for Dublin Fire Service, said that while his keynote address will refer to the progress made by fire services throughout Ireland during the past 12 months, he will also be calling on the Government to increase the level of funding being made available to Local Authorities to invest in local fire services.

He explained: “Current expenditure by Local Authorities on fire and rescue services is €267m per annum. Proper station facilities are essential for maintaining the delivery of a fire service. Fire appliances are the work horses of the services and it is regrettable that there has been no fleet capital funding provided in recent years. Despite the competing demands for funding I will be using my keynote address to encourage the Minister to provide adequate funding to support local fire service delivery.”

“The aim of the conference and accompanying exhibition is to afford all involved in the fire and rescue area the opportunity to debate current issues and to see the latest developments in fire service appliances and equipment, and to explore the newest technology in fire service operations and fire prevention,” commented Eoin O’Ceilleachair, Conference Secretary and Offaly Chief Fire Officer.

“Offaly Fire and Rescue Service is delighted to be able to host this year’s event, the theme of which is ‘Emerging Trends – The Challenges for the Fire Service’. Over the course of the two days, speakers will attempt to provide innovative thoughts and ideas about how the Fire and Rescue Service can adapt to meet these challenges,” added Mr. O’Ceilleachair.

The CFOA comprises the Chief Fire Officers of all Local Authorities in Ireland. The Association is also a member of the Federation of European Fire officers Associations and attends their twice yearly meetings.

The CFOA Annual Conference and Fire Technology Exhibition takes place at the Tullamore Court Hotel, Tullamore, Co. Offaly, tomorrow (Wednesday 6th May) and on Thursday 7th May, 2015. Further details from www.cfoa.net.

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