Cork fire crews facing increased dangers from ‘bigger scale’ incidents – report
We’re a city rising.
But as Cork’s newer buildings stretch ever higher into the sky, it could be putting our stretched fire crews at increased risk.
A review of Cork City Fire and Building Control Department, which includes Cork City Fire Brigade, has concluded that “newer building types and construction methods, the city’s projected population growth and an already increased city population require a modernisation of all services” to ensure they continue to provide effective and efficient fire services in the future.
A strategic review conducted by Crowe Ireland Consultants concluded that, while there has been a continued reduction in ‘high demand’ incidents such as house fires in recent years, crews are facing increased dangers from ‘bigger scale’ incidents such as fire in more modern, taller buildings.
It also warned that the impacts of climate change and extreme weather events will place new demands on services.
The review made 20 recommendations, including an overarching need for modernisation and futureproofing across fire services and building control and a need for a strategic review of staffing arrangements, shift patterns, work routines and staff training along with measures to enhance workforce diversity including family-friendly and flexible staffing arrangements.
“The demands of society are rapidly changing,” said Chief Fire Officer, John Ryan.
“This review is timely and sets out a pathway for the development of the Fire and Building Control Department to ensure that it is best positioned in the future to continue to effectively serve the people of Cork.
The implementation of the change process will take place over a 36-month period, with the first stage of the plan, the design phase, commencing in quarter four of 2022, and the implementation phase set to start next year.