Fianna Fáil TD for Waterford, Mary Butler has called on both sides in the ongoing dispute at Kilmacthomas Fire Station to engage in mediation in order to allow the excellent work of the firemen to continue.
Deputy Butler was commenting as the firemen have been stood down over the past two months as a result of staffing issues at the station.
“The firemen provide an excellent and vital service to the entire Kilmacthomas area, and every day that the men are stood down is a day whereby local people aren’t being provided with an extremely important service," Butler commented.
“There is an issue with regards to the numbers of men needed to be on call at any given time. Firemen feel that there simply isn’t enough staff to meet these requirements, and it is causing concern."
"This is the reason they felt obliged to take this action and remove themselves from the roster. The firemen want to work. They are available but the rostering requirements make it simply impossible to be constantly on call," she added.
“My own father worked as a retained fireman for over 26 years and I understand first-hand the commitment that is required to work as a retained fire fighter, It’s simply not in their nature not to do their job," Mary explained.
“Separately, I am concerned that promises made on the construction of a new fire station for Kilmacthomas prior to the last election aren’t being followed through by action."
“Fine Gael candidates promised a new station for 2018; that will never be kept. The Government are now saying construction will commence in 2019, and that negotiations are ongoing with the Council."
“I’ve checked with Waterford City and County Council. They have had no engagement with the Department as of yet, so it seems to me that the promises without any real commitment is continuing,” concluded Butler.
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