Ban on Coast Guard vehicles using blue lights and sirens will 'seriously hamper' response time

Ban on Coast Guard vehicles using blue lights and sirens will 'seriously hamper' response time
File photo.

The Minister for Transport is being asked to explain a ban on the Coast Guard using blue lights and sirens while driving to emergencies.

Sinn Féin's transport spokesperson says the signals are the only way to alert traffic that a rescue crew is trying to get through - and banning them could cost lives.

Imelda Munster says the sirens are only used to alert motorists that a Coast Guard crew is trying to get through traffic. She says stopping that could cost lives.

"The Coast Guard are part of the blue light services that respond to normal emergencies and their vehicles are already fitted with blue lights and sirens," she said.

It will seriously hamper them being able to respond to an emergency in the fastest possible time.

Ms Munster says she will raise the recent directive in the Dáil.

"It made little or no mention of training the members and volunteers up to this particular standard.

"Surely the first thing would have been to do, rather than adopt a retrograde step like that that seriously hampers their ability to respond, they should have at the very least given a timeframe of when the training was to start and a completion date."

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