The time it takes Cork’s firemen to attend emergencies has been praised by Cork County Council.
The council runs the fire service and its part-time personnel take, on average, just five minutes and 30 seconds to get to their stations.
The report is based on 336 call-outs for fires between January and the end of September, and was compiled by Louis Duffy, the council’s director of environmental services.
The average time it took brigades to respond to fires was 13 minutes and 19 seconds. Of the 336 call-outs, fire brigades arrived in less than 10 minutes for 44.4% of cases, while 38.4% were on the scene within 10 to 20 minutes. 17.2% took more than 20 minutes.
Mr Duffy said retained staff were excellent at responding, as they could be at their daily jobs, or be in bed at night, when an emergency call came through.
He also said the time it took to get to fires was good, especially as many fire brigades have to cover large rural areas, with poor road connections.
The breakdown on fire brigade crews’ response to non-fire emergencies was based on 222 call-outs.
The average turnout time was five minutes and 46 seconds and the average time it took to get to the scene was 14 minutes and 57 seconds.
Mr Duffy said that of these call-outs, 28.8% were answered in under 10 minutes, 58.8% in under 20 minutes, and 12.4% in over 20 minutes.
Cllr Noel McCarthy said he was very impressed with the fire brigades’ reaction times.
Meanwhile, Mr Duffy said that fire brigade personnel were continuing to get additional training.
“One of our fire officers successfully completed the hazardous materials course delivered by the National Directorate for Fire and Emergency Management,” the senior council official said.
“A three-week, initial recruits training course was completed by new recruits in September.
“This training course followed the recently adopted national syllabus, introduced by the National Directorate for Fire and Emergency Management,” Mr Duffy added.
Non-recruits also undertook a number of training and refresher courses, which included first-aid and road-traffic collision exercises.
During June, the fire department visited a number of primary schools and provided demonstrations of simulated chip-pan fires in houses.
Groups of schoolchildren also visited a number of fire stations.
Mr Duffy said group visits to fire stations could be accommodated on request.
Meanwhile, he also issued a report on the activities of Civil Defence units.
During the same period as was examined for fire-brigade activity, the Cork North Civil Defence Unit provided first-aid and ambulance cover at 20 different events.
They also attended a Mallow inter-agency exercise and a flood-defence demonstration in the same town.
The Cork West Civil Defence Unit was equally active.
They helped in the search for a missing 78-year-old man, who was found safe, within three hours, in Reen Woods, Union Hall.
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