Firefighters average 14 minutes to reach incident in Co Cork

The average response time for firemen to reach a fire in Co Cork is 14 minutes and five seconds, according to a report released by Cork County Council.

The local authority, which is responsible for running the emergency service, said its part-time firefighters take on average five minutes and 36 seconds to get to their base before taking out their tenders.

The statistics are based on a recent survey of 195 fire-fighting operations, and of those, 43.6% were attended within less than 10 minutes.

In 40.7% of cases, emergencies were attended between 10 and 20 minutes while in 15.7% of cases, it took the fire brigade more than 20 minutes to reach the scene.

However, they take slightly longer to get to non-fire emergencies, such as traffic accidents.

The average turnout time for those was 5.46 seconds and average time to reach the scene was 15 minutes and 53 seconds.

The fire brigade managed to attend 24.39% of non-fire emergencies within 10 minutes of being notified. A further 56.1% were attended to between 10 and 20 minutes and 19.51% were attended after 20 minutes.

Those figures were based on a total of 98 call-outs.

Meanwhile, it was revealed the council’s architects’ department has appointed design teams to progress proposals to build new fire stations in Kanturk, Macroom and Clonakilty.

Sean O’Callaghan, the council’s senior executive officer in corporate affairs, reported the local authority had undertaken extensive work last year on developing a community fire safety policy by extending the free smoke alarms scheme and raising awareness with visits to schools and day care centres.

He said the council intends to develop a Facebook page which will provide valuable advice on fire prevention matters. Mr O’Callaghan added that a fire safety initiative is also being developed for transition year students.

Meanwhile, the council has put a comprehensive plan in place to deal with potential emergencies caused by weather events or accidents at major factories such as Pfizer, Ringaskiddy, Carbon Chemicals, Eli Lilly, GlaxoSmithKline and the oil terminals at Whitegate and Bantry.

The council has also played a lead role in Cork Wildfire Co-operative, which included giving presentations to farming organisations as well as assisting in controlled burning demonstrations.

It was set up to combat the amount of uncontrolled fires lit by farmers to rid their lands of gorse.

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