02 August 2019
DUP Leader Rt. Hon. Arlene Foster MLA will meet with the Fire Brigades Union on Monday (5 August).
This meeting relates to news that the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service is planning “risk assessed temporary measures” which could lead to five full-time fire stations being reduced to part-time cover.
Speaking ahead of the meeting Mrs Foster said,
“Our Fire and Rescue Service provide a vital service to everyone who lives or works in Northern Ireland. The dedication and bravery of our firefighters saves lives in the most challenging circumstances. They regularly place themselves in danger to save protect life. They must be properly paid and equipped.
I am deeply concerned by plans to reduce cover in five provincial stations. I want to use this meeting to gain a better understanding of the challenges. My core concern is the safety of people living in Northern Ireland.
Budget realities will always exist. There is no infinite supply of resources but this public service crosses all boundaries in Northern Ireland and stands between life and death on a daily basis.
It is far from ideal that we have no Executive nor Ministerial oversight of the NIFRS for the last two and a half years. Whilst a local Minister would still be operating in a fiscally tight environment, they would have been getting to grips with this matter at much earlier stage.”