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Pictured cutting the ribbon at the official opening of the Clare County Fire and Rescue Service maintenance workshop in Ennis, Co. Clare, is Darragh O’Brien TD, Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, with (l-r): Carmel Kirby, Director of Physical Development, Clare County Council; Adrian Kelly, Clare Chief Fire Officer; Cllr PJ Ryan, Cathaoirleach, Clare County Council; Pat Dowling, Chief Executive, Clare County Council; and Al Meaney, Brigade Mechanic, Clare County Fire and Rescue Service. Photo: Eamon Ward.

€1.2m workshop gives boost to fire services

A BOOST for the services delivered by seven fire stations across Clare is on the cards with the official opening last Friday, August 27, of a new maintenance workshop to cater for a fleet of 24 trucks.
The workshop in Ennis was formally launched by Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien, and blessed by Ennis Parish Priest, Fr Tom Ryan. The €1.23m facility was completed in May at the Central Fire Station Headquarters beside Áras Chontae an Chláir.
It will help to ensure the quality of the service, which responded to 1,000 incidents and calls over the course of 2020 alone.
The workshop features a two-bay maintenance facility and a two-bay spare appliance storage unit that will enable Clare County Fire and Rescue Service to meet today’s onerous requirements for comprehensive inspection, testing and maintenance of plant and equipment
At a socially-distanced gathering outside the Fire Station HQ, Minister O’Brien thanked the emergency services who work daily to ensure public safety.
“I have immense regard for the men and women of the emergency services,” he said.
“I also extend personal thanks to the local government sector which, during the pandemic, has really shown what’s best about local authorities and I want to thank the staff and members as well as local Oireachtas members.”
Commenting on the new facility Cllr PJ Ryan, Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council, described the modern well-resourced facility as a great boost.
“It is reassuring that investment in the fire service is continuing and that facilities are being delivered to enable the proper upkeep and maintenance of essential machinery,” he said.
Pat Dowling, Chief Executive of Clare County Council, said that the new maintenance workshop in Ennis meets the requirements of a modern and efficient service.
“The workshop facilities will support the provision and maintenance of a quality Fire Service for the whole county,” he said.
Carmel Kirby, Director of Physical Development, said the service also has an essential role in fire prevention and fire safety awareness.
“I would like to acknowledge the firefighters and support staff of Clare County Fire and Rescue Service for the exceptional service they provide year-round to the general public in County Clare,” she said.
Adrian Kelly, Clare Chief Fire Officer, who was MC for the official opening, said the fire-fighting capability of Clare County Fire and Rescue Service has been enhanced through the provision of the state-of-the-art workshop.
“This facility provides a modern workshop with the latest maintenance and diagnostics technology that will enable the Fire Service to ensure its fleet and equipment is maintained to the highest standards and to comply with the latest health and safety requirements,” he said.
Clare County Fire and Rescue Service currently is made up of 91 staff, including firefighters, officers, administration and maintenance personnel.
Two full-time mechanics carry out the maintenance of all the Fire Service fleet and a significant amount of the equipment.
The service fleet includes 24 trucks, nine four-wheel drive vehicles and vans, and a forklift. Equipment includes trailers, portable pumps, floating pumps, positive pressure ventilation fans and generators.
Facilities in the new workshop include a new truck wash area, welfare facilities, an office, a drying room, an energy efficient heating system, new insulated roller shutter doors and non-slip resin floors throughout the building.

About Fiona McGarry

Fiona McGarry joined The Clare Champion as a reporter after a four-year stint as producer of Morning Focus on Clare FM. Prior to that she worked for various radio, print and online titles, including Newstalk, Maximum Media and The Tuam Herald. Fiona’s media career began in her native Mayo when she joined Midwest Radio. She is the maker of a number of radio documentaries, funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI). She has also availed of the Simon Cumbers Media Fund to report on development issues supported by Irish Aid in Haiti. She won a Justice Media Award for a short radio series on the work of Bedford Row Project, which supports prisoners and families in the Mid-West. Fiona also teaches on the Journalism programmes at NUI Galway. If you have a story and would like to get in touch with Fiona you can email her at fmcgarry@clarechampion.ie or telephone 065 6864146.

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