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Minister’s tribute to response to ’09 flooding

THE role played by the Clare fire and rescue service in responding to the flooding in Ennis in 2009 was recalled by the Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan last week at the official launch of a new fire service training centre in Ennis costing nearly €500,000.
The Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government invested almost €470,000 in the facility as part of the Government’s continuing investment in the fire services.
The minister said, “The training needs of today’s fire service personnel are wide and diverse. The opening of this new facility in Ennis will ensure the provision of high-quality training to fire fighters into the future.”
Speaking about the flooding in late 2009, the minister paid tribute to the county manager, Tom Coughlan; chief fire officer, Adrian Kelly and director of service, Ger Dollard for the leadership, professionalism and dedication displayed at that time. “I understand that management and staff worked around the clock to ensure that the threat posed by the flood waters to property and life was minimised. The response was a credit to everyone involved. The experience and insights gained will no doubt shorten the learning curve for others in the emergency management sector,” he said.
Minister Hogan recallewd the fire in Cork, which claimed the lives of members of the O’Dwyer family last week. He also paid tribute to the dedication and professionalism of fire fighters. “Following the death of five-year-old Ryan and his aunt, Helena, our thoughts and prayers are with the O’Dwyer family at this distressing time. This tragedy also reminds us of the particular challenges and demands, which are faced by those in the front line of the fire and rescue services,” he said.
During 2011, the local fire service will provide over 40 training courses with an estimated 400 places available to fire service personnel. These courses will include wildland firefighting, initial and refresher breathing apparatus, road traffic accident techniques, AED/CFR, emergency first responder (medical), emergency fire appliance driver training, hazardous materials and general firemanship.
Ennis Fire Station is currently made up of nine senior fire officers, one whole-time station officer, 15 retained firefighters, three administration staff and two fitter mechanics. The Ennis Fire Station Service fleet consists of six vehicles, including two class B fire appliances, one water tanker, one emergency tender, one aerial appliance and one four-wheel drive.

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