Firefighter shortage across five Laois fire stations

Lynda Kiernan

Reporter:

Lynda Kiernan

Laois fire crews are short seven members.

Laois fire crews are short seven members.

There is a shortage of firefighters in Laois, with the local authority unable to fill seven positions across five fire stations.
Simon Walton is a Director of Services in Laois County Council.

“We are seven short of our full compliment across the eight crews. We have advertised but in the current labour market it is proving extremely difficult to fill the positions,” he said at the January council meeting.

He said however that full crews are sent out.
“We are not short of our required compliment in any station,” he said.

The council is seeking retained firefighters, male or female, in Portarlington, Abbeyleix, Durrow, Rathdowney and Stradbally.
Applicants must live and work no more than 1.5 miles from the station.

Retained firefighters are on call to respond to emergencies. Many have full or part-time jobs they can leave to respond.

In 2019 Laois County Fire and Rescue Service attended 263 fires, 265 special service incidents and 107 false alarms. The busiest station was Portlaoise with 258 turnouts, then Stradbally at 127, Portarlington 122, Mountmellick 108, Abbeyleix 88, Mountrath 67, Durrow 63 and Rathdowney 49.