Portlaoise and Portarlington the busiest fire stations in Laois this year

Lynda Kiernan

Reporter:

Lynda Kiernan

Portlaoise and Portarlington the busiest fire stations in Laois this year

Laois' eight fire stations sent crews to 619 emergency incidents so far in 2020.
Portlaoise station was by far the busiest with 257 callouts, followed by Portarlington with 112.

Next was Mountmellick station with 93, Durrow with 78, Stradbally with 74, Abbeyleix with 68, Mountrath with 64 and Rathdowney with 51.

The incidents broke down into 261 fires, 262 special service incidents, and 96 false alarms.

The statistics were given to the November meeting of Laois County Council.

The first Covid-19 lockdown earlier this year brought a huge change in the type of emergency callouts for Laois County Fire and Rescue Service, their latest update has revealed.

The lack of traffic on the roads brought about a marked decrease in road collisions. However there was a huge increase in illegal burning.
“During the first three months of the Covid-19 pandemic there was a 400% increase in deliberately set outdoor fires (rubbish, trees, etc).
“There was a 50% decrease in road traffic accidents,” the service said.

An update on new equipment and upgrades of stations was also given.
Work on a new 4x4 garage for Mountrath station is almost complete. That station has also got a new fire service drill tower, to be ready by the end of December, all at a cost of €130,000.

Work is also just finished on a new trench rescue training facility in Abbeyleix, costing €30,000. The works are funded by the National Directorate Fire and Emergency Management.

In Mountmellick planning and design for a €150,000 upgrade is underway. The station will get a concrete yard at the back and a new fire service drill tower.

There was €140,000 provided this year for a new water tanker for Laois, with delivery expected in mid 2021.
The fire service has also ordered 120 new sets of protective fire clothing.