The first responder jeep in Mountrath fire station is parked behind the fire tanker in the station which results in a number of minutes lost each time there is an emergency.
The jeep is parked behind the fire tanker because there is no other space for it at the fire station.
The jeep is the first responder in cases of cardiac arrest, accidents and emergencies but whenever it is needed, the fire tanker has to be moved out of the way first losing valuable time in an emergency.
The lack of storage space is ‘disgraceful’ and ‘frustrating’ according to Cllr James Kelly who passed a notice of motion about the station at the February Borris-in-Ossory/Mountmellick Municipal District meeting.
“I was shocked to be informed at the meeting that in 2015 Minister Alan Kelly announced a Capital Improvement Programme and to date approval has not been received from the National Directorate for Fire & Emergency Management.
“It is now three years since there was a commitment to provide the funding for a new storage facility at the station which is a requirement as a responder for Fire and Emergency and that is why I am calling on Laois County Council Fire Services to seek approval immediately to provide this facility.
“In a number of cases the firefighters will use the tender as they cannot wait to get the jeep out of the building if they are to respond immediately.
“Three years is disgraceful for for frontline support, they should be looked after,” he said.
Laois County Council said that providing a storage facility for the jeep in Mountrath was part of the Capital Improvements announced in 2015 by the former Minister Alan Kelly and to date approval has not been received from the National Directorate for Fire and Emergency Management.
A total of €35,000 was granted to provide the storage facility at the time.
“There are serious issues here for the fire station in Mountrath with the jeep and fire tanker. The jeep is kept in on the inside to fit the machines in. The jeep is responsible for accidents and cardiac arrests and it goes to every emergency It should not be waiting an extra three or four minutes to get out when someone is suffering cardiac arrest,” Cllr Kelly added.