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Island fire station damned

A FORMER Senior Fire Officer has called for a purpose built fire station at a new location on Arranmore Island.

James Murphy, who was a senior figure with Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service for over 30 years, made the call in a report he published about the station. The damning report, commissioned by the Donegal Firefighters’ Association, found the station “does not fulfil minimal functional requirements”.

The investigation uncovered that wet fire kits and other equipment could not be dried, meaning they were less protective in a fire situation. Equipment was also stored in a “haphazard and unsecure” manner and breathing apparatus cylinders were stored above a heating appliance.

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Fire trucks have been delayed exiting the station because of its current location where parking at the adjacent bar is causing congestion. The ramp sloping down to the station is also a concern especially in flood situations as there is inadequate drainage.

The report found that the standard of heating within the station was “unlikely to conform with requirements” under laws relating to Safety Health and Welfare at Work.

“The existing station does not fulfil minimal functional requirements nor provide firefighters with facilities conducive to safety, health and welfare as required under law. The provision to the firefighters and residents of Arranmore should be no less than any other station,” said Mr Murphy.

In his recommendations Mr Murphy said a new build station should be considered.

“The existing structure is too small to allow for remodelling. A new station may be more cost effective than extending and upgrading the existing structure. The existing site is not ideal, a combination of parking issues with the adjacent bar and the forecourt sloping into the station suggest that an alternative site would be preferable,” he said.

Speaking about the report’s findings Donegal TD Pearse Doherty (SF) said: “This is incredible in this day and age and should not be tolerated.”

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Donegal News is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
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