A new Clare County Fire and Rescue Service maintenance workshop in Ennis, Co. Clare, was officially opened by Darragh O’Brien TD, Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage.
The €1.23m facility, which was completed in May, is located at the Central Fire Station Headquarters and replaces the single-bay workshop in the station that was built in 1979.
The new workshop features a two-bay maintenance facility and a two-bay spare appliance storage unit that will enable Clare County Fire and Rescue Service to meet today’s much more onerous requirements for comprehensive inspection, testing and maintenance of plant and equipment. The fleet size and range of equipment has expanded significantly since the original workshop was built in 1979.
Speaking at the official opening, Minister O’Brien said, “I’m delighted to be in Ennis to open this new maintenance workshop. I know the Clare County Fire and Rescue team are proud of the service they provide to the people of Clare, and this upgraded facility will help them continue that important work. The funding we provide for projects such as this is a clear demonstration of the Government’s support for our fire service and the work they do in protecting people, communities, our property and our infrastructure.”
“The pandemic has provided a stark reminder of how grateful we should be to those on the frontline of our emergency services, and I’d like to sincerely thank the staff and crew of all our fire services across the country for their dedication and work.”
Commenting on the new facility Cllr PJ Ryan, Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council, said, “the development of this modern and well-equipped facility represents a significant boost for Clare County Fire and Rescue Service. It is reassuring that investment in the Fire Service is continuing and that facilities are being delivered to enable the proper upkeep and maintenance of essential machinery.”
Main works carried out included the demolition of older buildings, diversion of services, construction of the new workshop, and the supply, installation and commissioning of garage equipment including a truck scissors lift and brake tester.
Facilities in the new workshop include a new truck wash area, welfare facilities, an office, a drying room, an energy efficient heating system, new insulated roller shutter doors and non-slip resin floors throughout the building.
Pat Dowling, Chief Executive, Clare County Council, said, “the new maintenance workshop in Ennis meets the requirements of a modern and efficient Fire Service. The workshop facilities will support the provision and maintenance of a quality Fire Service for the whole county.”
Carmel Kirby, Director of Physical Development, Clare County Council, said, “Clare County Fire and Rescue Service attended more than 1,000 call-outs in 2020. The Service also has an essential role in fire prevention and fire safety awareness. I would like to acknowledge the firefighters and support staff of Clare County Fire and Rescue Service for the exceptional service they provide year-round to the general public in County Clare.”
Adrian Kelly, Clare Chief Fire Officer, said, “the fire-fighting capability of Clare County Fire and Rescue Service has been enhanced through the provision of the new maintenance workshop. This facility provides a modern workshop with the latest maintenance and diagnostics technology that will enable the Fire Service to ensure its fleet and equipment is maintained to the highest standards and to comply with the latest health and safety requirements.”
Clare County Fire and Rescue Service currently is made up of 91 staff, including firefighters, officers, administration and maintenance personnel. Two full-time mechanics carry out the maintenance of all the Fire Service fleet and a significant amount of the equipment.
The Fire Service fleet includes 24 Fire Service trucks, nine four-wheel drive vehicles and vans, and a forklift. Equipment includes trailers, portable pumps, floating pumps, positive pressure ventilation fans and generators.
This new Fire Service Maintenance Workshop will enhance Clare County Fire and Rescue Service’s commitment to health and safety in maintaining its ISO 45001 Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) Management System accreditation, which is the international standard for OH&S.