Bray Sinn Féin is calling for an urgent traffic impact survey to be carried out amid major concerns that retained firefighters will struggle to make it to the fire station in time for emergency call outs.
Speaking on the issue, Cllr Dermot ‘Daisy’ O’Brien said “With multiple developments along the Boghall road and Southern Cross road at the moment and much more to come, I see a huge challenge for fire fighters coming from any direction to be confident that they will make it to the station on time. If we imagine a call going out first thing in the morning for example and consider a firefighter coming from anywhere in Bray with absolutely no right to skip the traffic, he or she is going to be sitting in gridlock with everyone else counting down the minutes and thinking about the urgency of getting to the station! Consider the officer in charge and other firefighters waiting at the station and knowing that a truck can’t leave until it has a full complement! Meanwhile a life or death situation could be playing out where every minute matters.”
“A full time fire service is the obvious and logical solution to the ongoing challenges with our Fire Service growing and developing in parallel to the growth and development of our town but in the meantime there might be merit in exploring the option of a number of full time positions on a roster that will ensure in particular that during peak traffic times the service will not be compromised.”
Cllr McManus added “On top of the health and safety concerns for the wider community of Bray, it’s also not hard to imagine the stress that our firefighters would be under when trying to navigate gridlock traffic in emergencies. We have a responsibility to consider the impact of this scenario on the wellbeing of our staff, and mitigate the harms as best we can, until the full independent review of the Fire Service that was agreed upon is completed and can be actioned. I believe a traffic impact survey would be a positive step in that direction.”
Wicklow TD John Brady said “North Wicklow has changed dramatically over the last 20 years, the population has increased substantially, there are high rise developments right across Bray now, with plans also in place for new 8 storey apartments. However, with all these changes across the community, the Fire service has essentially remained the same.”
“With all the new developments that are taking place across North Wicklow, it is questionable if any consideration has been given to the impact they will have on the Fire Service. We still await an Independent report on the Fire Service, this is something we will continue to push for, in the meantime there is an urgent need for a traffic impact survey to be carried out to establish the risks posed to the firefighters trying to get to the station once alerted of an emergency and then making their way to the scene.