16 Aug 2022

Fire crews in Derry badly hit by Covid-related absences

Claims that local station only left with one team this week

Co Kildare forest fires could be pattern throughout this summer as dry weather goes on warns emergency service with peat  workers fighting fires

The level of fire cover has been badly hit by Covid-related staff absences, according to a local politician.

Sinn Féin MLA Martina Anderson said she is concerned over claims that fire cover in the city has been compromised due to Covid-related staff shortages at Northland Road fire station.

The Foyle MLA commented: “I have been made aware of claims that the Northland Road fire station only had enough crew on duty on Monday night to staff one fire engine, and that an additional engine aerial appliance, foam appliance and mass decontamination appliance were all unavailable due to staff shortages caused by COVID19.

“If this is the case then I am deeply concerned about the lack of capacity to deal with a major incident in the city.

“The Fire Service must ensure that Derry has adequate fire cover, and that its Firefighters are safeguarded as much as possible from COVID19.

“I will be writing to the Fire Service to urgently investigate these claims and to ask what steps they are taking to ensure adequate staffing levels in the Northland Road Fire Station.”

The Derry News has contacted the Fire Service about Ms Anderson's claims but no comment has yet been made.

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