Limerick City and County Council has announced that Abbeyfeale Fire Station is to close for around three weeks due to a number staff being unavailable for work due to illness.
Five of the fire fighters based in Abbeyfeale have been unable to report to duty due to illness.
The local authority says as health and safety requirements dictate that a minimum complement must be present to maintain operations, it has taken the decision to temporarily close the Station from 5pm today for a period of approximately three weeks.
All incidents normally responded to by the Abbeyfeale Fire Brigade will be dealt with by brigades in Listowel, Newcastle West and Castleisland Fire Stations.
Typically, crews from Abbeyfeale Fire Station respond to around 90 emergency call-outs each year,
“The decision to temporarily close Abbeyfeale fire station is in accordance with health and safety requirements, but we are satisfied that sufficient and appropriate fire cover is being provided by the three neighbouring stations in Listowel, Newcastle West and Castleisland,” explained Michael Ryan, chief fire officer at Limerick City and County Council.
Mr Ryan said the situation will be reviewed on daily basis but that he does not believe response times will be too badly affected in the meantime. “Listowel and Newcastle West are located 16 and 21 kilometres from Abbeyfeale and therefore, the fire service is satisfied that all response times to emergency incidents will not be significantly impacted by this temporary situation,” he said.
Abbeyfeale is one of seven fire stations in Limerick. The six remaining stations are located in Newcastle West, Kilmallock, Rathkeale, Cappamore, Foynes and at Mulgrave Street in the city.