Cuts to city’s fire service are being considered

David Hurley

Reporter:

David Hurley

A SENIOR manager at Limerick City Council says she can’t rule out the possibility of cuts within the city’s fire service.

A SENIOR manager at Limerick City Council says she can’t rule out the possibility of cuts within the city’s fire service.

According to its budget for 2011, the local authority will spend almost €8.8 million this year running the fire service, which represents a reduction of more than €200,000 compared to last year.

However, Caroline Curley, director of service at Limerick Council, says further cost-cutting measures cannot be ruled out due to the continuing economic crisis.

“The reality of life for us is that we are constantly looking at everything in here (City Hall) to see how can we save money and that is the reality,” she said.

More than 80 firefighters and other personnel are employed by the Limerick city fire service, which operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“We are trying to cut costs, not corners. There is a reality as to the service that we have to provide but it doesn’t mean that it can’t be examined for efficiencies,” said Ms Curley.

Of the €8.8 million that will be spent running the Limerick city fire service this year, around €5.5 million will be spent on salaries and wages and it thought that any cuts in the service will focus on staffing costs.

Redundancies are unlikely and discussions will take place between council management and unions before any decision is made regarding potential cuts in salaries or wages.