Pressing need for south Connemara fire service

Lives in the south Connemara area are being put in jeopardy because of a serious lack of fire services, according to Galway senator Fidelma Healy Eames.

The Fine Gael senator has written to the Minister for Housing and Local Services, Michael Finnernan TD, seeking funding for a local fire serice for this area which is currently serviced by Clifden or Galway city.

Speaking on the issue in the Seanad yesterday, Senator Healy Eames said “lives are being put in jeopardy and premises have been destroyed due to the fact that south Connemara does not have ready access to a local fire service. The nearest fire stations are located at Clifden, which is 45 miles away, and Galway city, which is up to 50 miles away. When emergencies arise, valuable time is being lost by the fire services travelling to the scene when it could be better spent dealing with the situation if south Connemara was facilitated with its own station.

“There is a pressing need for a fire station, which can house at least one fire truck, to be located at either Casla or Carraroe which are mid-points within the region. There have been some devastating consequences as a result of critical time lost, waiting for Galway Fire Service to respond to emergencies in this area.”

Senator Healy Eames then described how a house in Tir an Fhia which had been struck by lightning last Christmas suffered serious damage as it took the fire service 90 minutes to get to the scene. An elderly woman in the Carraroe area was forced to wait an hour until the fire service was able to reach her burning house, and a young man was trapped in his car for an hour before he was attended to.

The senator said that providing just one truck in this area could reduce the time taken for emergency services to attend to accidents and would ultimately save lives.

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