A report into the facilities at Arranmore Fire Station has found that it ‘does not fulfil minimum functional requirements’.
RTE has reported that the report commissioned by the Donegal Firefighters Associtaion highlighted a number of means by which the station did not meet minimum standards and was potentially putting fire fighters and the wider community at risk.
It is reported that delays in deploying the fire engine on a number of occasions is due to the positioning of the fire station, adjacent to a pub.
The report also found that because the station is so cold, fire kit and other equipment could not be sufficiently dried and also impacts on the ability of the firefighters to shower.
According to RTE the report states: “damp fire kit conducts heat more than dry kit and is therefore less proactive in a fire situation as well as being less comfortable.”
The reports continues to highlight existing problems, it says there is no proper storage for communications equipment, which leaves it susceptible to damp and dust and the cold, while “the lack of a kitchen prevents staff from accessing basic welfare facilities.”
The station is not weather proof due to its steel, glass fibre and metal panel structure.
According to RTE, the building measures 7.9 metres long and 6.2m wide and apart from a small separate toilet/shower room, the remainder of the building is undivided.
The report states: “The lack of a lecture room means that learning is carried out in poor conditions, i.e. alongside the appliance in poorly heated conditions. Safety cannot be achieved without effective training.”
The report recommends that a new station be built on a new site so that conditions can be brought up to the standard of other fire stations.
It stated: “The existing station does not fulfil minimal functional requirements nor provide firefighters with facilities conducive to safety, health and welfare as required under law. The provision to the firefighters and residents of Árainn Mhór should be no less than any other station… A new build station on a new site would be an opportunity to provide good facilities not only for firefighters but also for the wider community.”