The introduction of fire and road safety awareness initiatives across Ireland in recent years has contributed to a dramatic reduction in the number of recorded fire-related deaths and emergency call-outs during the last 5 years, fire officers have reported.
Figures released by the Irish Chief Fire Officers Association (CFOA) at its annual conference in Dundalk recently showed that on average the number of fire-related call outs dropped by 14% while the number of road traffic accidents attended by Fire Services throughout Ireland decreased by 24% between 2007 and 2011.
Figures for Offaly show that call outs had fallen from 844 in 2007 to 688 in 2011, a decrease of 18%.
Overall the greatest fall was in call outs to Road Traffic Accidents which decreased from 138 in 2007 to 86 in 2010.
However there was an increase from 62 in 2010 to 86 in 2010.
Calls outs for flooding while increasing from 13 to 32 between 2007 and 2008, decreased to 9 in 2009 and four in 2010.
Also the number of ‘good intent’ phonecalls almost halved from 26 to 14 over the four year period.
Offaly Chief Fire Officer Eoin O’ Ceileachair said that the policy in relation to call outs also changed in 2008 whereby the Fire Services instead of attending all road traffic accidents, would now only attend accidents where someone was trapped in a car, they were requested by the HSE or didn’t know the condition of the person in the car.
The CFOA said that a considerable amount of work is being carried by Fire and Rescue Service units in Ireland’s 34 local authority areas to further enhance fire and road safety awareness, and that the effectiveness of the schemes were reflected in the relevant figures for the five-year period.