12/06/2008

Gorse Fires And Attacks On Firefighters Slammed

After many hundreds of malicious fires in gorge areas over the last weeks of warm weather, the NI Public Safety Minister, Michael McGimpsey has called on members of the public to do their bit in reducing both attacks on firefighters and the lighting of malicious fires.

Noting that firefighters have already attended 1,841 wildland or gorse fires right across Northern Ireland in the eight weeks to 1st June 2008, he also related that while reported attacks on firefighters in the Londonderry District have reduced - from 19 in the first six months - there have still be a dozen such attacks.

Speaking at the hand-over of two new fire appliances to the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service (NIFRS) in the North West, he said: "I would ask everyone to stop and think: Could my children or somebody I know have started the gorse fire? Could my children or somebody I know have been involved in an attack on fire fighters?

"We must all face reality and take collective responsibility for safety in our community. If these mindless attacks and fire settings continue, sooner or later we will pay a price. That price may be the life of someone you love or care about.

"That life may just be yours!" he said, dramatically, noting that everyone in the community should take action to report the perpetrators and parents have a responsibility to ensure that their children behave.

Speaking on his visit to Northland Fire Station in Londonderry, where the new vehicles will be based, the Minister said: "This demonstrates the sort of capital investment needed to ensure our firefighters can deliver a first class service.

"As part of the final Executive budget announced earlier this year, the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service will benefit from a significant £46 million investment in fire appliances, rapid response vehicles, fire stations and up-to-date IT systems.

"Delivering new fire appliances, similar to those we see here today, will be just one of the many ways this new funding will assist in supporting this essential infrastructure development programme.

"The firefighters who serve Londonderry and the surrounding areas do a tremendous job in responding to a wide range of emergency incidents from fires, road traffic collisions and other specialist rescue calls. They are a vital part of the community.

"We hope that these new appliances will rarely be needed, but it is reassuring that this equipment, and the trained firefighters to use it, are here, ready, willing and able to use it at any time, day or night."

The specialist aerial (high rise) appliance and pumping appliance represent an investment of over half a million pounds.

(BMcC)

Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

08 January 2019
Alliance Call For Intervention To Restore Devolved Gov't
Tomorrow marks two years since the Northern Ireland Executive collapsed on 09 January 2017, and the Alliance party leader has called on Secretary of State Karen Bradley to prioritise talks aimed at restoring devolution, ahead of the significant anniversary.
09 January 2019
Stormont Granted 'Veto' Power On Future EU Laws
Stormont will have the power to vote on new EU rules if the border backstop is activated, the government has proposed. A series of commitments and assurances on Northern Ireland and its place in the UK, if Brexit is to go ahead under Prime Minister Theresa May's deal, has been published.
09 January 2019
Man Arrested As Police Intercept Drugs On Route To NI
A 45-year-old man has been arrested after a package destined for Northern Ireland containing £12,000 worth of cocaine was intercepted in London. The suspicious post led police to search a property in Enniskillen and arrest the suspect on Monday 07 January.
09 January 2019
Sinn Fein Optimistic About Restoration Of Govt Two Years On
Two years on from the collapse of the Northern Ireland Executive on 09 January 2017, Sinn Fein has expressed optimism that the power-sharing institutions can be restored, but only on the basis of equality.
08 September 2014
NIFRS Warning Over Chimney Fires
The Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service (NIFRS) is reminding the public of the dangers of chimney fires, after it attended 1,762 such fires last year, representing just over 7% of all incidents in 2013. Chimney Fire Safety Week begins today, and the NIFRS is reminding the public to ensure chimneys are swept and cleaned regularly.
06 October 2015
Smoking Is Biggest Cause Of Accidental Fire Deaths In NI
Smoking is the biggest cause of accidental fire deaths in Northern Ireland, according to the Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service (NIFRS). There have been 53 accidental fire deaths over the past five years and 22 of these were as a direct result of smoking materials.
04 January 2019
DUP Launch 'After We Leave' Consultation On Post-Brexit Matters
The DUP has released two public consultation documents relating to Northern Ireland's fishing policy and future regional funds.
09 April 2013
NI Fire Service Launches Gorse Fire Appeal
The Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service (NIFRS) has released an appeal to the public following the first gorse fires of the year. NIFRS is asking people to think about the consequences of deliberate fire setting in the countryside and mountains. The Service received 548 emergency calls relating to gorse fires in the first 7 days of April alone.
11 January 2019
Worry As Deteriorating Cancer Waiting Times Revealed
Elected representatives in Northern Ireland have expressed concern at the deteriorating waiting times for cancer treatment in the region.
11 January 2019
Govt Pledges £300m Post-Brexit Peace Fund For NI
Projects to support peace in Northern Ireland are to benefit from a £300m boost from the UK Government in the wake of Brexit, it has emerged. Secretary of State Karen Bradley unveiled the funding for PEACE plus, which will succeed the scheme that is currently in place, on Thursday 10 January.
11 January 2019
Greyhound Stadium At Drumbo Park Closes
Drumbo Park Greyhound Stadium near Lisburn is set to close immediately with the loss of 44 jobs. The directors of the Lambeg venue released a statement on Friday 11 January, saying the business was no longer sustainable, blaming a shortage of greyhounds and restrictive licensing laws, as well as the growth in online gambling.
11 January 2019
DUP Slam NI Secretary's Ultimatum On Post-Brexit Peace Funding
The DUP has hit out at Northern Ireland Secretary Karen Bradley's announcement of £300million in peace funding for the region, branding it "appalling and distasteful".
11 January 2019
Health Service Approaching Medical Student Funding Crisis
Areas of Northern Ireland's health service could face cuts of £30m a year to meet the demand for medical students, the Department has warned. It follows the publication of a review into medical school places in Northern Ireland, which found that at least 100 more students are needed each year to meet the growing demand for doctors.
09 January 2019
Secretary Must Act As NI Cancer Waiting Times Worsen
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Karen Bradley, is being urged to intervene in health service matters following the release of government figures which show a deterioration in waiting times for people getting their first treatment for cancer.
09 January 2019
PSNI To Publish DNA Retention Policy
The PSNI is set to publish its DNA retention policy after settling a case with the NI Human Rights Commission (NIHRC). The document will give greater clarity to the public on how they can find out if their biometric data has been held on police file, and why. It follows a case brought about by a man who had his fingerprints and DNA kept by police.