A WEST Cork councillor has called on Cork County Council to replace fire-fighting water tankers in Bantry and Bandon as ‘a matter of urgency.’
Cllr Danny Collins (Ind) raised the issue at a Western Division meeting in Clonakilty, saying: ‘The whole of West Cork is reliant on having these special water appliances available in the case of an emergency.’
In times of a major fire – such as the fish factory fire in Baltimore – and big gorse fires, Cllr Collins said the local fire-fighting crews rely on back-up from other fire-fighting crews, as well as a back-up water supply carried in tankers.
Louis Duffy, the environmental director of services, informed the councillors that ‘until suitable replacements and necessary funding can be sourced, a second fire appliance is available in Bandon and Bantry fire stations.’
He said these appliances are available on a callout arrangement similar to the water tankers and will provide additional water carrying and pumping capacity, which will permit fire crews to set up water relays or shuttle water should the need arise.’
But Cllr Collins argued that both stations have always had a second fire truck and what is needed is a dedicated water tanker in both Bantry and Bandon, which arecapable of carrying 10,000 litres of water. He said the water tanker in Bantry came to the end of its life in February and the Council has told them it does not have the funds to replace it. He maintained: ‘It’s just not good enough.’