The Cathaoirleach of Sligo County Council Councillor Tom MacSharry presented a series of awards to Sligo Fire Service personnel at a ceremony at Sligo Fire Service on Wednesday.
Fire Service Personnel Honoured
Among those attending were Mayor Councillor Gino O’Boyle, Chief Executive Ciarán Hayes, Chief Fire Officer Gerry O’Malley, Councillors Declan Bree and Chris MacManus, and Directors of Service Bartley Gavin and Tom Kilfeather
The ceremony involved the presentation of 1916 Commemorative Medals, twenty year service medals, and ten-year service certificates to those who reached the milestone of a decade of service in 2017/2018.
In his address the Cathaoirleach said ‘
I see this ceremony as an opportunity to formally convey our appreciation for the valuable role you perform in our community. Being a member of a front-line emergency response team requires a special blend of qualities, not least commitment, dedication and professionalism. To provide this level of service over an extended period of time, as you have done over many years, is an achievement to be noted and applauded.
I think today’s presentation ceremony also allows us to increase public awareness of our Fire Service, to highlight the challenges they face in the course of their duty. I think it is fair to say that the general public have a very special regard for our Fire personnel, they appreciate the importance of the work you do and the talents, experience and professionalism you bring to the role. While responding to emergency situations lies at the core of your work, the role of the Fire Service is much broader – in broad terms you are responsible for a range of Fire safety, Enforcement and Emergency Management Services. These services are delivered across our four units in Sligo, Ballymote, Tubbercurry and Enniscrone.
It is a special source of pride for Sligo County Council that our Fire Service have an exemplary record when compared with national standards, and this has been highlighted in relation to measured response times. In the last published statistics, Sligo was the only fire service to break the 4 minute mark for mobilisation to fires, and there are only 2 other fire authorities that mobilised in less than 5 minutes. I think this is a remarkable achievement and reflects great credit on each and everyone of our Fire Service personnel.
Extensive engagement with the local community has also been the hallmark of Sligo Fire Service, both by hosting visits by schools and other groups at the Fire Station, and also through delivering talks and fire safety programmes in schools and work-places. The nature of your work demands a continuing level of training in both core and specialist skills, with the recent expansion of your remit into the realm of ‘Swift Water Rescue’ I wish to commend Gerry O’Malley and his team for their hugely important work in this area.
There is a great sense of loyalty and camaraderie between the various front-line response agencies, Fire Service, Gardaí, ambulance personnel. You have shown in the many exercises conducted in recent years that this partnership provides a re-assuring foundation in the event of a real emergency. People with this level of experience are an invaluable resource to this Authority and the people of County Sligo.’