National Directorate for Fire and Emergency Management - FAQs
What does the National Directorate do?
The National Directorate creates an effective model of integrated leadership, development support and oversight by central government (under the aegis of the Local Government Division of the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage) of local authorities’ provision of consistently effective, safe and value for money fire and emergency services in Ireland.
The National Directorate supports the Local Authorities by making improvements in the fire services work arrangements. We try not to interfere with what is in place locally but suggest ways that it can be improved.
These two fire service policy documents developed by the National Directorate became national policy in early 2013:
- “Keeping Communities Safe” – A framework for Fire Safety in Ireland (KCS).
KCS deals with issues including reform of delivery structures, roles of fire services for society, and sets norms, standards and targets for the provision of safe and effective fire services in Ireland.
- “CAMP – The next Generation” - Further Development of Fire Services Communication and Information Facilities.
The health and safety of firefighters is very important to the National Directorate. The programme of Standard Operating Guidelines (SOGs) published for fire authorities suggest the best way to work safely for all sorts of operational activities. In total 47 SOGs have been developed for fire authorities to help them to work under the Fire Services legislation and the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work legislation.
The SOGs development programme, which caters for specific situational risk assessments, follows previous operational guidance on other relevant aspects of risk assessment for fire services which have included:
How will change happen?
The National Directorate for Fire and Emergency Management has a Management Board, a Consultative Committee and a National Director with administrative support provided by a section in the Department. The Management Board provides for integration of different strands of service management, with appropriate external members. It establishes priorities, supports policy-making and oversees consistent implementation of nationally-determined priorities and policies. The Consultative Committee provides a forum for representation/consultation with interested groups. The Consultative Committee membership reflects the core business areas of the Directorate.
Does the Directorate have any powers?
Fire and Emergency Services are provided by fire authorities (local authorities) as set up by the Fire Services Acts 1981 and 2003. The role of the Directorate, under the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, is to support the development of policy and the provision of training support to the fire authorities’ fire and emergency services. This includes the provision of funding for fire stations, appliances and equipment, and communications facilities.
What is Minister’s role?
The Directorate reports to the Minister through the normal Departmental structures. It develops new or amended policy issues for approval and responds to Ministerial policy initiatives for the fire and emergency services. The Minister’s responsibility to the Oireachtas was unchanged following the establishment of the Oireachtas in 2009.
What is Department’s role?
The National Directorate for Fire and Emergency Management operates under the aegis of the Local Government Division of the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage. The Department engages with the fire services at a local level through the National Directorate and its relationship with the Local Authorities.
How is training supported?
Training at national and local levels is a very important and necessary function in the fire and emergency services. The annual central training programme is provided by the National Directorate. The courses meet QQI requirements.
National Directorate for Fire and Emergency Management
The Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage
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