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30 1981



Organisation of Fire Services

Fire authorities.

9. —(1) Each of the following local authorities shall be a fire authority for the purposes of this Act—

(a) the council of a county,

(b) the corporation of a county borough,

(c) the Corporation of Dun Laoghaire,

(d) subject to subsection (2), the corporation of any other borough and the council of any urban district which has established and is maintaining a fire brigade at the commencement of this section.

(2) Where the Minister by order provides that subsection (1) (d) shall cease to apply to a particular corporation or council that body shall cease to be a fire authority on the day specified in that behalf in the order.

(3) The functional area of a fire authority shall be—

(a) in the case of the council of a county, the administrative county, excluding any borough or urban district, the corporation or council of which is for the time being a fire authority;

(b) in the case of any other local authority, its administrative area.

(4) References in any enactment to a fire brigade authority, as defined in the Fire Brigades Act, 1940 , shall be construed as references to a fire authority.

Functions of fire authorities.

10. —(1) A fire authority shall have the functions assigned to it by or under this Act.

(2) A fire authority shall—

(a) make provision for the prompt and efficient extinguishing of fires in buildings and other places of all kinds in its functional area and for the protection and rescue of persons and property from injury by fire, and

(b) establish and maintain a fire brigade, provide premises and make such other provision as it considers necessary or desirable for such purpose, and

(c) make adequate provision for the reception of and response to calls for the assistance of the fire brigade.

(3) A fire authority shall, in the exercise of its functions under subsection (2), have regard (in addition to all other relevant considerations) to the nature of the fire hazards and the probable incidence and extent of fires in its functional area, the character of the area and the value of the property liable to be damaged by fires.

(4) Fire authorities may make arrangements for the joint discharge of any of their functions.

(5) (a) A fire authority may, by agreement, provide services for or avail of the services of any body or person other than a fire authority.

(b) An agreement under section 2 (3) (b) of the Fire Brigades Act, 1940 , in force immediately before the commencement of this section and made by a sanitary authority which becomes a fire authority, shall continue in force and shall be deemed to be an agreement under this section.

(6) (a) Whenever it appears to the Minister that an agreement under section 59 of the Local Government Act, 1955 , ought to be made between fire authorities for the purpose of any of their functions he may, after affording an opportunity to the authorities concerned to make representations to him, require them to enter into an agreement.

(b) The Minister may direct that any such agreement shall contain such terms as he may specify and the authorities concerned shall comply with any direction given by the Minister.

(7) The making of agreements under this section shall be a reserved function.

(8) It shall be the duty of a fire authority which is a party to an agreement to which this section relates to furnish the Minister with a copy of the agreement.

(9) A fire authority may send a fire brigade to any place outside its functional area, whether in the functional area of another fire authority or not and where any such fire brigade is sent outside the functional area of any fire authority, the person who is for the time being in charge thereof shall have the powers available to the person in control at a fire or other emergency under section 28 .

(10) A fire authority shall, as soon as may be after the commencement of this section and as occasion requires, make a survey to examine the location and adequacy of water supplies for fire-fighting purposes, fire-fighting equipment and fire hydrants.

Transfer of functions to fire authorities.

11. —(1) The functions of a local authority under the following enactments shall be functions of a fire authority within its functional area—

(a) the Dangerous Substances Act, 1972 ,

(b) the Explosives Act, 1875,

(c) such provisions of any other enactment as are specified by the Minister by order.

(2) A fire authority shall, within its functional area, perform the functions relating to means of escape in case of fire given to sanitary authorities in—

(a) the Safety in Industry Acts, 1955 and 1980, and

(b) the Office Premises Act, 1958 .

(3) The functions of a local authority under section 36 of the Public Health Acts Amendment Act, 1890, shall be exercisable by a fire authority with respect to means of egress in the case of fire.

Measures to be taken in consultation with Minister for Posts and Telegraphs.

12. —Where a fire authority represents to the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs that reasonable means for enabling persons in any part of its functional area to call a fire brigade are not available, that Minister shall consult with the fire authority as to the measures required to make reasonable provision for that purpose and shall take such measures as may be agreed upon.

Advice to planning authority.

13. —A fire authority may advise a planning authority in relation to the functions of the planning authority under section 26 (which relates to permission for development) and section 27 (which relates to permission for the retention of structures) of the Local Government (Planning and Development) Act, 1963 .

Co-operation between fire authorities.

14. —It shall be the duty of fire authorities to afford, on request, assistance to each other, provided that such assistance can be given without reducing fire services in the functional area of the assisting authority below a standard which it considers to be necessary and which cannot be sustained by assistance from another fire authority.


15. —(1) It shall be the duty of a fire authority to make arrangements for the efficient training of the personnel of its fire services.

(2) A fire authority may establish and maintain facilities for providing courses of instruction for the personnel of its own or other fire services and for training other persons in fire-fighting techniques, fire drill procedure, fire safety and analogous matters.

(3) The Minister may assist, as he thinks proper, fire authorities in relation to their functions under this section and may, in particular—

(a) provide or arrange for the provision of instruction for the personnel of fire services and other persons and for the establishment and maintenance of training facilities (including a national training centre) and may make charges in respect of such instruction,

(b) arrange for the conduct of examinations and tests, for the grant of certificates on the results thereof and for the recognition of certificates and other awards of other bodies.

(4) The Minister, with the concurrence of the Minister for Finance, may contribute towards the expenses of a fire authority in the provision of training facilities, subject to such conditions as he may impose concerning the availability and suitability of the facilities.

(5) The Minister, with the concurrence of the Minister for Finance, may contribute towards the expenses of a fire authority in sending members of the fire service on approved courses or in making persons available to provide training for members of other fire services or of other bodies.

Fire Services Council.

16. —(1) The Minister may by order establish a body which shall be known as the Fire Services Council (in this section referred to as the Council) to perform such services for or on behalf of the Minister or fire authorities as he may specify from time to time.

(2) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1), the Council shall at the request of the Minister—

(a) perform such functions under section 15 (3) as the Minister may assign to the Council,

(b) assist in the preparation of guidelines, codes of practice, standards or regulations relating to fire safety,

(c) undertake or arrange for research in relation to fire or fire safety matters,

(d) carry out an investigation into any fire or any operation of an emergency nature to which section 25 relates and make a report thereon to the Minister.

(3) For the purpose of an investigation under subsection (2) (d) the Council shall have discretion as to the manner in which the investigation shall be carried out and in particular may carry out the investigation wholly or partly in public and the Council or a person authorised by the Council (in this section referred to as an authorised person) may—

(a) enter at all reasonable times and inspect any land or building,

(b) take on to land or into a building any person or equipment and examine, test or take samples of any thing,

(c) by notice in writing require any person to give any relevant information or produce plans or documents and for such purpose to attend and to give evidence before the Council or an authorised person, and

(d) take evidence on oath and for that purpose administer an oath.

(4) Any person who—

(a) refuses entry to any land or building for the purpose of this section, or

(b) obstructs or impedes the Council or an authorised person in the exercise of the powers conferred by subsection (3), or

(c) fails or refuses to comply with any requirement of the Council or an authorised person, or

(d) wilfully or recklessly gives to the Council or an authorised person any information which is false or misleading in a material respect,

shall be guilty of an offence.

(5) The Local Government Services (Corporate Bodies) Act, 1971 , shall apply for the purposes of this section to a fire authority, to an order under this section as if it were an establishment order and to the Council as if it were established under such an order.

(6) The Council shall make an annual report of its activities to the Minister who shall cause it to be laid before each House of the Oireachtas.

Transfer of staff and property to fire authorities.

17. —(1) This section applies to a body being the corporation of a borough or the council of an urban district which, on the commencement of section 9 , does not become a fire authority.

(2) On the commencement of section 9 , every officer, servant or other person who, immediately before such commencement, was engaged by a body to which this section applies solely in the performance of functions of a kind conferred by this Act on a particular fire authority shall, unless that body and that officer, servant or other person otherwise agree, become an officer or servant or be engaged by that fire authority on the terms and conditions applicable to his former employment or engagement.

(3) On the commencement of section 9 , all real and personal property (including choses in action) which, immediately before such commencement, was vested in a body to which this section applies and was used solely for the purposes of functions conferred by this Act on a particular fire authority shall, unless that body and that fire authority otherwise agree, stand vested in that fire authority without any conveyance or assignment.

(4) A body to which this section applies may issue a certificate under the hand of its town clerk in respect of specified property certifying, as it thinks proper, that that property vested or did not vest under this section and the certificate shall be conclusive.

(5) Section 12 of the Finance Act, 1895, shall not apply to the vesting of property under this section.

(6) Where, by virtue of an order of the Minister under section 9 (2), a body ceases on a specified day to be a fire authority, this section shall apply to that body with effect from that day and the preceding provisions of this section shall apply accordingly subject to such modifications and ancillary provisions as the Minister considers necessary and provides for in the order.