Thursday, 28 June 1973
Dáil Eireann Debate
Mr. Timmons: asked the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to the statement made by the chairman of the Fire Officers Association about the lack of training of hospital staffs in the event of fire; and if he proposes to take any action in this matter.
Mr. R. Barry: My Department, on several occasions, have called the attention of hospital authorities in the country, including health boards, to their responsibilities in regard to fire precautions including the necessity to have hospital staff trained in fire and evacuation drills and stressing the need to have a clear chain of responsibility and authority in regard to fire precautions.
It was recommended in particular that: (a) the buildings should be examined regularly by the local fire officer, (b) fire fighting equipment should be inspected and tested out regularly, (c) regular fire drills, where specified by the local fire officer should take place and (d) adequate night patrols should be established.
In view of the statement attributed to the chairman of the Fire Officers Association I intend approaching the authorities of every hospital and nursing home in the country about this matter and to call their attention to the need to pay particular attention to the points I have outlined.
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