Dublin Fire Brigade

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Dublin Fire Brigade
Operational area
Country  Ireland
City Dublin
Agency overview
Employees 900
Chief Fire Officer Patrick Fleming
Facilities and equipment
Stations 14
Engines 21
Platforms 1
Rescues 2
Ambulances 12
Rescue boats 2
Official website

The Dublin Fire Brigade (DFB; Irish: Briogáid Dóiteáin Átha Cliath) is the local authority fire and rescue service for Dublin City and the majority of the Greater Dublin Area. It is a branch of Dublin City Council. There are currently 14 fire stations manned by DFB, 12 of which are full-time, the other 2 are part-time or "retained". Full-time stations are manned by shifts across 4 watches, A, B, C & D. There are currently over 900 active personnel making it the largest fire service based on manpower and resources in Ireland.


Dublin City's first municipal fire engines were delivered in 1705. Throughout the second half of the 18th Century, insurance brigades were the primary source of firefighting for the city, operating independently for buildings bearing the mark of their respective insurance companies. Eventually the brigades began to co-operate on a competition basis with the first brigade on scene being the highest paid. It wasn't until 1862 with the enactment of the Dublin Corporation Act, that the city had an organised fire brigade. Dublin man J.R. Ingram became the first superintendent of the brigade, having worked as a fireman in New York and London. The brigade consisted of 24 men with a makeshift fire brigade station on Winetavern Street in The Liberties. In 1898 the Dublin Fire Brigade Ambulance Service was established. The turn of the century saw the brigade have its first fire stations and permanent headquarters built, with the first motorised fire engine coming on stream in 1909.

Stardust fire[edit]

Main article: Stardust fire

In the early hours of 14 February 1981, Dublin Fire Brigade received a call reporting a fire in the Stardust nightclub in Artane. Units were dispatched from both Kilbarrack fire station and North Strand fire station. When the firemen arrived they were met with scenes of panic, disorder and suffering at what would turn out be one of the worst fire disasters in the history of the state. 48 people died and 214 people were injured as a result of the fire.

Vehicles and equipment[edit]

The Dublin Fire Brigade responding to a fire at Thomas McKenzie & Sons Ltd. on Pearse Street in 1970.

The Brigade's fleet of vehicles primarily consists of Dennis Sabre Class-B Water Ladder Appliances (WrL) and more recently Scania Class-B WrL's water tankers and Dennis and Scania turntable ladder vehicles, aerial platforms and emergency tenders. Specialist vehicles such as foam tenders for assisting the Airport Fire & Rescue Service with aircraft fires & more recently tunnel response vehicles to attend incidents in the Dublin Port Tunnel are also in the fleet. Newer vehicles are based on Scania Chassis, with the marine emergency response unit, command and control unit, an emergency tender and turntable ladder to be the first on this chassis in Dublin. The Scania chassis emergency tender based in Phibsborough (No:3 station) come pre-equipped with a hiab crane on the tailgate.

Frontline vehicles are equipped with modern firefighting and rescue equipment, including 10.5 metre and 13.5 metre ladders, winches, motorised hosereels, foam inductors, cutting and spreading equipment and earthing equipment (for grounding overhead tram lines).

The majority of the Brigade's ambulances are based on the Mercedes Sprinter 512 chassis, some Ford Transit CEN compliant units are still in use, although primarily in a reserve support role for use when vehicles are being serviced, cleaned or repaired. All new District Officer's vehicles are Volkswagen Caravelle MPVs designed to act as mobile command units. These vehicles are gradually replacing the older fleet of Renault Espace MPVs and Ford Mondeos.

Emergency ambulance service[edit]

Dublin Fire Brigade Dennis Sabre appliance. Coincidentally, in attendance at the former fire brigade station at Dorset Street

In addition to fire and rescue services, the brigade also operates an emergency ambulance service alongside the HSE National Ambulance Service. Until 2007, all DFB crew were trained to a minimum of PHECC Emergency Medical Technician standard, however in light of changing requirements set down by both PHECC and the HSE, all frontline ambulance personnel are now trained to a minimum of PHECC Paramedic standard. All DFB firefighter-paramedics are required to rotate between fire and ambulance duties. In certain circumstances, a crewed fire appliance may also be despatched to ambulance calls alongside the emergency ambulance (primarily cardiac arrest calls) where additional manpower and support is required. The Brigade also has a small but growing number of Advanced Paramedics, increasing the availability of pre-hospital advanced life support to critically ill patients.[1]

Training centre and museum[edit]

The Dublin Fire Brigade Training Centre is located at the O'Brien Institute on the Malahide Road, Marino, Dublin 3. Recruit firefighter training as well as Paramedic training and specialised courses are held here. The centre also provides various other training courses such as fire marshal training and first aid training to private companies and individuals.[2] The Dublin Fire Brigade museum is also situated at the O'Brien Institute and can be visited by appointment.[3]

Fire Station Locations[edit]

The Dublin Fire Brigade currently operates 12 Full-Time Fire Stations, and 2 Retained Fire Stations, organized into 6 alphabetical response Districts(A-Alpha, B-Bravo, C-Charlie, D-Delta, E-Echo, and F-Foxtrot).


  • 21 Water Tender Ladders (19 Full-time, 2 Retained) (Delta: 11, 12, 21, 22, 31, 32, 41, 42, 51, 61, 71, 72, 81, 91, 101, 102, 121, 122, 131, 231, 241)
  • 3 Aerial Appliances (2 Turntable Ladders, 1 Hydraulic Platform) (Delta: 106, 107, 126)
  • 12 Ambulances (Delta: 14, 24, 34, 44, 54, 64, 74, 84, 94, 104, 114, 134)
  • 6 District Officer's Units (District Officer: Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Delta, Echo, Foxtrot)
  • 2 Emergency Tenders (Equipped w/Hiab Cranes) (Delta: 25, 35)
  • 2 Water Carriers (Delta: 39, 109)

The DFB also operates 1 Hazardous Materials(Haz-Mat.) Chemical Incident Unit D13, 1 High-line Rescue Unit, 1 Foam Carrier, 1 Tunnel Response Vehicle D45, 1 Water Support Pod and Prime Mover, 2 Advanced Paramedic Response Unit, 1 Incident Command Unit DICU, 1 Incident Support Unit, 1 Mini Bus, 1 General Purpose Van D108, and 2 Rescue Boats, 3 workshops ( mechanics and maintenance unit ) van, 1 crew van, 1 Major incident pod, 3 pod movers, 2 4x4's, 1 marine emergency response unit (The DFB responds to any ship or vessel on fire in Irish waters with assistance of the Irish Coast Guard)

The DFB also operates many reserve, training, and spare vehicles that are stored in the DFB training centre ( O'Brien Institute OBI ) and the DFB workshops located in Grange Gorman ( Grange Gorman Lower road ). The DFB operates 8 reserve and training WrL's ( water tender ladder) 2 reserve and training TL's ( turntable ladder ), 1 reserve ICU ( incident command unit ), reserve WrC ( water carrier/ tanker ), 8 reserve ambulances, 7 staff cars ( used as reserve district officer vehicles and for officers ), 1 reserve tunnel response unit.

Fire Station Water Tender Ladder Aerial Appliance Ambulance Special Unit Command Unit District Area
Fire Station # 1 Delta 11, Delta 12 Delta 14 Delta 113(Chemical Incident Unit), Delta 109(Water Carrier) District Officer Alpha Alpha Donnybrook
Fire Station # 2 Delta 21, Delta 22 Delta 24 Delta 25(Emergency Tender) District Officer Bravo Bravo Dolphins Barn
Fire Station # 3 Delta 31, Delta 32 Delta 34 Delta 35(Emergency Tender), Delta 103(Water Carrier), Highline Rescue Unit, Major Incident Pod, Bulk Foam Pod, Reserve Ambulances District Officer Charlie Charlie Phibsboro
Fire Station # 4 Delta 41, Delta 42 Delta 44 Delta 45(Tunnel Response Vehicle) District Officer Delta Delta North Strand
Fire Station # 5 Delta 51 Delta 54 District Officer Foxtrot Foxtrot Finglas
Fire Station # 6 Delta 61 Delta 64 Water Support Pod with Prime Mover Delta Kilbarrack
Fire Station # 7 Delta 71, Delta 72 Delta 74 Bravo Tallaght
Fire Station # 8 Delta 81 Delta 84 Alpha Rathfarnham
Fire Station # 9 Delta 91 Delta 94 Charlie Blanchardstown
Fire Station # 10 Delta 101, Delta 102 Delta 106, Delta 107 Delta 104, Delta 114 EMT-Alpha 1, Advanced Paramedic 1, Incident Command Unit, Foam Support Unit, Mini-Bus, Delta 108(Incident Support Unit), Delta 43(Foam and Environmental Unit), 2 Rescue Boats District Officer Echo Echo Tara Street (Headquarters)
Fire Station # 12 Delta 121, Delta 122 Delta 126(Hydraulic Platform) Haz-Mat. Response Pod with Prime Mover, Reserve Hydraulic Platform Alpha Dun Laoghaire
Fire Station # 13 Delta 131 Delta 134 Foxtrot Swords
Fire Station # 23(Retained) Delta 231 Foxtrot Balbriggan
Fire Station # 24(Retained) Delta 241 Foxtrot Skerries

Other Facilities[edit]

The Eastern Regional Control Centre, or Dispatch is located at Tara Street in the Echo District.

The DFB's Garage and Storage Facility/Grange Gorman is located in the Charlie District, and houses the DFB's 2 Workshop Vans, 1 Crew Bus, 5 Reserve Water Tender Ladders, 1 Reserve Aerial Appliance, 1 Reserve/Ceremonial Aerial Appliance, 1 Reserve Incident Command Unit, 1 Reserve Water Carrier, 8 reserve ambulances.

Defunct Fire Stations[edit]

Several of the city's original fire stations have closed over time as a result of improved fire prevention systems and the expansion of suburban Dublin.

One of the first pair of stations, at the junction of South William Street (1863) and Coppinger Row, is now the Dublin Civic Museum. The other original station in Winetavern Street (1863) was demolished and the Rathmines and Rathgar station (1914, former public library) at Lower Rathmines Road was most recently manned by Dublin Civil Defence but is now long-closed and semi-derelict.

Many of the following stations were designed by architect C.J. McCarthy and include the Central Fire Brigade Station on Tara Street (built 1906), which was partly de-commissioned when the adjacent Townsend Street opened. Dorset Street Fire Brigade Station (built 1901), Buckingham Street Fire Brigade Station (built 1900) which has been converted into an art studio and Thomas Street Fire Brigade Station (built 1909, funded by the adjacent distillery) which has been restored as an art gallery for the National College of Art and Design.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Phecc Gateway Services". Phecc.ie. 2012-07-20. Retrieved 2012-08-09. 
  2. ^ "Dublin Fire Brigade External Training". Dublin Fire Brigade. 2014-10-14. Retrieved 2014-10-14. 
  3. ^ "Dublin Fire Brigade Museum". Dublin Fire Brigade. 2014-10-14. Retrieved 2014-10-14. 

External links[edit]