The Cathaoirleach of Sligo County Council Councillor Hubert Keaney has honoured Sligo Fire Service personnel for their service over many years. At a ceremony in County Hall Members of Sligo and Enniscrone Units were presented with long-service certificates, and a special presentation was made to retained Fire-fighter Cyril McNamara who retired from the Service in 2016.
In his address, the Cathaoirleach said the ceremony ‘presents an opportunity to formally acknowledge 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. 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 and attributes 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. You also have extensive engagement with our various communities, 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, and 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, Gardai, 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. I think the Fire Service personnel here today can take great pride in their achievement. People with this level of experience are an invaluable resource to this Authority, and indeed to the general public. I hope you appreciate that the regard in which you are held by Sligo County Council is shared by the community you serve.’