The Athenry Fire Brigade- Summer 2005

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Rory McCarthy, Managing Director Sídheán Teo, presents the keys of fire tender to County Mayor Cllr. Willie Burke, at Athenry Fire Station. Also in the picture are: Firemen, Michael Doherty, Robert Kennedy, Michael Flannery, Jarlath Madden, Michael Raftery Chief Fire Officer; Chris McMullin, Assistant Chief Fire Officer; Liam Gavin, Director of Services Galway County Council; Jody Kilkelly Station Officer; Leo Coffey, Enda Somers, Cyril McNamara, Sub Officer and Michael Somers, retired Station Officer

Athenry Fire Brigade first came into service during the war years (1939-1945) and was operated by members of the local Security Force. (L.S.F.)

Their duties were to save life and property; there have been a lot of changes in personnel equipment and location of stations down through the years but the duties still remain the same, the present fire station at Clark St, was built in 1964 and houses one of the most up to date fire appliances in the country. It was built by Sídheán Teo, in Spiddal Co. Galway under the watchful eye of local man and managing Director Rory Mc McCarthy.

The appliance carries 1800 litres of water and equipment on board includes two high-capacity water pumps, numerous hoses, also foam generating equipment to deal with fires involving flammable liquids. Four ladders are also carried – one is capable of scaling a building 13.5 meters high. Two gas tight chemical suits used to deal with incidents involving chemicals, four automatic inflatable life jackets to carry out water rescues as well as our breathing apparatuses sets which allow firemen to enter dangerous atmospheres where there is a high level of toxic or poisonous gases present are part of the equipment. It also carries the most modern hydraulics rescue equipment which is used on an ever-increasing basis to rescue people trapped in vehicles that have been involved in a road traffic accident.

In recent years there has been a greater emphasis on our training in the use of first aid and medical equipment, It is of vital importance that fireman are skilled in the use of such equipment as we are very often the first to arrive at the scene of an accident where people require urgent medical attention, proper assessment and actions taken at this vital stage will increase the chances of the casualty making a full recovery.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank our local credit union who generously sponsored a defibrillator which enables us to treat casualties in sudden cardiac arrest situations. This lifesaving apparatus was presented to us recently by the president of Athenry Credit Union Gerry Doherty.

Being a part-time fireman requires huge dedication and commitment because a lot of people don’t realise that we all carry beepers 24 hours a day, every day of the year and they can be activated at any time. When we are required to deal with an incident there are also various training courses to be attended to regularly.

Over half our call-outs are to assist Galway City crews because we are the nearest station to Galway. Call outs locally are on the increase due to the huge growth in building developments and population in the Athenry area. Athenry Fire Brigade have participated in every major fire in the county down through the years and there is great camaraderie between all firemen regardless what station they are from. Great improvements have been carried out to our station recently and we also received new appliance and extra equipment. Staffing levels are also increasing. We are indebted to both Athenry Officers who retired recently who played a great part in bringing these changes about – Mickey Sommers who gave 32 years services and Pa Hall who gave 47 year’s Service. We wish them well in their retirement. The present crew of the Athenry Fire Brigade is.

Jody Kilkelly — Station Officer

Cyril Mc Namara — Sub officer

Michael Flannery — Driver Mechanic

Enda Sommers — Driver mechanic

Leo Coffey — Fireman

Michael Doherty – Fireman

Robert Kennedy — Fireman

Jarlath Madden – Fireman

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About this record

Written by Jody Kilkelly

Published here 09 Jan 2024 and originally published Summer 2005

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