Each year, between 800 and 1,000 calls are attended by Co. Wicklow's firefighters, ranging from chimney fires to factory fires to road traffic accidents. Wicklow Fire Service has a compliment of 101 firefighters based throughout the county in ten fire stations. In the last number of years, new fire stations have been built at Arklow, Wicklow and Blessington.
The ten retained fire brigades in Co. Wicklow are located as follows:
Each fire brigade is under the command of a station officer, who has a sub-officer to assist and deputise for him in his absence. Each brigade has one or more driver mechanics, depending upon the number of appliances at a particular station. All members of the brigades are employed on a temporary part-time retained basis.
Retained personnel are required to live and work within a reasonable distance of the fire station to which they are attached to facilitate the fastest possible mobilisation of their fire brigade.
Each station has one or two fire appliances that are equipped to deal with emergency situations. A fire appliance is generally fitted out with ladders, hoses, water tank, water pumps, foam-making equipment, breathing apparatus sets, chemical protection suits as well as a host of small equipment for various uses. All fire appliances also carry specialist equipment for use in road traffic accidents, including hydraulic crash rescue equipment with cutting and spreading tools.
Fifty drill training sessions per year are carried out in the county's fire stations. A programme is set out each year to ensure that all the basis procedures are covered. This training is carried out by the station officer.