Adding Fuel to Its Fire


Cork County Council partner with Cognate Health to improve the health of Cork’s fire-fighters, while reducing cost and improving efficiency for the Council.


Cork County Council has 220 fire-fighters across 21 Brigades. Fire-fighters are permanently employed in a retained capacity, and guarantee their availability to respond to any and all emergencies as they arise.

  Cork-County-Council-logo Adding Fuel to Its Fire  

The initial challenge is to recruit suitable candidates within the framework of strict medical and fitness guidelines. The medical covers a comprehensive fitness, audiometry, vision and hearing tests as well as a general examination of well-being and a vaccinations check-up to ensure there are no underlying disqualifying conditions such as asthma. Once the fire-fighter is recruited and has passed their probationary period, he/she undergoes periodic scheduled medical assessments.


How Cork County Council’s Fire-fighter Department has benefited from a customised occupational health solution;

(i) Healthy workforce (ii) Consistency (iii) Time management

Healthy workforce

Fire-fighters work in a stressful environment encountering all types of emergencies. The Council has a duty of care to its staff and the public it serves to ensure that fire-fighters meet the strict medical and fitness standards in place. Anna and her team were instrumental in putting these standards in place, ensuring that Cork’s firefighters can carry out their work in the safest possible manner.


It is essential that a set standard is achieved across the 21 Brigades in Cork County. All fire-fighters have to be treated equally and must know in advance exactly what level they must achieve across each test. To help achieve this consistency Cork County Council requested that the same doctor and nurse are available for all the medical assessments. As the medicals are scheduled on an annual basis, there are two meetings held between the Council and Cognate Health. The first meeting is a pre-campaign meeting where all the requirements are discussed and clarified, and any potential difficulties are anticipated and discussed prior to the commencement of the campaign. The second meeting is held at the conclusion of the campaign to assess and ensure a programme is established to resolve any outstanding issues.

Time management

One of the issues affecting Cork County Council is the wide geographic spread of the 21 Brigades across the county. In order for the fire-fighters to complete their medical assessments, travel time, travel expenses and the length of time absent from their respective towns are major issues that we must consider. Cognate Health delivered a regionalised approach to conducting the medical assessments that contribute significantly to minimising the time, cost and stress of this particular situation.

EHA Consulting
Anna Fitzpatrick, Client Relations Manager

To contact us...


Cognate Health, Ground Floor, Block B Heritage Business Park Mahon Industrial Estate, Blackrock, Cork, , Republic of Ireland

We have a network of approved occupational physicians throughout Ireland.


1890 989 322 or +353214536040 from outside Republic of Ireland .