Firefighters in Civil Protection fallout

in News · 13-12-2018 09:28:00 · 0 Comments
Firefighters in Civil Protection fallout

The Portuguese Firefighters League (LBP) has taken the unusual step of refusing to pass on information regarding its operations and occurrences to the country’s various CDOS - District Relief Operations Commands, which are overseen by the Civil Protection Authority, boycotting communication between the two in a bid for autonomy for firefighters.

The LBP halted all operational communications with the CDOS at midnight on Sunday, but said the provision of help is not being jeopardised.
For its part, Portugal’s Civil Protection Authority (ANPC) said a “prompt and effect” service to the population is being maintained, despite a void in the usual liaising between the two.
Home Affairs Minister Eduardo Cabrita slammed the suspension of communications, deeming the measure “illegal” and “irresponsible”, and saying it “puts people’s safety at risk as it affects the coordination of means of response”.
In Lisbon, the Civil Protection Authority has been kept in the dark about around 60 percent of the occurrences attended by local firefighters, whereas in Aveiro, over 90 percent of occurrences went uncommunicated.
Overall, the number of cases reported by the firefighters to the Civil Protection on Sunday and Monday were down by more than half in comparison to the same dates of 2017.
However, the Algarve’s fire-fighters have gone against the LBP’s decision to stop reporting details of their operations to the ANPC, and refused to jump on the bandwagon.
The head of the southern district’s rescue operations said on Monday communication between the two Algarve parties was “normal”, and would remain so.

The LBP has said it will continue with its boycott until the government is prepared to sit down and negotiate.
Firefighters reportedly want to show that they can handle their affairs “autonomously”, without needing an “extra” command.
They want the ANPC to “coordinate” the various entities involved in the country’s response and rescue services, such as the GNR and PSP police, INEM emergency medics, firefighters and even the military, but like other public entities, they want to have their own independent national board, “under the autonomy of firemen and chosen by firefighters”, as explained Marta Soares, head of the LBP.
The main bone of contention is a proposal by the government on the Organic Law of Civil Protection.
The Government approved, in a Cabinet meeting held on 25 October, 2018, a proposal to amend the Organic Law of the National Civil Protection Authority (ANPC), which will be renamed the National Authority for Emergency and Civil Protection (ANEPC).
With this proposal, the Government will do away with the current 18-district operations and relief commands (CDOS), and create five regional commands and 23 sub-regional emergency and civil protection commands.
The Government wants the new model of Civil Protection to have a metropolitan or inter-municipal basis. The Executive’s proposal also foresees the creation of a National Fire Department with financial autonomy and its own budget, chief will be designated after hearing the LBP.
The decree also provides for volunteers to stop participating in the initial response to rural fires, with this task being handed over to the GNR Protection and Relief Intervention Group.
After being approved in the Council of Ministers, this proposal was in public consultation with the LBP and the National Association of Portuguese Municipalities, which also contests it.
The Government’s proposal has been challenged by the LBP since it was made public.
The LBP deems the proposal “completely misadjusted from the reality of the country” and believes it will interfere in the autonomy of the firemen’s associations.
The LBP wants a national, independent fire department with its own budget, an autonomous management, and a firefighter’s social card.


Be the first to comment on this article
Interactive Topics, send us your comments/opinion on this article.

Please note that The Portugal News may use selected comments in the printed edition of the newspaper.