The national Federation of firefighters, announced today its “disappointment” in the face of the responses “very limited,” François Hollande’s concerns, during his speech to their national convention which met at Tours.
“Despite some progress commendable, the sapeurs-pompiers of France consider to be very insufficient the words of the head of the State (…) in the light of their expectations and issues critical in the field of emergency (natural disasters, terrorism, technological risks… not to mention at the same time the significant change in the number of interventions on a daily basis),” says the FNSPF in a press release. “While he was committed to sustain the number of barracks, the head of the State has not provided any new response to the concerns posed by the continuation of their closures (250 from 2013, adding to the 600 between 2006 and 2012),” deplores the FNSPF.
“However, this reduction of the settlements in the territories lengthens the response time, weakens the capacity of mobilisation in mass, eroding the social bonds and makes more difficult the commitment of volunteer fire-fighters, at the same time as the context requires a strengthening of citizen engagement” details.
The head of State in his speech said “very attentive” to the issue of the closures of barracks. But “we can’t remain stuck in a demography, or geography (…) the ultimate limit that is never to leave the territories abandoned, isolated and left to themselves”, he pleaded.
It has also announced $ 20 million investment by 2017, to be split between 98 departmental Services of fire and rescue. “A portion of these credits will be used to purchase materials to protect the fire-fighters of France when they are incurred on relief operations in a context of a terrorist attack,” according to the text of the speech of the head of State.