Liga dos Bombeiros deeply concerned by lack of dialogue on civil protection during WYD

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The Portuguese Firefighters League today expressed its “deep concern” at the “lack of dialogue” from the National Authority for Emergencies and Civil Protection (ANEPC) regarding World Youth Day, to be held in Lisbon during the first week of August.

This was one of the conclusions of the meeting of the National Council of the Portuguese Firefighters League (LBP), held today in Póvoa do Lanhoso, in the district of Braga.

In a statement, the LBP says the national councilors also approved a vote of regret for the victims of the forest fires that occurred on June 17, 2017, six years ago, after holding “a minute’s silence in their memory”.

In addition, they deliberated to express their “deep concern for the lack of dialogue” that has existed between the National Authority for Emergency and Civil Protection (ANEPC) and LBP regarding World Youth Day, and to demand “a subsidy plan for volunteer firefighter humanitarian associations and firefighters specifically for the event”.

Considered the biggest event of the Catholic Church, the WYD will take place from August 1 to 6, and around 1.5 million people are expected to attend, almost three times the population of the city of Lisbon. Pope Francis will also be present.

The day’s main ceremonies take place in Parque Tejo, north of Parque das Nações, on the banks of the Tagus, on land owned by the municipalities of Lisbon and Loures.

Liga dos Bombeiros deeply concerned by lack of dialogue on civil protection during WYD

LBP also denounced the fact that “ANEPC has not dialogued with LBP on the administrative conditions, selection criteria and operational framework of the firefighters who are part of the joint force fighting fires in Canada” and regretted that “to date, it has not been possible to adjust the compensation amounts or expenses of the personal accident insurance of volunteer firefighters, particularly with regard to the treatment of severe burns”.

The National Council also decided to demand “that the SIOPS [Integrated System of Protection and Rescue Operations] regulatory diploma be immediately revised with regard to firefighters’ participation in operational coordination centers, including the LBP, as a right and not as a guest subject to ANEPC’s free will”.

The League of Portuguese Firefighters also decided to salute the firefighters who took part in international missions this year, including those who are part of the joint force fighting fires in Canada, recognizing their value and self-sacrifice to the cause, and the Minister of Health “for his willingness to find mechanisms to adjust the values practiced in the transport of urgent and non-urgent patients, but to demand that decentralized services and hospitals urgently reimburse amounts due for more than 60 days”.

He also saluted all the firefighters who will be part of the 2023 firefighting scheme and the 2023 World Youth Day scheme, to be held in Lisbon during the first week of August, wishing them “once again to be equal to their missions, demonstrating that firefighters are a unique, indispensable and irreplaceable force in Portugal’s rescue effort”.

LBP also regrets that “for purely administrative reasons, there are still extraordinary expenses due to AVS for previous years”, believing that it is unacceptable that ANEPC does not have the capacity to immediately resolve all identified situations.

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