Fire Personnel Shortage

Friday, November 30, 2018
By Hugh MacArthur

MOT fire service OnLMotril Firemen are not happy bunnies and their union (SAB) says that they are feeling “frustrated” over a lack of personnel.

And it is not surprising, either, because if there ever were two simultaneous fire in Motril, there would only be one fireman left in the fire station to cover the second one, claims the union representative, Jorge Ramiro.

The last time they had a big call out they had to leave a policeman manning the phones because they were all out fighting a fire.

He considers that the present staff shortage is the worse than it has been in the last ten years. He summed it up thus: “in 2008 we were squeezing past each other in the fire station all the time; now we hardly see each other.”

According to Jorge Ramiro, in 2008 there were eleven fire personnel whereas in July this year there were only six. Furthermore, regulations state that there must be at least seven firemen on duty at any one time.

Another complaint is that there overtime hours so far this year have still not been paid.

Motril fire service wants its numbers to be augmented via secondment, i.e., temporarily attached personnel. Spokesman Ramiro says that the Councillor for Citizen Safety has promised to bring in more staff using this method but so far only one person has arrived, “because they know what is waiting for them,” he considers. In other words, nobody wants to be transferred there.

On the other hand, the said councillor, Mari Ángeles Escámez, recognises that there is a staff shortage, but says that spending cuts have not allowed them to increase the number of personnel; they can only replace fire personnel who have retired, which in the case of 2018 has been three and these three vacancies are in the process of being filled.

She also points out that the Town Council has not been able to obtain approval for the 2019 budget, which is also tying their hands.

She finished by pointing out that when she took over the roll as Councillor for Citizen Safety, they were paying overtime arrears dating back to 2009 and at the present they are finishing off the 2017 backlog – it will all be paid, she assured.

(News: Motril, Costa Tropical, Granada, Andalucia)

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