In the past two years, the Civil Protection Department has invested around €8million in an ambitious plan to change its service vehicles and equipment.
The COVID-19 pandemic did not hold the Department back, with 34 new vehicles and 1 new vessel added to the fleet. The tally is expected to increase with the arrival of a further 3 vehicles and another vessel intended for firefighting at sea.
These investments are certainly an important factor in assuring the best service and assistance to all those in need.
For a long stretch of time, under a different administration, the Department had become the recipient of second and third hand equipment and at times lacking the proper gear to carry out its important work.
This is simply not on. Firefighters should be given the very best to face whatever circumstance comes in their way not only for the sake of protecting the lives of those being assisted but also for their own sake and wellbeing.
The changing of the Department’s fleet comes from the careful understanding and study of the new realities around us. With taller buildings and greater economic activity to mention two, needs have changed. For instance, last December the Department inaugurated a Hydraulic Platform capable of reaching 70 meters, solely intended to tackle any emergency or intervention on high rise buildings. That maybe was not needed before but is certainly needed now.
The Civil Protection is investing directly to address the needs and necessities and not simply buying its equipment without knowing when and if it is going to use it.
Speaking at the inauguration of four new vehicles, Minister for Home Affairs, Security, Reforms and Equality Byron Camilleri has lauded not only the continuous investment in equipment but also the investment in the human resource, in the firefighter.
The investment in training in the past two years has reached €350,000 and a further €150,000 are being envisaged to be spent for the same purpose. This apart from better working conditions for the members of the CPD with the signing of the collective agreement.
The CPD will continue with its ambitious plan to bring more equipment to be prepared for every possible occurrence and incident whilst continuing its important programme in also upgrading its infrastructure with works in the Floriana Fire Station expected to commence very soon.