The critical situation revealed by the Quinchía Official Fire Department, in terms of the lack of hiring by the municipal administration and even worse, the dismissive response they received from it after making visible that they worked without guarantees, was the reason to do a sweep by the other fire brigades of the department and this is the panorama.
Logically, we had to start by talking to the protagonists of the case that was exposed, and the call from the newspaper was answered by Commander Luis Hernando Ruiz, who explained how the situation is: “We already made an agreement with the mayor’s office, this week they called us and we are at waiting for the contract to be made tomorrow, in any case the services are not being provided until it is signed. We hope to be able to send the statement to the public opinion that activities are normalized.”
Law 1575 of 2012 (General Law of Firefighters of Colombia) talks about the fact that disaster care and prevention services fall on the mayors and governors, they are the ones called to hire. In Quinchía specifically, they must hire six officials who are divided into two groups, because there is an Irra substation, but despite this they will not provide the service of transferring patients to the hospital.
State in the other municipalities
-Apía: Lieutenant Héctor Augusto Cardona delivered the balance sheet and said that the headquarters were part of the seven that the Government delivered, but he has not signed the delivery of that headquarters, because many details were pending and although he has insisted on the contractor and controller and even infrastructure of the department, but it has not been possible to solve the general problem, several dampnesses that already affect two accommodations, leaks on the roof and the elevator was left halfway. “We have never been able to contract as we would like, the proposals are presented and the leaders respond ‘there is no money’, this year we are going until April 30,” Cardona pointed out.
-Balboa: Lieutenant Jairo Loaiza attended to explain that the situation in the majority of municipalities is precarious, they have been trying to achieve a new headquarters for four years, because the current one is a lantern plate and already has serious breakdowns. They presented the project to this administration but before elections they see their hopes lost. The Risaralda Sugar Mill has helped them and thanks to that they have an ambulance, because the budget assigned to them is for operation, there is no money left to invest and they just hired last week. The commander receives 50% of the minimum wage, because he is over 65 and does not do risky work.
“The Guática Fire Department is 50 years old. We plan to pass block projects to the National Directorate, because a vehicle extrication team is useless when the accidents in the municipality are due to motorcycles,” commented Balmory Ospina, the commander. While in La Celia, they are very good in infrastructure and vehicles, but they suffer from the same hiring problem and Commander Ignacio Ramírez says that the administrations see them as an expense and he tells them to see them as an investment. According to him, La Celia should have 9 plant units and although the headquarters is also new, it is humid and tomorrow they are going to carry out a verification visit.
Firefighters, necessary for everything
The specific cases of attention by the firefighters are mainly transit, that was the constant response of all the commanders, as well as medical emergencies, work accidents, domestic accidents, poisoning, stings by poisonous and poisonous animals, bee control, fires forestry and structural (high risk due to bahareque constructions), natural gas leaks, landslides, unroofing, as well as spills of hazardous materials. These functions and maneuvers cannot be left to chance and that is why the well-being of firefighters should be a priority for the administrations.
Volunteer firefighters can only support to the extent that the emergency exceeds capacity.
Pereira and Dosquebradas are fine, Santa Rosa and La Virginia reported that they were in inventory. In Sanctuary they said that everything is perfect.