The Civil Protection Department has started the process to change its fire-fighting vehicles, which are now past their prime. The first five new vehicles, with equipment which is superior to that of the present vehicles, have been handed over to the Department. During the inauguration Home Affairs and National Security Minister Michael Farrugia announced that legislation is being prepared for the granting of executive powers to the Civil Protection Department concerning precautions against fires in buildings.
Through an investment of 900,000 euro the Civil Protection Department will start making use of five new fire-fighting vehicles, each one capable of carrying 5,000 litres of water, which is 1,000 litres more than the vehicles which the Department has been using for the past 19 years.
The Department is updating its fleet of 50 vehicles, and by end of year will have 12 new vehicles. The new vehicles are equipped with modern technology, enabling them to respond more effectively to emergencies.
Minister Michael Farrugia pointed out that the time had come for introducing new legislation empowering the Department to impose security measures in buildings, which measures are to be followed meticulously.
Minister Farrugia stated that “the Civil Protection Department will be able to take steps if buildings are not constructed accorded to policy, thus endangering human life, and this particularly in high-rise buildings and places of entertainment. The laws we are working on will give the CPD executive powers, meaning they can enter and take any necessary action.”
CPD Director Emanuel Psaila said both the staff and volunteers work well, but the equipment they use has to be suitable.
“The work is hard, particularly where accidents are involved. The public moves away, but we have to move in to rescue and protect. We do this work wholeheartedly, not for the salary. It is humanitarian, as we are close to the public and serve and protect the citizen.”
The CPD Director added that a vehicle with a ladder capable of reaching up to the 18th floor in high rise buildings in emergencies is to be purchased.