Firefighting in Mexico Is a Tough Job When You Have to Rely on Donations
El Jefazo - The Fulano Forum
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July 22, 2014
This year, Puerto Vallarta fire fighters and lifeguards received $200,000 from calendar sales, earmarked to provide ongoing community education and training in all areas of emergency services.
Judging by the limited resources allocated to fire departments throughout Mexico, building a wooden house might be ill advised.
La Jornada reports that there is no set policy requiring formal funding for firefighting, although the firefighter’s job is seen as being among the most dangerous.
As a result, many departments depend on private-sector support along with what little might come their way from government coffers.
Most firefighters’ salaries are low, in the range of 4,000 to 10,000 pesos monthly with no benefits, and they work with equipment that is not in the best state of repair. Many are volunteers who rely on donations from the community.
As a result, the number of firefighters is for the most part insufficient.
In San Luis Potosí, for example, only 12 of 58 municipalities are even served by a fire service.
In Xalapa, capital city of Veracruz, there are 65 firefighters serving a population of more than one million. If various emergencies happen at the same time, they have a problem. They can only attend up to four at once, says Fire Chief Pedro Flores Viveros.
In the state of Colima municipal governments are legislated to fund fire service, but payments have fallen behind since 2012 and about 3 million pesos have not been paid. The worst is Villa de Alvarez, which owes 990,000 pesos and has neglected to pay up in spite of warnings by state finance officials and the state Human Rights Commission.
See the original at The Fulano Forum
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