South Corfu Fire Department housed in DEYAK property in Messonghi temporarily
CORFU. South Corfu Municipal Council will approve the terms for the new location on Monday.
The Fire Department has been using a small property in Messonghi owned by DEYAK for the last month whilst waiting for developments regarding the fire station in South Corfu whose operations were suspended in Argyrades in November due to the unsuitability of the building.
Trailer used initially
For about two months firefighters and the fire patrol were initially housed in a trailer at Lefkimmi Port but following the intervention of the Firefighters Union and the previous Regional Fire Chief a 20sq.m. building belonging to Lefkimmi DEYAK was made available and has been used as a base since then.
Former Vraganiotika School
Following an inspection of two possible properties by a South Corfu municipal committee in December, the more suitable was judged to be the former Vraganiotika school. A part of the building, which is approximately 850sq.m., has been recommended as a base for the Fire Department in South Corfu. It will be leased from the Municipality for a year at €850 a month.
According to recent legislation, responsibility for providing a facility for the Fire Service has passed to the local authority, which had been the maor obstacle due to limited finances.
The matter will be discussed at the next South Corfu Municipal Council meeting on Monday 13 February so that the terms and conditions can be approved. Corfu Firefighters Union President Nikos Karatarakis told Enimerosi that they are expected to be represented at the meeting.
The final OK has not yet been given
However, at the moment the Fire Service has not yet given the final OK as the building was used as a school and it is probable that work will have to be done to provide the necessary facilities - for example, and office, storage space for equipment, auxiliary space, billets etc. The facility needs to house six firefighters.
According to Deputy Mayor Socrates Andriotis, "If the rent is approved, then the next step in the procedure will be an inspection by the Fire Service 3-member committee which will check that the building fulfils the specifications, although there were Fire Services present on our first inspection."
Firefighters told Enimerosi that the reson it is important to have a base in the south all year round and not just in the summer when there is a high fire risk is that there are many cases of fires - even multiple instances in one day.
"And we mustn't forget road accidents and natural disasters, where firefighters are always needed," said Nikos Karatarakis.
Statement from Firefighters' Movement (EAKP)
The Firefighters' Movement (EAKP) issued a statement today saying, amongst other things, "It is not possible for an organised unit of the Fire Department emergency services operating on a 24-hour basis to have all its needs (materials, equipment, secretarial support, administration, billets etc.) served by one small room and to have all the vehicles and equipment remaining exposed to weather conditions!
All the incidents to date confirm the reason why EAKP has lodged a complaint.
On the one hand, the underfunded local authority cannot take on the operational costs of the Fire Service and, on the other, planning is required at a central level and with the responsibility of the state as to how these services will operate."