In the aftermath of the tragic death of a 27-year-old firefighter stung by an imbalance in Villeneuve-Saint-Georges (Val-de-Marne), the debate about the protection of firefighters resurfaced. After this tragedy, many point to the weakness of the resources available to men of fire, especially in Ile-de-France, during these risky interventions.
It must be said that each year the number of interventions of firefighters in the Paris region increases, while the number remains stable. A report that the firefighters of the hexagon continue to go on the streets in March 2017. A year and a half later, the claims remain the same.
Support from the police
Firefighters demand a more systematic monitoring of risky operations from their claims:
It is "when you are in very tense situations, such as the riots of 2005, in the Paris region, to intervene with the police, including the gendarmerie and CRS, so they will accompany us to be able to turn off", Laurent Vibert, expert in crisis management.
According to him, the firefighters, who are not necessarily accompanied by the police, are sometimes forced not to put out the fires of trash cans or cars in the cities and to wait for a real emergency. "Because we also know that it attracts us through these small fires and behind them is the ambush," adds Laurent Vibert.
Threats are difficult to anticipate
Nevertheless, it remains difficult to identify situations in which the support of the police services is justified. Because some threats are impossible to anticipate. In addition, the police indicate that they have not been adequately trained to deal with certain risks.
"We are not educated, we are there in the field, in relation to events, interventions, such as firefighters." The first act of the firefighter is to control fires, natural disasters and unfortunately also to keep this under control. They are not better prepared than we are, "says Angelo Bruno, SGP Police Unit Delegate 94.
Yael Lecras of the national trade union of professional firefighters said for his part: "regret a deconstruction of social services, intervention services, the ability of hospital services to take care of this kind of victims, police forces to intervene with us on our side".
He added: "This deconstruction of public service means that we are obliged to intervene and sometimes take risks. […] we can not stay behind, so we have to intervene and we intervene without the support of simultaneous forces like the police ".
"We have to train our staff"
Yaël Lecras says not to claim "a policeman behind every firefighter". On the other hand, he wants the men of the fire to benefit from "a more systematic story when we consider it necessary and when it is identified in the operational areas" of the police.
According to him, one of the solutions would be to stop "to reduce the number of firefighters in ambulances for budgetary reasons". "We saw, they were three (in Villeneuve-Saint-Georges, ed.), And it was still insufficient," he says.
Finally, "we can ask the question about training for this type of intervention. […] We need to train our employees with the help of emergency services, with the help of firefighters, with the help of different stakeholders: we have to adapt our practices to these kinds of situations that are common. " he decides.