More funds for fire service
31 August 2004
BRUSSELS – The Belgian fire service is to be given more money for training and equipment in the wake of the Ghislenghien gas blast, it emerged on Tuesday.
The explosion, which killed 22 people including five firemen, has focussed public attention on the lagging resources of the fire brigade.
Interior minister Patrick Dewael has now announced a EUR 900 000 cash boost for training and a further EUR 2.5 million for equipment.
The money will be injected into the 2005 federal budget and then distributed through the reform of the civil emergency services, planned before the end of the current parliament.
The sum represents a ten percent increase on short term funds and will be spent according to regional priorities.
In addition, a study will be conducted by the country’s three largest universities to target the most pressing needs of the fire service.
The Royal Federation of Belgian firefighters has welcomed the gesture but cautioned that it will not meet the shortfalls currently faced by the service.
[Copyright Expatica 2004]
Subject: Belgian news