Archive for July, 2020

Road accidents are the main cause of death of firefighters in the attack on fires

Wednesday, July 29th, 2020

This is what data provided by the Portuguese Firefighters League point out, referring to the last 40 years. During this period, 231 firefighters died, with 94 deaths, 41% of the total, occurring when the victims were travelling in fire fighting vehicles.

Diogo was 21 years old and was a firefighter for the Proença-a-Nova Volunteers. During a manoeuvre, last weekend, in the Oleiros fire, a tyre blew, he lost control of the car, and overturned. The young man became the 94th firefighter to lose his life in a road accident while responding to a fire. This is, in fact, the leading cause of death for firefighters on duty in the last 40 years.

The year 2020 is not over yet, but it is already the one that most fatalities count in the last seven years. By the beginning of this week, four men had died in the fire attack. It is necessary to go back to 2013, the year in which nine firefighters died, to have such a high number of fatalities.

The figures are contained in a data set compiled by the Portuguese Firefighters League and sent to Renascença. The collection begins in 1980, and besides counting deaths per year, it identifies, for example, the districts and the causes and circumstances in which the firefighters who were in the performance of their duties died. In total, in the past four decades, 231 volunteers have died.

The year 1985, in which the great Aramark fire occurred, was the deadliest for firefighters. In total, 18 victims were counted. The following year, 1986, and 2005 were the other two years to record the most deaths in the past four decades. There were 16 each year.

The president of the League of Firefighters, Jaime Marta Soares, frames the preponderance of road accidents with the need to be quick in action. He does not consider that the number is disproportionate in relation to the type of functions performed by these men and women, “for whom risk is an almost daily activity”.

“They are often mechanical failures, situations that cannot be explained by the lack of care in driving or the irresponsibility of driving. These are situations that happen within the risk of walking on the road and on roads such as the Portuguese”, said Marta Soares.

The president of the League of Firefighters also speaks of the lack of a culture of responsibility on national roads, which manifests itself on many occasions, and which also affects firefighters. And it rejects the idea of ​​a lack of training in risk driving, which can lead to the proportion of road accidents as a cause of death for firefighters being so high.

“Firefighters exercise and train on and off the road, on the road, in everything. Portuguese firefighters have training that ordinary people would like to have when they are given a driving license”, he defends.

Xavier Viegas, an expert on forest fires who coordinates the Center for Studies at the University of Coimbra, agrees that emergency driving is a major factor in the number of fatalities among firefighters and the Renaissance begins by pointing out the characteristics of roads as a cause.

“They drive with some haste on roads that are narrow and winding, in rough terrain, which can lead to loss of control of the vehicle”, he reports. And on many occasions, vehicles are loaded. “The water in the tanks sways and can facilitate loss of balance, not to mention mechanical failures”, says Viegas.

Finally, he talks about the “fatigue” that can occur in the return of a fire that “can take more than a day”. “Loss of attention can lead to an accident,” he concludes.

Still, Xavier Viegas argues that important steps have been taken to address these problems.

“The authorities are now much more careful. The firefighters do not travel in the auto-tanks, they make it possible to have transport in other means, and that there is a reinforcement of the teams and a rotation with shorter periods that allows the staff to rest and feed ”, he explains.

He underlines that Portugal is now planning better, for example in terms of logistics. “Things are definitely better, we have taken very important steps”, he guarantees.

 

Covid-19: MAI – 19 Parishes in Lisbon to move from a situation of calamity to same as level as remainder of Lisbon Metropolitan area REST OF LISBON METRPOLITAN AREA

Tuesday, July 28th, 2020

The Minister of Internal Administration admitted today that all municipalities in the Metropolitan Area of ​​Lisbon are placed “in a contingency situation” and added that the restrictions applied in this area, namely in the opening hours of the establishments, will remain.

“There is no reason today to distinguish these five municipalities [Lisbon, Odivelas, Sintra, Amadora and Loures] from the rest of the Metropolitan Area of ​​Lisbon. This means that the measures must be applied in a transversal, intensive way, throughout the Metropolitan Area ”, said Eduardo Cabrita, at the end of a follow-up meeting of the“ covid-19 prevention and control strategy in the Metropolitan Area of ​​Lisbon ” , with Government and mayors.

Stressing that one cannot “let your guard down” regarding the “very intense surveillance” that has been carried out, the Minister of Internal Affairs forwarded to the Council of Ministers on Thursday a final decision on the possibility of the 19 parishes currently in situations of calamity (located in these five counties) they move to the contingency situation (lowest level).

“We admit that they are all placed in a contingency situation, a situation that today applies to the Metropolitan Area of ​​Lisbon”, he stressed.

The Minister of Internal Administration also said that, in any case, the restrictions that are currently applied in the Metropolitan Area of ​​Lisbon, such as the general closure of commercial establishments at 20:00 – will remain, with the exception of supermarkets, which may operate until 10 pm, and spaces such as pharmacies -, and the maintenance of the prohibition on the consumption of alcoholic beverages on the public road.

The majority of mainland Portugal entered on July 1 in a situation of alert due to the pandemic of covid-19, with the exception of the Metropolitan Area, which passed to the state of contingency.

In this area, which consists of 18 municipalities, 19 parishes in five municipalities – Loures, Amadora, Odivelas, Lisbon and Sintra – remained in a state of calamity.

The 19 parishes that are in a state of calamity are: Santa Clara (Lisbon), the four parishes in the municipality of Odivelas (Odivelas and the parish unions of Pontinha and Famões, Póvoa de Santo Adrião and Olival Basto, and Ramada and Caneças), the six parishes in the municipality of Amadora (Alfragide, Águas Livres, Encosta do Sol, Mina de Água, Venteira and Union of Parishes of Falagueira and Venda Nova), six parishes of Sintra (associations of parishes of Queluz and Belas, Massamá and Monte Abraão , Cacém and São Marcos, Agualva and Mira Sintra, Algueirão-Mem Martins and the parish of Rio de Mouro) and two parishes of Loures (parishes of Sacavém and Prior Velho, and Camarate, Unhos and Apelação).

European Commission giving satellite support to fire in Oleiros

Monday, July 27th, 2020

The European Commission said today that it is “closely monitoring” the forest fire in Oleiros, Castelo Branco district, having already allocated satellite support to fight the fire, at the request of Portugal, providing more assistance if needed.

“We are closely monitoring forest fires in the municipality of Oleiros, in Portugal. The Copernicus Emergency Management Service has been called upon to support national civil protection authorities ”, informed the European commissioner with this responsibility, Janez Lenarčič, in a publication on the social network Twitter.

According to the person in charge of the Crisis Management area, “the European Union is available to provide more assistance” to Portugal, if necessary.

“Our thoughts are with everyone affected,” concluded the European commissioner in the publication.

According to the request, consulted by the Lusa agency, Copernicus was activated at 09:30 (local time) today, after an order made by Portugal.

At stake is the use of satellite maps produced by the Emergency Management Service Copernicus to facilitate the fight against forest fire, with this European system providing more accurate geospatial information to support the National Civil Protection Authority.

The fire that broke out on Saturday in Oleiros and spread to the neighboring municipalities of Sertã and Proença-a-Nova, in the Castelo Branco district, is currently being fought by more than 700 operatives, supported by 14 aerial means and eight tracking machines, informed the Minister of Internal Administration, Eduardo Cabrita.

Also today, the governor ensured “all efforts” in the fire that plows in Oleiros, Sertã and Proença-a-Nova, Castelo Branco district, with priority in protecting the populations, admitting that the mobilization of the device until Tuesday or Wednesday .

Maximum penalty for person found guilty of homicide

Friday, July 24th, 2020

A person who in April last year killed a young man with a stab in the chest and then run over has been sentenced to 25 years in prison

The victim was the run over and the vehicle set on fire, abandoned in a land in Vale do Coto, in Caldas da Rainha.

The crime occurred on April 15 of last year, when the victim, a native of Fazendas das Figueiras, in the municipality of Coruche, came to Caldas da Rainha to celebrate his birthday.

His body was found charred on the 23rd of that month, on the land of a private property that was for sale, in the middle of the woods, twenty meters from the road that connects Vale do Coto to Barrantes.

The victim had an unknown whereabouts since the 15th, and his disappearance was reported to GNR the next day by family members. Later the investigation was passed on to the Judicial Police, to whom the case was transmitted.

Nationality of Portuguese grandchildren and spouses simplified and “more just” by law approved today

Thursday, July 23rd, 2020

PS and PSD consider that the grandchildren of Portuguese emigrants who want to obtain the nationality of their grandparents as well as the spouses of national citizens will now have the simplest and fairest process under the law approved today.

The Nationality Law now approved considers only the necessary requirements for granting nationality to Portuguese grandchildren who reside abroad or in Portugal the mastery of the Portuguese language and who do not have a conviction of more than three years in their registration or suspicion of links to terrorist acts , explained the social-democratic deputy José Cesário to Lusa, who voted in favor of the diploma, when his party voted against it.

The PSD voted against the law because of issues related to Sephardic Jews and the children of immigrants born in Portugal, explained the deputy, adding: “I voted in favor because I consider that the changes related to Portuguese non-residents in Portugal are fair measures, that allow Portugal to get closer to Portuguese communities and that were part of the party’s electoral program.

Another change that appears in the law approved today, as proposed by the PSD, and which José Cesário referred to as “an important and more just measure”, is that which concerns the acquisition of Portuguese nationality by Portuguese spouses.

“In this case, too, there was a simplification,” the Social-Democratic deputy, elected by the Out of Europe circle and former Secretary of State for Communities, told Lusa.

“Because now for the spouse to obtain Portuguese nationality, it is enough that he has been married for at least six years to a person of Portuguese nationality”, or earlier, if the couple already has children of Portuguese nationality, he explained.

With these changes, both the grandchildren and the spouses of Portuguese, “now have objective criteria for the attribution of nationality”, defended the socialist deputy Paulo Porto, who considers them “more just”.

In practice, both grandchildren and spouses no longer have the need to “prove their connection to the community”, as provided by the previous version of the law and which was difficult to prove, he said, giving the entire process of obtaining nationality “Greater legal certainty”.

In addition, “it also simplifies work within the conservatories”, stressed the deputy of the PS.

The leftist parties and the PAN today approved, in parliament, in a final global vote, an amendment to the Nationality Law, which allows the children of immigrants living in Portugal for a year to be Portuguese.

The Nationality Law is from 1981 and the last change was made in 2018.

The diploma approved today was based on two bills, the People-Animals-Nature Party (PAN) and the PCP, which were voted in general in December 2019. The diploma of the Bloco de Esquerda (BE) was downloaded without a vote and the bill Joacine Katar Moreira, then at Livre, was unsuccessful

Maximum penalty for homicide of young man found under burning car

Thursday, July 23rd, 2020

A man who in April last year killed a young man with a stab in the chest has been sentenced to 25 years in prison.

He then ran over the victim with a car and setting his body and vehicle on fire, which was abandoned in Vale do Coto, in Caldas da Rainha.

The crime occurred on April 15 of last year, when the victim, a native of Fazendas das Figueiras, in the municipality of Coruche, came to Caldas da Rainha to celebrate his birthday,

His body was found charred on the 23rd of that month, in a private property and land that was for sale, in the middle of the woods, under a burning car, twenty meters from the road that connects Vale do Coto to Barrantes.

The victim had an unknown whereabouts since the 15th, and his disappearance was reported to GNR the next day by family members and later the investigation was passed on to the Judicial Police, to whom the case was transmitted.

test for Silver Coast

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2020

Safe Communities Portugal launches website to serve Silver Coast residents

Tuesday, July 21st, 2020

On 21st July 2020, Safe Communities Portugal established a section on its website entitled “Safe Communities Silver Coast” to help support the residents of the Silver Coast areas.

SCP has made several visits to the area over the last  2-3 years conducting various seminars such as in Caldas da Rainha and through Program connect in Obidos and other areas.

Program connect has been run by the association’s area representative Colin Scarisbrick a former UK retired police officer who has been a focal point in supporting the residents through engagement with the GNR, PSP and civil protection.

Through this website residents will be able to find out more about the work of the GNR and PSP with contact points as well as latest news.

Fires: About 150 counties in 14 continent districts at maximum risk

Friday, July 17th, 2020

About 150 counties in 14 districts in mainland Portugal today have a maximum fire risk, according to the Portuguese Institute of the Sea and the Atmosphere (IPMA).

At maximum risk are around 150 municipalities in the districts of Viana do Castelo, Braga, Porto, Vila Real, Bragança, Viseu, Aveiro, Guarda, Coimbra, Leiria, Castelo Branco, Santarém, Portalegre and Faro.

The IPMA also placed a very high and high risk of fire in almost all municipalities in all districts (18) of mainland Portugal.

According to the IPMA, at least until Monday the maximum and very high fire risk will remain in many counties on the continent, due to the hot weather.

The fire risk determined by the IPMA has five levels, ranging from reduced to maximum.

Calculations are obtained from air temperature, relative humidity, wind speed and amount of precipitation in the last 24 hours.

The government declared on Thursday the alert situation in mainland Portugal due to weather forecasts for the next few days that point to a “significant increase in the risk of rural fire”.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs (MAI) advanced in a statement that the alert situation covers the period between 00:00 on Friday and 23:59 on Sunday.

“In view of the weather forecasts for the coming days, which point to a significant increase in the risk of rural fire, the ministers of Internal Affairs and the Environment and Climate Action signed this Thursday the order that determines the declaration of the alert situation throughout the territory of the continent ”, states the MAI.

The declaration follows the activation of the special red alert status, the most serious of a scale of four, for the districts of Viana do Castelo, Braga, Vila Real, Bragança, Viseu, Guarda, Castelo Branco, Santarém, Porto and Aveiro.

Within the scope of reinforced monitoring and the degree of readiness of the Special Rural Fire Fighting Device (DECIR), the special red alert status means that the degree of risk is extreme because there is the possibility of the occurrence of phenomena “of exceptional intensity, which is very likely to result in very significant damage and a very significant reduction in the safety of people, which can threaten their physical integrity or even life, in a vast area ”.

In the remaining districts, Beja, Évora, Coimbra, Faro, Leiria, Lisbon, Portalegre and Setúbal, the orange alert state was activated, the second most serious of a quarter scale, which translates into a high risk level.

The MAI stresses that the declaration of the alert situation also stems from the need to adopt preventive and special reaction measures in view of the maximum and very high fire risk predicted by the IPMA, at least until Monday, in more than half of the continent’s counties. due to hot weather.

Within the scope of the declaration of the alert situation, foreseen in the Civil Protection Bases Law, measures of “exceptional character” will be implemented, such as the prohibition of access, circulation and permanence inside the forest spaces previously defined in the Municipal Plans for Forest Defense Against Fire, as well as in forest paths, rural paths and other paths that cross them.

In the next three days, burning and burning of exploration leftovers and the total use of fireworks or other pyrotechnic devices, regardless of their combustion form, are also prohibited, as well as the suspension of authorizations issued in the districts where the red alert status has been declared by the National Emergency and Civil Protection Authority (ANEPC).

Within the scope of measures of an “exceptional character”, work in forest areas and other rural areas using any type of machinery is also prohibited.

Five health professionals arrested for fraud and spread of disease

Thursday, July 16th, 2020

Lisbon, 16 Jul 2020 (Lusa) – Five professionals linked to the health sector were today arrested by the Judicial Police (PJ) in an operation that involved searches of medical clinics, homes and companies and which investigates crimes of corruption, qualified fraud, document forgery and spread of disease.

According to a statement by the PJ on “Operation Therapy”, in which two men and three women were detained, this is a fraudulent scheme for the provision of treatments not reimbursed by any health subsystem, especially by the Institute for Protection and Assistance in the Disease (ADSE).

“However, due to the fact that acts different from those performed are billed, the subsystems proceed with requests for reimbursements submitted by their beneficiaries”, says PJ.

The investigative acts – the PJ also reveals – are related to the performance of “ozone therapies”, which are not reimbursed by the health subsystems, and there is also no convention or protocol between ADSE and these clinics. In addition, according to the PJ, they are carried out by professionals but who are not properly qualified.

“There are indications that the suspects resorted to practices, convincing users that ozone therapy is effective in the treatment of covid-19 or that it allows them to gain immunity, exploring the fragility and vulnerability of people afraid of the virus or even infected, the suspects knowing that with the practice of these acts they can contribute for the spread of contagious disease, creating danger for the life or serious danger for the physical integrity of the victims and third parties “, states the PJ.

In these clinics, clinical analyzes were also carried out, namely to detect infection by SARS-Cov-2, which causes covid-19, without being licensed or meeting the necessary conditions, namely clinical management.

The operation, in charge of the National Unit to Combat Corruption of the PJ, was carried out by 50 members of that police and had the collaboration of the Ordem dos Médicos. In addition to the searches and arrest warrants, the police action also made it possible to collect evidence that substantiates the crimes imputed in the investigation.

The police investigations were accompanied by an attorney from the Central Department of Investigation and Criminal Action and a judge from the Central Court of Criminal Investigation.

The detainees are between 32 and 62 years old and will be subjected to the first judicial interrogation to apply coercion measures.