On 2nd January, Patricia Gasper Secretary of State for Internal Administration and David Thomas President Safe Communities Portugal met to discuss a number of matters concerning civil protection.

Patricia Gasper assumed the post under the new Government recently, being responsible for civil protection and road safety. Previously the post was Secretary of State for Civil Protection but this was changed to reflect a broader portfolio with the inclusion of road safety.

Included in the discussions were: public communication during crisis situations such as rural fires; location finding by the emergency services during crisis situations; civil protection and Safe Communities Portugal priorities; prevention and self-protection during rural fires and measures for AL rented accommodation under the Safe Village Safe People program.

These were matters that had been accorded priority with fast tracking where necessary before the main fire season. A strategic approach to communications was discussed.

Also discussed was the role of Civil Protection Volunteer Organisations, of which Safe Communities was one of nine as well as future collaboration and related issues.

In respect of road safety Patricia Gasper explained the priority that needs to be given to the main causes of serious road accidents and that the laws concerning issues such as drink driving and use of mobile phones whilst driving were currently under review.

In the framework of the above a number of ideas were discussed for further consideration