Following news made public about transfers to the Humanitarian Associations of Voluntary Firefighters (AHBV), under the Special Rural Fire Fighting Device (DECIR) of 2020, the Ministry of Internal Administration clarifies:
Within the scope of the DECIR 2020 Ground Device, 26.6 million euros have already been transferred to AHBV this year. As an extraordinary expense (replacement and repair of vehicles, damage to equipment, food and lost wages) the amount of 6.5 million euros was determined, of which:
– 500 thousand euros were already settled in September;
– 4.8 million euros are able to be paid
– 1.2 million euros are not yet duly substantiated with accounting documents.
The Ministry of Internal Affairs recognizes and values ​​the irreplaceable role of our country’s voluntary firefighters, particularly in a year in which, in addition to rural fires, they were called upon to respond to events related to the pandemic.
This effort resulted in additional expenses with the purchase of personal protective equipment, in addition to the cut suffered in revenues from transporting patients.
In order to respond to this new reality, the Government has already transferred to the AHBV an amount of 1.9 million euros of exceptional and temporary support due to the pandemic, in a total of 6.5 million euros approved.
Also to deal with the context of the pandemic, the Government almost doubled the amount of the annual transfer – from 3% to 5% of the permanent financing of the AHBV – to the Social Protection Fund for Firefighters.
It was also possible to strengthen the response capacity through the creation of specialized teams in the field of health, with vehicles made available by firefighters paid daily by the National Authority for Emergency and Civil Protection, to ensure the necessary permanent availability.
As for the 7 million euros approved under the Supplementary State Budget, its payment is awaiting a budget increase that is expected to be available during the month of December.
It should also be noted that the State Budget for 2021 foresees an increase of 12.7% in transfers to voluntary firefighters, which represents an increase of 3.6 million euros.