Parish councils will be able to create local civil protection units to raise awareness and inform the local population and support the management of occurrences, such as fires, in the scope of the transfer of competences to the local authorities.
According to the agency Lusa, the office of the Secretary of State for Internal Administration, Jorge Gomes, local civil protection units can be set up at the initiative of the parish council and after a favorable opinion from the municipal civil protection commission.
Chaired by the president of the board, these local units participate “in the assessment of vulnerabilities, in public awareness and information and in support of incident management, as defined in the emergency plans.”
Decentralization of competences in the area of civil protection also covers municipal emergency plans, which are no longer approved by the National Civil Protection Commission and are approved by the municipal assembly after a binding opinion from the National Civil Protection Authority (ANPC).
According to the office of Jorge Gomes, municipalities will assume responsibility for fire safety in buildings, in particular as regards the approval of projects and conducting inspections, if the city councils have quality technicians certified by the ANPC.
Fire safety in schools and nursing homes is also the responsibility of municipalities.
The secretary of state’s office has also advanced that municipal operational coordination centers will be set up, just as there are district and national centers.
The municipalities, firemen, GNR and PSP are part of the operational coordination center of each municipality. The captain’s commander, the hospital official and the president of forestry producers’ organizations may also participate, if they exist and are justified.
Directed by the municipal operations and relief coordinator, the municipal-level operational coordination center organizes and creates the preventive and operational response measures when there are yellow or higher special alert states.
Municipal civil protection services are now equipped with risk and vulnerability prevention and risk assessment, planning and support for operations, logistics and communications, and public awareness and information.
Municipalities with more than one fire brigade will also be able to create operating rooms and emergency management, which function as a “communications and dispatch room of fire brigade facilities”, as well as coordination center meeting space Operational.
Another of the competences to be transferred to the municipal councils and parish councils is the monitoring of the forests through the constitution of teams.
According to the office of Jorge Gomes, many municipalities already constitute teams of volunteers and municipal officials and parishes who, in the critical period of forest fires, use all-terrain vehicles with kits to carry out surveillance, detection and, if necessary, First intervention.
The installation and maintenance of the video surveillance systems that the Government wants to install in the forest areas will be the responsibility of municipalities and inter-municipal communities (CIM), although the users are ANPC and GNR.
According to the Government, there are ten video surveillance projects, led by the inter-municipal communities, which will be financed with community funds.
During the commemorations of the Civil Protection Day, which today was marked, the Minister of Internal Affairs, Constança Urbano de Sousa, said that the legislative proposals that allow the transfer of competences to the municipal councils and parish councils in the Protection.