This summer time, wildfires brought on by the heatwave have reached document ranges in France and Europe. Practically 60,000 hectares of French forest had been engulfed in smoke and greater than 15 areas had been affected. Even the forest of Monts-d’Arrée and Brocéliande in Brittany has been hit! As many consultants level out, such disasters are the results of local weather change. They will solely reproduce sooner or later. Nevertheless, the firefighting providers are in a disastrous state. On this space, the federal government is behaving precisely like capitalism within the face of the environmental disaster: a mixture of bullying and denial.
a worn materials
Whereas listening to Darmanin, every part appears to be going effectively. For instance, he claims that France has “ Europe’s largest firefighting fleet On paper this can be true, however this fleet nonetheless must be airworthy. In response to the water bomber pilots affiliation, solely 8 out of 12 Canadians had been in a position to intercept on the finish of July. The rationale for such a state of affairs? These planes are ageing, even out of date: 2019 Two-thirds of the planes have exceeded 25 years of service, and the planes that had been purported to be retired in 2008 after which in 2020 are nonetheless in service, and that is although not sufficient mechanics to keep up them: the identical pilots union is definitely chargeable for upkeep a number of instances over. underlined the personal subcontractor (firm). Sabena Methods) « not equal The duty of sustaining “Europe’s largest fleet”…
The identical shortcomings exist on the terrestrial tools facet. In response to the CGT-SDIS, for instance, the variety of Forest Hearth Tankers (CCF) in service fell by greater than a thousand between 2006 and 2020, whereas the variety of fires solely elevated throughout the identical interval. The financial savings race additionally took a toll on the person tools firefighters wore throughout the response. The operation of fireside security providers is definitely organized on the departmental stage, and the acquisition of apparatus depends closely on native governments (departments and municipalities) whose income sources, reminiscent of grants from the State, have been declining in recent times. Hearth division budgets have stagnated and even fallen in some departments due to this. Not all departments have the identical budgets. Which means firefighters in a “poor” division will probably be far much less outfitted than their counterparts in a “rich” division.
The workforce is halved
The identical austerity dynamics are current within the firefighters themselves, a lot in order that the CGT-SDIS condemns the “überization” of the career. In April, Landes’ CGT-SDIS famous that the variety of firefighters has stalled since 2010, though the variety of interventions has elevated from 23,000 to 34,000 per 12 months. Additionally, about 80% of firefighters are “volunteer”. Except their motivation is lower than that of their skilled colleagues, their presence is of course not the identical. Some interventions can generally be affected within the absence of an “knowledgeable” volunteer. For instance, that is the case for a lot of truck drivers who’re volunteer firefighters skilled to function response tanker vehicles.
Confronted with a rise within the variety of fires in recent times, governments have typically chosen to “guess on prevention”. In follow, this implies a rise within the variety of posters and messages, above all on tv and on social networks. Companies which can be concretely chargeable for prevention on the bottom are much less lucky. Since 2000, the Workplace Nationwide des Forêts (ONF), which has performed an vital function in forest hearth prevention, has seen its workforce lower from 13,000 brokers to simply 8,000, and these brokers are actually employed on precarious contracts. IGN (Nationwide Institute for Geographic and Forest Data) or Météo France is identical by way of two providers that play a vital function in hearth prevention.
To be neutral, it is value noting that Darmanin introduced his enlistment in August to struggle the fires. He promised to extend the variety of gendarmes! The three,000 “inexperienced cops” he plans to recruit will probably be chargeable for arresting and verbalizing the arsonists. As for the variety of firefighters, the Minister is among the employers of volunteer firefighters “ launch » in case of fireside. Briefly, firefighters must proceed to handle employees shortages.
And in the event that they object, watch out for them. Firefighter unions took motion in opposition to continued worsening working circumstances in October 2019 and January 2020. Their demonstrations had been brutally suppressed on the streets of Paris. Footage of firefighters being gassed with sticks by the CRS confirmed what the federal government actually considered right now’s “firefighters,” to whom Darmanin, Borne and Macron are providing hypocritical eulogies.
This disastrous state of affairs is the logical consequence of austerity insurance policies imposed by successive governments. To save cash in any respect prices, utilities are placed on a precarious or privatized dry eating regimen in relation to important issues, as for firefighters. This saving logic doesn’t apply to public support to companies. They’ve even reached heights in recent times to keep up the revenue charges of the ruling class. This summer time, as French forests burn and Canadairs are grounded by a scarcity of funds to maintain them in flight situation, French corporations set a brand new document for dividends paid to their shareholders: 44 billion within the second quarter of this 12 months! Capitalism is simply as incapable of stopping the local weather disaster as it’s dealing with its disastrous penalties. That is another reason to overthrow this abyss system.