Emergency services reform bill before the summer
(CS/mas) Luxembourg Interior Minister Dan Kersch is to submit a bill to reorganise the country's emergency service before the summer break, for the reform to come into effect in 2016.
Under the reform 25 “protection civile” emergency centres, run by the state, and 142 volunteer fire brigades, managed by the country's 105 communes, will be brought together to form a so-called “etablissement public”.
The airport fire brigade and the “service d'aide médicalisée d'urgence” (SAMU) will also be grouped under the new public institution, while a cooperation agreement will be signed with private operator Luxembourg Air Rescue.
In future, there will be 107 emergency centres, divided across four regions and gathered in 14 regional sub-groups. The borders between communes will thus no longer be a barrier for emergency teams responding to calls for help.
Every centre will have a director of operations, with the mayor politically responsible for the emergency services. Four “chefs de zones” will oversee operations in the four different regions. The board will include 18 members, 12 representing the communes and six representing the state, with two votes each to ensure parity.
50 euros per person in additional costs
The new “etablissement public” will be managed by a director generals and five additional directors in charge of five areas of business – administration and finance, logistics and communication, resource planning, training and operational coordination.
The current fleet of the fire brigade and “protection civile” will be pooled for the new “Corps Grand-Ducale d'Incendie et de Secours” (CGDIS). Stations currently owned by the communes will remain as they were, with communes renting them out to CGDIS.
Communes will have to pay around 50 euros per resident to cover the additional costs of creating and running CGDIS. However, they will also receive additional state funds, sourced from revenue gained through the VAT increase.
Should all go to plan, the reform bill will be presented at the Chamber of Deputies before the summer, allowing MPs to vote on it in the autumn. The reform could then be implemented from the start of 2016, the deadline set by minister Kersch.