In any war, every troop needs weapons. And guns need people to fire. In the battles that Minas Gerais faces against the fire year by year it is no different. At burned they increase rampant, and even with material support, the number of soldiers does not follow this mathematics. The state has a deficit of approximately 2,500 military personnel in the ranks of the Fire Department. The result of this picture is dramatic: overload of warriors on the field. There is, however, a slight hope as the ash falls on the vegetation devastated by the fire. Next month, 500 people approved in contest begin training to work in the Fire Department.
Another 248, who passed through all the stages, but were not called due to the limited number of vacancies imposed at the event, struggle to enter the corporation and share the weight of the strenuous heat with those who are already on the field.
According to State Law 22.415 / 15, 7.999 squares and officers. Today, the institution achieves approximately 70% of this recommendation. And that missing 30% may still not be enough. This is what the president of the Association of Police Squares and Military Firefighters of Minas Gerais (Aspra / PMBM) points out, Warrant Officer Heder Martins de Oliveira. He recalls that the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), an entity that brings together firefighters in the United States, recommends 0.5 to 2.7 officers for every thousand inhabitants. In Minas Gerais, the number is equivalent to 0.26 firefighters per thousand inhabitants, since the population is around 20.87 million, according to the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE).
“Serras do Curral, Piedade, Moeda, Cipó. Everything is on fire and we don’t have enough staff. And the firefighter is the same for fire, rescue, accident victim, flood, burial. The fire will go away and soon the rain will start ”, warns the military.
Next month, the corporation should start the Soldier Training Course (CFSd / 2020) with 500 approved in the 2019 contest. The delay was due to the pandemic of the new coronavirus. “The structure of the Fire Academy forms up to 1,500 (officers) if necessary. The question is for the government to define that it wants to invest in a culture of prevention. ”
Heder believes that, in addition to the exhaustion of the military, the population is the most affected by the shortage of personnel. “For necessity, if the firefighters had 20 thousand professionals, the combat would be more effective. This means better service to society. The state of Minas Gerais is missing, ”he says.
The speech reinforces the report of the State of Minas published in yesterday’s edition on the topic, which shows that residents have complained about the delay in service.
Of the total staff of the corporation, the most recent figures raised by Aspra, in July of this year, show that there are 492 military personnel on permanent leave and another 35 that are part of the immediate evasion possible.
This means that 527 already have time to be transferred to the reservation, but choose to remain at the institution. Meanwhile, they continue to work receiving an additional 30% of their salary.
THE IN talked to a military man who has worked at the corporation for 21 years and prefers not to identify himself. For him, these numbers represent overload, both physical and emotional.
“We have to work on fighting fires. On the way back, you have to take a sentry. Rescue suicide, car accident. Then, specialized work on dangerous products. The troops are worn out and, even so, we don’t shirk responsibility at all. Even with the sacrifice of life itself, that is the motto, because the military lives with love for the institution ”, he declares.
The firefighter believes that the arrival of new colleagues may give relief to the fight against forest fires, which, for him, are among the most difficult occurrences to face, due to the heat and difficult relief access.
“It is a very exhausting service and we are working with reduced staff. It is noticed that the population had an increase and the institution’s aspect decreased the number. Totally disproportionate to our population ”, he says.
Combatants often use the motto “fire is much stronger than good steel”. It is in this same fire, however, that physical exhaustion it can plague the fierce. The lack of colleagues in uniform to share the daily sweat makes the spirit of selflessness and surrender, typical of all military firefighters, become insufficient for the excellence of the combat.
“The service is not inappropriate, we do our best, but sometimes it can happen to be late. Not due to lack of commitment to work, but due to the exorbitant failure of staff ”, says the soldier.
On the other hand
For the Fire Department, the difficulty in handling this period of fires has been caused by a atypical growth scenario in the occurrences.“Evidently, it is very difficult to have a staff that can cope with this. What we do is an adequate management ”, says the corporation’s spokesman, Lieutenant Pedro Aihara. “Today, we have a very efficient management. In the case of fires in preservation parks, for example, we have the help of brigades. But the main problem is the attitude of the population. It is a cultural issue. Not even if we add a million firefighters, we can handle it ”, he says.
For Lieutenant Leonan Soares Pereira, who heads the front line of several fires in the state, the headcount is sufficient, but the climate conditions are not helping.
“There are times when it doesn’t work, the fire is so strong that it doesn’t work. Simply increasing the headcount will not be enough. What’s the use? ”, He asks. “Don’t set it on fire. Otherwise, even with more firefighters, there comes a point when the best technology will not solve it. The big question is to avoid it at all ”, he replies quickly.
Fight to join the team
Approved in the selection of contest for the Fire Department, but outside the corporation due to the limitation of places for immediate call, 248 surplus candidates struggle to enter the corporation, through a commission created for this purpose.
On October 6, the final result of the contest was published. From that date, the validity period is 30 days, which can be extended to another month. By the notice, these remnants can only be called during this period. Otherwise, they lose the entire selection process and there is still no forecast for other competitions.
“These men and women can have an immediate impact on the staff of the corporation,” says the commission’s text. “The realization of a new public competition of this nature takes a long time, with an average time of one year between the objective test and the beginning of the training course, which still takes eight months to complete, forming a military man capable of exercising the function of firefighter ”, defends the group.
Candidates for the position were evaluated in several phases in addition to the objective test, such as physical, swimming and medical, psychological and toxicological tests. “There was a lot of investment on their part and dedication to be within the standard expected by the corporation”, says the group’s spokeswoman, Ana Paula Galvão.
More important than that is to pursue your dream career. At 23, the student is in the 4th period of law. Trying to be a firefighter is a goal aligned with your life purpose. “I am attracted to what they do. I really hope to be summoned to be able to contribute to society ”, she says.
Ana Galvão says that she feels distressed when she sees the work of fire heroes. “We always follow the social networks of firefighters, we imagine ourselves in the situation. It becomes part of your life ”, he reveals. “I think that at the moment what these 248 people want most is to be able to help,” adds the young woman.
One of the limitations of the group is age, since to be able to enroll in the course, you must be under 30 until the day of enrollment. Thus, running a new tender may not be possible for many of these surpluses.
This is the case of Heyllon Rodrigues Matias Barbosa, 29, who has been trying to pass since 2008. “It is the last opportunity I have to enter. Being a firefighter has always been a dream ”, says the boy. “It is a very long contest. There’s no way to get a military man off the shelf. It is very distressing to be left out because the person who faces the whole process wants to enter to make a difference, ”he concludes.