30 firefighters in Sunnfjord resign in protest of downsizing

FirefightersPhoto: Berit Roald / NTB

The politicians in Sunnfjord Municipality in Western Norway have decided to carry out downsizing at several fire stations in the Municipality. The employees are resigning in protest.

“The Municipal Council has adopted a fire service scheme that weakens emergency preparedness on the outskirts of the Municipality,” Stig Tveit told newspaper Bergens Tidende (BT) about the cut of eight part-time positions.

He is the spokesman for the employees at the station in Jølster, where four positions will be cut. Following the Municipality’s decision last week, the newspaper Firda reported that all 18 employees are resigning.

Firefighters from the Jølster station were the first to be at the site when a fire broke out in the Fjærland tunnel in 2017.

Resigning in protest

This week, 12 out of Gaular’s 15 firefighters also decided to resign. And most firefighters in Førde and Naustdal believe the new fire service system provides weaker preparedness.

Following the merger of Førde, Jølster, Gaular, and Naustdal last year, Sunnfjord Municipality has tried to coordinate the fire service with five stations and 78 employees.

The crews are part-time employees but have the emergency network radio on at all times and move out about 40 times a year.

“June 30, we will hand in our equipment and turn off the radio. We do not know what the consequence will be,” Tveit told BT.

Municipal director Ole John Østenstad admits that it will be demanding if many quit but says that he thinks they (note: the Municipality) “will be able to handle it.”

Source: © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayNews

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