Firefighters in stations across Alicante Province including those based at Almoradi, Orihuela, and Torrevieja have refused to work any overtime as of last Monday in a row about manning. Their union says that current workforce levels are too low and that vacancies are not being filled as a cost-cutting exercise.
The overtime ban has been implemented to show the Alicante Provincial Council how desperate the situation has become according to the union, the Consorcio Provincial de Bomberos, after their 500-plus regional members voted overwhelmingly in favour of sticking to their contracted hours.
Twenty-two replacements for retired firefighters have been hired over the last three years, but union chiefs say that 90 people are needed, and they have also criticised the hiring of workers on temporary contracts.
Manning on Monday according to the Información newspaper, saw just five fighters in Torrevieja (station pictured) on duty, including their chief, to cover a population area of 200 thousand taking in the city, as well as Guardamar, Pilar de la Horadada, and the Orihuela Costa. In Almoradi, just four people were on shift covering a large part of the central Vega Baja, but also providing cover for incidents in the Torrevieja area, like they did for a car smash in Los Montesinos on Saturday(see page two). Orihuela had seven people on duty on Monday.