“Central and Local Government Heart Linked to Heart for Fire Engines Replacement” – National Fire Agency initiates the 2-year project for replacement of expired fire engines
Ministry of the Interior points out that the central government is providing an annual budget as a general subsidy for replacement of expired fire engines despite the fact that the “Local Government Act” stipulates the responsibility of budgeting and purchasing fire engines belong to itself. On the other hand, the Ministry has launched the “2-year project for replacement of expired fire engines” in order to accelerate the retirement and replacement of expired fire engine at the local level and the subsidy was approved by the Executive Yuan on 22nd May 2020.
From the perspective to assist local fire departments to implement this 2-year project along with the central government, the Ministry invited all deputy director generals from local fire departments to attend a meeting hold on Jun 6 2020 to bring everyone into a mutual consent, providing possible approaches to cope with difficulties that local government may encounter during the implementation, identifing the principles and associated auditing measures for the self-funding of local governments for the replacement. It is estimated, as the Ministry pointed out, that at least 97 fire engines that are older than 20 years will determinedly be replaced in 2 years or by the end of 2021, as to ensure the safety of firefighters and improve disaster rescue capacity.
The National Fire Agency added that they will help local governments establish an active system for the retirement and replacement expired fire engines, ask local government to develop their own replacement plans and keep a close watch on the budget plans proposed by these governments for self-funding for expired vehicle replacement. The “ages of fire and rescue vehicles operated by the fire departments of municipal, county and city governments” section in the NFA website is updated every 6 months in July and January for open access to the information and public supervision. This is added to the evaluation of the Ministry on municipal, county and city governments on the implementation plan for general subsidies as annual performance auditing and encouragement for execution.
It is the hope of NFA that all local governments have a sound system in place for the replacement of expired fire engines at the end of the project, as to ensure the safety of the vehicles. Vehicles that are still in good conditions despite of the retirement will be donated to friendly countries through Ministry of Foreign Affairs or used for instructional purposes at the NFA training center or training facilities of local fire departments.