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Angra do Heroísmo ,  June 19, 2020

Regional Secretary for Health highlights public investment and consolidation of Civil Protection culture in the Azores over the last 40 years

The Regional Health Secretary stated in Angra do Heroísmo that, since the creation of the Azores Regional Civil Protection and Fire Service (SRPCBA) and with the public investment made, we have managed to create “a true culture of protection” in the Region over the last 40 years. 

Teresa Machado Luciano spoke at the SRPCBA's 40th anniversary ceremony, stressing that “almost five million Euros were invested this term in improving the operational capacity, the level of readiness and the training of fire departments” in the Azores. 

The government official also noted that, “thanks to the unusual resilience demonstrated by Azorean citizens, we have been able to raise their awareness for the importance of taking the necessary precautions for their safety and compliance with the recommendations and warnings issued by the SRPCBA, thus instilling a true civil protection culture. 

Teresa Machado Luciano also mentioned “the investment effort in the modernisation, expansion and construction of barracks for fire brigades, which, since 2015, amounts to about seven million Euros.” In this regard, she pointed out the improvement and expansion works at the Santa Maria and Santa Cruz das Flores barracks, which have already been completed, and the ongoing works at the Lajes do Pico barracks. 

Moreover, the Regional Secretary also mentioned to the construction of the new fire station in Povoação, estimated at around 2.6 million Euros, as well as the construction work of the new fire station on the island of Faial, an investment of about 2.9 million Euros schedule to begin in September. 

In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, she highlighted “the investment effort of 9.3 million Euros to guarantee personal protective equipment for all those who were at the forefront of this fight, including the approximately 900 firefighters, who have transported patients and suspected cases of infection with the novel coronavirus." 

“All emergency ambulances were equipped with biological intervention kits. We have guaranteed the specific payment of a work accident insurance with COVID-19 coverage and we have also provided accommodation for firefighters in isolation,” the government official said, highlighting “the profound reform of the legislative framework" that was recently implemented. 

In this regard, the government official considered that the new Legal Scheme on the Civil Protection System of the Autonomous Region of the Azores, the Regional Civil Protection Emergency Plan, the Regulation on the Integrated Civil Protection and Relief Operations and the Regulation om the Immediate Life Support Service guarantee “an increasingly efficient Regional Civil Protection and Fire Service in the Azores.” 

“At the same time, we have increased the salary of the Azorean firefighters, a decision that is unparalleled at national level,” the Regional Secretary stressed, noting that “310 firefighters in the Region saw their salary grow by almost 13.5% in 2020, increasing to 720 euros." 

"Next year, they will earn 740 euros, receiving more than their counterparts in Mainland Portugal," added the government official.
Teresa Machado Luciano also highlighted “the responsiveness of all Civil Protection agents and entities, namely “the intervention of Civil Protection in measures to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, including the establishment of sanitary cordons on the island of São Miguel island as well as the close collaboration of the Nordeste Fire Department with Santa Casa da Misericórdia of Nordeste and the Nordeste Health Centre in transferring patients." 

According to the Regional Secretary for Health, these results are due to the Regional Autonomy "as the Region had the power to take the measures deemed necessary to safeguard the public health of the Azorean population." 

Teresa Machado Luciano thanked all the professionals who, in the most varied functions, are part of the SRPCBA, stressing that they are “a source for pride and safety for all Azoreans.” 

On the sidelines of the ceremony, the Regional Secretary for Health informed journalists that the Government plans to facilitate the arrival of passengers in the Region, namely on the island of São Miguel, through the installation “of another tent outside, where all the bureaucratic part will take place."


Official government press-releases presented in all foreign languages interfaces of the Azorean Government Portal (Portal do Governo dos Açores) are a sub-set of the government's official press-releases daily output and are chosen for translation and publication on the foreign language interfaces based on audience segmentation criteria. The entire collection of the Azorean government press-releases is available in portuguese, here, from the GACS Press Office site.

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