Palma firefighters have set out improvements needed to the service. | A. Sepúlveda

The association of professional firefighters (APBP) in Palma yesterday attacked the "catastrophic situation" that the fire service finds itself in. There have been years of "poor management" which have left the brigade lacking personnel and adequate resources.

All political parties standing for election in Palma have been sent a document that itemises minimum requirements for improvement. These cover staffing, equipment, vehicles, training, risk prevention and working conditions. The APBP has called on the parties to incorporate these requirements into their manifestos for next month's election. It has also stated the need for whichever party or parties are running the town hall after the election to apply an emergency plan to the fire service.

On specific issues, such as the current personnel, the association notes that the youngest firefighter is thirty years old and that the average age is fifty. On others it refers to obsolete and insufficient vehicles and to antiquated protective gear. Demands are made for better lift ladders (longer ones), light engines for use in narrow and small streets and auxiliary trucks.

No political party or town hall administration is singled out for particular reproach, as the APBP adds that all recent administrations have to share responsibility for the situation.