•  Torrevieja Civil Protection suspend all services

The Civil Protection organisation in Torrevieja has suspended all of the security and support services assigned to them, handing them over to the Civil Guard and Local Police. The actions have been brought about following the imposition of a paid municipal councillor to manage the voluntary public service.

The head of the organisation, Enrique Pizana and his deputy Estela Prieto have announced that they too have resigned from their positions along with 100% of the volunteers, in total 41 individuals, one of the largest groups in the Valencian Community.

According to a statement signed by Pizana and Prieto the reasons for adopting this decision “are the lack of sensitivity that has been shown by the Torrevieja council in the appointment of a paid councillor to manage the organisation without any prior consultation or notification.

Prieto said “we do not deserve this kind of imposition which had brought about the resignation of every single member of one of the largest and best prepared and trained volunteer organisations in the Community. We have accumulated hundreds of hours of valuable emergency training that can no longer be used for and by the people of Torrevieja. We all leave the organisation with sad hearts but with our heads held high and our work well done. ”

Meanwhile the former chief, Enrique Pizana, said that “we suspend all the services we had assigned , asking for understanding from the local police and the civil guard, who we will not be able to accompany at any future services, events or emergencies. This group and I say goodbye with our heads held high and wishing good luck to all who follow us”.

According to the same press release the group is left without any members whatsoever after a decision was made “in block by all staff and volunteers.” Therefore, in the opinion of Pizana and Prieto, the best organised body of Civil Protection volunteers in the history of the city has been brought to an end.

Many pundits wonder if the decision to disband the local corps is as a result of political motives in that Prieto is closely linked to the local PSOE. Originally nominated as a socialist candidate in the recent municipal elections he resigned his position as a result of the deep internal division in the party ranks.

Meanwhile the fact that the head of Civil Protection is remunerated has always been a “tradition” of the Popular Party, however the government is yet to announce just who the individual was going to be although in the most recent plenary it was announced that he or she would receive an annual salary of 19,000 euros