With limited firefighting manpower resources and unlimited civilian manpower resources, the Ministry of the Interior on March 21st reported to the ministerial affairs meeting of the Ministry to pass amendment of Article 4, 7, and 8 of the “Regulations for the Organization Procedure, Training Program, Drill and Service of the Voluntary Fire Fighters” and promulgated that foreign nationalities, people from China, residents of Hong Kong or Macau who legally obtain a residential permit and has no criminal records with any prison sentence imposed are now able to participate in volunteer firefighting works to allow more passionate and kindhearted foreign nationalities to become volunteer firefighters.
Ministry of the Interior said the number of foreign nationalities, people from China, residents of Hong Kong or Macau who legally obtain a residential permit has gradually increased and according to statistics of National Immigration Agency, the number of foreign nationalities, their spouses, and spouses from China (including Hong Kong and Macau) now inhabiting in Taiwan reaches 522,677. Taiwan is prone to natural disasters and if foreign nationalities living in Taiwan are willing to take a part in voluntary firefighting works, with local arrangement, training, and utilization, they will bring positive effectiveness to overall firefighting and disaster relief works.
This amendment is the second one following the amendment of residential registration, conducts, selection eligibility, training limits of leaders, and the increase of number of Deputy Director-general of voluntary firefighters on September 6th, Ministry of the Interior again made the amendment to allow foreign nationalities living in Taiwan to participate in voluntary firefighting works by serving as voluntary firefighters to strengthen civil assistance power of voluntary firefighting organization.
Additionally, in order to separate firefighting tasks of mobilized human power during “emergency” and that for “regular operations,” at the same time, the organization for human resource mobilization of new participants including foreign nationalities, people originally from China, Hong Kong, and Macau is excluded to support military assistance services. If the said residents disappear or have their residential permit cancelled or abolished, they will be dismissed by organizations that recruit them.
Ministry of the Interior pointed out that the amendment of Article 4, 7, and 8 of the “Rules Governing Composition and Training of Drill Services of Volunteer Firefighters” will be announced for implementation after recent completion of legal operational procedure.