"Central and Local Hand in Hand for Fire Vehicle Replacement” – National Fire Agency initiates the 2-year project for replacement of outdated fire vehicles
Ministry of the Interior points out that the central government is providing an annual budget as a general subsidy for replacement of outdated fire vehicles despite the fact that the “Local Government Act” specifies the responsibility of local governments for budgeting and purchase of fire vehicles. On the other hand, the Ministry has launched the “2-year project for replacement of outdated fire vehicles” to accelerate the retirement and replacement of outdated fire vehicle at the local level and the subsidy was approved by the Executive Yuan on May 22 2020.
As an effort to assist local fire departments in the 2-year project, the Ministry invited the deputy director generals and above from local fire departments for a meeting on Jun 6 2020 to bring everyone to a mutual consent, provide assistance in difficulties that local government may encounter during the implementation of the project and identify 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 vehicles that are older than 20 years will hopefully 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Fire Agency added that they will help local governments establish an active system for the retirement and replacement outdated fire vehicles, ask local government to develop their own replacement plans and keep a close watch on the budget plans proposed by these governments for self-funding for outdated vehicle replacement.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It is the hope of NFA that all local governments have a sound system in place for the replacement of outdated fire vehicles at the end of the project, as to ensure the safety of the vehicles.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.