By Telnis Skuqi –
Gjirokastër – If you ever notice an hearth of fire, i suggest you to run away. Don’t try to call 128, since that the threat of firefighting chief comes faster than firefighters. This event has unfortunately happened to Edi Molla, a resident of “Zinxhira” street. It was an August evening. He was traveling home by bicycle. Suddenly the night shone. At first Molla thought that the electrical transformer of neighborhood blew up. He was wrong. Actually, there were three kids experimenting with firecrackers.
“They put the garbage bin on fire. The fire went out of control. The kids left. They were unlucky. The game didn’t go as they expected”, Molla started confessing. He decided to intervene. He called 128, the fire fighting. He got identified by name and surname. There is a fire in “Zinxhira” street”. A garbage bin threatens to burn the neighborhood garden. It is located very close to a one storey building,- was his report. “At first I thought that firefighters would come soon, but a few minutes later i got a call. It was Filip Qirko, the chief of firefighting”, explains Molla. “I was amazed. He was giving me lectures why i reported, instead of asking information about the event. For him, i made a mistake that i called 128”, follows him. “Firefighters do not deal with the burning of garbage bins. It is the duty of municipality”, says Qirko.
Sokol Karaulli, the former charge of Fire Department
Molla were left speechless. The large fire was risking the building, while Mr. Qirko were suggesting him to extinguish the fire with a small bucket. Unfortunately, the city hall where Molla lives, there is no emergency number to help the community. Where an ordinary citizen finds a hearth fire, naturally they call the firefighters, not hospital. “Mr. Qirko impressed me. Instead of thanking me, he were asking me like i was an arsonist. I didn’t understand where i went wrong?!”, says Molla amazed. Not good to call, also not good not to call to report a fire hearth”, he added.
Sokol Karaulli, the former charge of Fire Department for the District of Gjirokastra, estimates immature the act of his successor. “Nobody has the right to call from the fire brigade, but citizen has the right to report a hearth fire and in case when the call is fake then the institution requires investigation at the prosecution”, says Karaulli. This problem, follows Karaulli, has an explanation. Firefighters are not able to provide service due to the fuel theft that the Prefecture of District of Gjirokastra did. “The prefects car were spending more fuel than the firefighters”, declares Karaulli, which adds that of this fact he was fired.
Karaulli says that according to the regulation, fire fighting vehicles are legally obliged to carry out a daily start in place, two times in summer and three times in winter. “The vehicle is forced to stay on for 10 minutes. If they don’t start the vehicle they go to prison”, Karaulli specifies. To concretize it in numbers, Karaulli explains that in District of Gjirokastra are 6 firefighting vehicles on standby, 4 in Gjirokastër, one inTepelenë and another one in Përmet. “Only the start in place consumes at least 60 liters per day, while in winter a little more. If you do a monthly account the bill runs about 1800 liters. Actually, this service is overlooked although it is written on the register”, speaks Karaulli.
Further more, the former chief of the fire department, says that this service is not able to protect the life of people in need, even
The demand for equipment sent to the Prefecture of Gjirokastra
firefighters themselves and other vehicles are insecure. “The firefighters are always exposed to the risk due to work profile. Naturally they will move quickly to the scene. If an accident happens to them on the street they are not able to pay the damage”, says Karaulli. The situation, follows him, is even worse where the vehicles are moving on tires that are over 6 years old. “According to the regulation tires should be changed once every two years. In fact this has not happened for years” Karaulli says. Further more, Karaulli highlights that firefighters do not have any logistical tool to save human lives. According to him, oxygen bottles and first aid kit are missing, they don’t have foam and powder, while the tubes are amortized.
“However even brave firefighters don’t know what to do if they don’t have an oxygen bottle”, Karaulli highlights. He explains that he got sacked by order of the Prefect. His only mistake was an official letter. He should have not required material base. “Prefecture already owe me legally as a way of compensation, with a final decision, 1.2 million ALL, against Euro 1100 that were the cost of the material base. This is the state”, says Karaulli. Regarding to this problem, the Prefecture of the District of Gjirokastra refused to pronounce, despite to two official letters sent by Journalists Association for Justice based on information law.
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