On average, the units of the Grand Ducal Fire and Rescue Corps (CGDIS) intervene between 230 and 250 times per day. Ambulances account for the majority of these interventions.

On Thursday, the Saint Barbara's Day celebration for the CGDIS personnel was held for the first time at Cercle Cité in Luxembourg City. CGDIS Director Paul Schroeder used the opportunity to reflect on the last few months. As in previous years, the teams of the CGDIS have had their work cut out for them in 2022, with a record 70,000 interventions.

But there were also other challenges. The CGDIS intervenes between 230 and 250 per day, with ambulances dispatched 80% of the time. According to Schroeder, the CGDIS is increasingly being called for cases that are not emergencies "in the traditional sense of the word."

"Whether it's someone calling 112 for the umpteenth time and getting frustrated because they can't reach a GP, or an ambulance driver on their way to the umpteenth operation of the day, only to see that the patient is waiting at the front door with their suitcase to be taken to the hospital," Schroeder said, adding that in the latter case "this person may then be told 'we are not a taxi'." What this means is that the CGDIS "sometimes has to intervene to make up for shortages or unavailability in the health or social sectors," according to Schroeder.

In this context, the CGDIS would like to launch an awareness campaign to inform the population when to call an ambulance and when not to. At the same time, staff should also be trained to properly deal with such situations.

Schroeder also remarked that staff members are "sometimes unhappy" due to the fact that since the 2018 reform, CGDIS personnel has been hired in different careers.

As a result, some people working at the CGDIS today "cannot benefit from the same conditions as their work colleagues and therefore, although they do the same work, they don't have the same conditions," Schroeder noted, adding that for some it is even impossible to advance in their career. "There is no specific career for firefighters and nurses, for example, and the general conditions for health personnel at the state level do not adequately account for the situation at the CGDIS," Schroeder explained.

For this reason, those in charge at the CGDIS have decided to reach out to trade union representatives, according to Schroeder.

The CGDIS currently has 3,867 volunteer and 620 professional firefighters.
The full report by RTL Télé (in Luxembourgish):