09 May 2014 20:24

Pending restructuring of Civil Defence will improve its ability to respond to emergencies and increase safety for the public, Minister of Interior Socrates Hasikos said yesterday.
Hasikos said the aim of the reshuffle is to increase the level of protection the Civil Defence can provide during times of natural disaster and emergencies.
"The restructure will among other things seek better management of manpower, additional permanent and voluntary staff, the formulation of emergency action plans and a review of the equipment currently in use."
Hasikos congratulated the Civil Defence for the "excellent" services it provides adding that he will be closely monitoring the restructuring process in relation to the timeframes set.
"The Civil Defence provides a very important humanitarian service which would not be possible without the vital support it receives from volunteers."  
The proposal to restructure the Civil Defence was presented to the House Watchdog Committee last month after concerns were raised over the average age of its volunteers, the majority of whom are over 65, and their ability to respond to physically demanding emergency situations.
The restructuring proposal stipulates an age cap of 75 for volunteer next year and 65 the following year in an effort to wean off older members and comply with the ten-year limit which has not been enforced so far.
A Civil Defence training exercise is scheduled to take place on May 19-20 with teams of 17 other countries also taking part.


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