Per Margaux Desdet
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Get closer to the population, citizens or business leaders. this is the goal firefighters. Friday, May 20, 2022, the barracks of La Ferte-sous-Jouarre, in Seine-et-Marne, opened its doors to the Fertois association of entrepreneurs. Lieutenant Mathieu Lebastard, head of the fire and rescue center since January, explained to business leaders the internal organization and how partnerships can be created between them, namely to work together to recruit volunteers.
The exchanges began with the presentation of the firefighters’ missions, most of which were shared, among others, with Samu and private ambulances.
“Our only exclusive mission is the prevention, prediction and extinguishing of fires, but this represents only 5% of the activities. We mainly provide assistance to victims, which represents approximately 90% of our interventions. We intervene to protect people, goods and the environment. »
They can, for example, intervene in floods, pollution or for animals.
The Fertois workforce
The barracks at La Ferté-sous-Jouarre, which covers a sector of 18 municipalities (30,000 inhabitants) account 28 firefightersincluding a proximity diver, 35 volunteers, 20 young firefighters (12-16 years old) and administrative, technical and specialized personnel. Last year they did 3,000 operations. “It fell at the time of Covid and I haven’t seen a recovery yet,” says the center’s head.
Altogether, they are just five women. “Despite the feminization effort, they represent only 16% nationally. The particularity here is that we have a medical service, and there the proportion is reversed: we have many more nurses than male nurses”, explains Jérôme Triqueneaux, vice lieutenant, at the barracks for two years.
Several vehicles are operational, some equipped with so-called basic means and others for special risks. The Fertois center has a fire truck, a multipurpose vehicle, a tank truck for forest fires, a truck with a ladder, a roadside rescue vehicle, two ambulances and a car for the nurse.
“The numbers available in each barracks are indicated in the Melun telephone exchange, thanks to the trackers with which the vehicles are equipped. In real time, duty officers can know which machines are engaged, where they come from and what they are doing”, explains Mathieu Lebastard.
Partnerships with companies
As in the whole of France, there is a lack of volunteer firefighters. The fireman underlines recruitment and retention issues.
“In La Ferté-sous-Jouarre, in terms of permanence, we must be 12 during the day and 9 at night. However, the number of professionals means they are between 6 and 8 on guard. Therefore, we need 4 to 6 volunteers per day, who come to complement their professional activity or their studies. And we only have 35…”
According to him, “companies should not run away when an employee tells them he wants to be a volunteer firefighter. »
Indeed, partnerships can be established between the companies and the department’s fire and rescue service.
“We are part of a scheme where the volunteer will really associate his activity, his profession and his family life. »
Everything is thus organized in advance and availability is fixed only on your rest times.
Having a volunteer in your company, “a real force”
Not to mention the advantage that a firefighter, trained in first aid and capable of reacting in case of fire, represents for a company. “It’s a real force,” reacts the lieutenant.
To become a volunteer firefighter, all you have to do is be from 18 to 55 years oldbe in healthy, “run a little and manage to lift a load, but we don’t expect high-level athletes”, specifies Mathieu Lebastard. There are requirements, but it’s a lot more flexible than you might think. »
The volunteer, whose activity is remunerated, agrees to come at least 48 hours a month. During the day, he participates in sports training, maneuvers, but also in organizing the rescue center (machine maintenance, cleaning). At night, the volunteer is only activated in the intervention.
Barracks La Ferté-sous-Jouarre: 14, avenue de Rebais. Contact: 01 60 24 22 90.
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