The Polish government has caused a stir by asking two fire stations in every “powiat” district (380 of those) in Poland, including volunteer ones, to house refugees.Incredulous firefighters all over the country have responded with displeasure, citing lack of space, lack of sanitary facilities, the unrealistic concept of living with constant use and entrance / exit of active fire service vehicles.
Tczew County’s Radosław Sarnowski, head of OSP (Ochotnicza straż pożarna) in Pelplin, said that today they lack space.
The idea is unrealistic. There is no doubt it’s for a good cause, to accommodate refugees in our depot, we’d have to give it to them in its entirety, and then move to another building.
Ryszard Trojanowski, OSP president of Pruszczu Gdański says “We do not have conditions to accept refugees. We would needed extra room with sanitary facilities, and we don’t have it.”
The President of the OSP Nowy Staw sees other problems.
We could find a place for refugees and would help them, but I have concerns whether it would not negatively affect our activities and the level of safety, for example.
– Krzysztof Miśkiewicz.
Our depot does not have showers or toilets, even for firefighters. I can’t imagine how the refugees would live in such a place. After all, you are going to be sharing at different times of the day or night [with shift workers]. There are alarms day and night, for anyone that would reside there.
– Krzysztof Datta, municipal Commissioner of OSP Karsin.
Wejherowo station also has a problem with playing host.
Some of the OSP are admittedly social rooms, but those are exceptions. With us is very simple, these are not conditions for housing for families and hence my skepticism.
– Zenon Frankowski, President of OSP Wejherowo.
For the time being concerns of the kartuzy County Firefighters surveyed are only about such issues as the number of sheets, blankets or tents available.
The quotes continue, and are many, generally to do with nowhere suitable available. OSP Starzyno have no showers. The national disaster centre, would have to use their break room. In Starzyno they were not officially informed and found out about it over the internet. They just rent the buildings, and there are no showers.
Brig. Paweł Frątczak, a spokesman for the Commander in Chief of the professional firefighters union, officially contradicts news about the search for sites, for example, for Syrians. And stresses that any decisions on the matter will be part of the Ministry of the Interior.
We should not be looking for accommodation for refugees.
Firefighters support this relief action in another way. Already we have donated a few hundred sets of mattresses and beds to Germany for refugees from the Middle East within the framework of the Community mechanism for civil protection.