The government failed today to pass a decree that would have made Civil Defense volunteers full-time workers because they ran out of time! The volunteers have been protesting for almost 2 months now, they vowed to head to Syria to contribute to the humanitarian efforts and never come back, they set fire to their uniforms, they blocked vital roads today and they even threatened to stop responding to any emergency call across Lebanon, yet the government didn’t find any time to pass the decree!

Of course I’m against blocking roads because their fight is against rotten politicians not the people but I can understand their frustration and it’s about time this decree is passed and these volunteers are made full-time employees.

Just to give you an overview of the whole situation, the Civil Defense is the only firefighting and rescue force covering all Lebanese territories while Beirut is the only area that has its own fire unit. People who volunteer to work for the Civil Defense are usually promised to become full-timers within few years unlike the Red Cross where people don’t expect anything in return. This being said, some Civil Defense members have been volunteers for over 10 years and are still not getting paid any money, which is totally unacceptable!

A lot of them love what they are doing but need to provide for their families and don’t want to lose all these years of experience at this point. They should be made full-timers and more importantly given the proper training and equipment. If the government doesn’t want to pay volunteers from now on, let them make it clear for all those joining the Civil Defense.

All in all, let’s hope that the decree upgrading Civil Defense volunteers to full-timers will be approved during the next Cabinet session as promised by Mashnouq.

PS: Around 1500 civil defense volunteers are expected to become full-timers.