New Fire Chief for Silves

news: New Fire Chief for Silves

IN THE wake of the stepping down of Abel Renato Caldeira Gomes, Silves has appointed a new fire chief. In a short ceremony in Silves town hall, recently, António Domingos Agostinho Nunes (42) former section chief at Algoz and a fire fighter with 23 years experience accepted the post of Comandante of the Silves Bombeiros Voluntários.

Silves, one of the most severely drought affected areas of the country and, during the summer of 2003, scene of some of the worst forest fires within living memory, is once again a tinder box. Speaking to The Resident, António Nunes explained that his first task is to plan and prepare for what he believes could be another very difficult summer. Although a vast amount of foliage was destroyed in 2003, considerable amounts have now grown back and it is bone dry. “The first task is to carry out a study to find out precisely what we have in terms of human resources and then to make a list of priorities concerning what is needed and what we have to do.” He explained that a reconnaissance of the entire county would be carried out over the next few days in order to identify the fire danger areas and possible flare-up points. “Clearly the drought means that conditions are much more dangerous – the land is already much dryer than usual for the time of year.”

During his inauguration speech, the new Comandante emphasised the need for the Silves Bombeiros to work as a cohesive body and said that he was aware that the organisation had several difficulties and “lacunae” which needed to be filled. However, he did not specify what they were, preferring to let the “past be the past”, saying, “it is important to think in the present and to the future if we are to reach the standards desired for this Corps of Bombeiros.”

A spokesperson for Silves Câmara added: “Sr Nunes’ first priority will be to develop a forest fire prevention strategy in addition to ensuring that forest fires can be effectively fought. This has to be done without sacrificing the notable efficiency, courage, determination and solidarity with which the service responds to all situations whether fires, traffic accidents or other types of accidents upon which Silves Bombeiros have built their outstanding reputation.”