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Independence of fire service was a ‘necessity’

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The complete independence of the fire service from the police was “a necessity” that was implemented 60 years after the first discussions, former Justice Minister Ionas Nicolaou said on Saturday.

He was speaking a day after the implementation of the relevant legislation to include it as an independent service under the justice ministry. So far, the fire service was part of the police and abided by the same rules and regulations.

Nicolaou described the decision as “a priority” and “a necessity” since the issue of the service’s autonomy was raised in 1958.

The draft bill was submitted to parliament in January 2019 and was approved in April 2021.

However, the road is long, Nicolaou said, as experts are now called upon to work towards the “new era” of the fire service, which is implemented at the same time as the police reform.

Last month, Justice Minister Stefi Drakou said autonomy created new prospects for the service, which could now be more functional, flexible and effective in its multifaceted role.

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