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20 May, 2024
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Cyprus fires back at Eurostat report

Fire Department denies title for EU’s second largest workforce, clarifies not all 1622 firefighters are professionals


The Cypriot Fire Department took issue with a Eurostat report this week that said the Republic of Cyprus in 2021 had the second highest share of firefighters on payroll.

According to the statistical department of the European Union, the percentage of firefighters compared to the overall workforce was about 0.38%, corresponding to 1622 firefighters out of a total of 431,716 workers.

Cypriot officials rushed to clarify that Eurostat numbers referred to totals employed in all three different branches, some of whom were not considered professionals

But a statement from the Fire Department on Wednesday rushed to clarify that the Eurostat numbers were referring to totals employed on the island in all three different branches - Fire Department, Forestry Service, and Game and Fauna, some of whom were not considered professionals.

The statement said about 737 fire fighters were considered professionals, meaning they have completed a three-year academic program, with that number including some 100 individuals who do not work outside the airports zones in Larnaca and Paphos.

Eurostat: Cyprus spends less than EU average on fire protection

Also, according to data regarding government spending on fire protection services in 2020, Cyprus spent about 0.4% of its government expenditure, which was lower than the EU average for that year (0.5%).

The fire department said about 80 positions out of the 737 professional spots were vacant, but the statement did not specify a timeframe.

Professional fighters in the Republic of Cyprus are those understood to be able bodied individuals who are properly trained and capable of responding to a wide range of incidents, including urban fire fighting, rescuing humans and animals, managing a chemical disaster, and responding to various accidents and emergencies.


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