The Firefighters' Service - Four Years Under the Same Curse: Instability

Sat, 20 Jan 2018Bihor, Romania
Author: Ioana Anamaria Ungur

Ioana U. Four years ago, on January 20th 2014, a plane crashed in the Apuseni Mountains. The plane crash of sad remembrance...At the same time with that crash, the stability of the Service took a plunge as well.

Finally, after months of waiting, on January 17th 2014, came the decision to appoint one-star brigadier general Ion Burlui PhD, as inspector general (if we remember correctly, the exam had been taken somewhere in the autumn of 2013), we find out, after five days, on January 22nd 2014, that he resigned, thus putting an end to the stability of the Service. On January 23rd, after making it public on various TV channels, extremely annoyed, the minister of the Interior approved his resignation.

Fed up with the political intrusion into the Firefighters' Service and the constant humiliations from the politicians, general Burlui slammed the door and left. In the letter sent to the media of that time, general Burlui mentioned: "The firefighter is the child of this nation. One cannot call his own child an "incompetent maggot" in front of the village, when he sacrifices his time, family, life for the higher well being and another one chooses to praise and associate with him only when he gets good grades."

General Burlui had passed an exam in order to become inspector general, although the Statute of the military personnel makes it clear that commanders are appointed. It would not be the first anomaly. For two years now, under the aegis of some "enlightened" minds, with "full knowledge" in the Human Resources field of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the inspectors don't even need their appointment to be prolonged after six months. It seems that Decree 80 is somehow old fashioned in a ministry run by...civilians.

One should bear in mind that, despite of the having taken the exam, Burlui was not stranger to humiliations. It is rather late to recount those discussions. We said everything that needed saying back then. The inspector general was in the capital city, humiliated by politicians, whereas 70 hard-working firefighters from Cluj, Bihor, Mureș and Alba walked for hours through cold, snow, rain, haze, darkness, under vicious circumstances, to find the wreckage and save the passengers. All this because the so-called "specialists" of the authorized institutions were playing "hide-and-seek" with the victims' lives.

Unfortunately, for the Firefighters' Service the stability only lasted five days. There followed the chain(ge) of appointments. One weaker, other one feistier, the inspectors came and went from the IGSU command, then left the scene. Some the same as they arrived, others wearing one-star more as generals...

Burlui left after the plane crash, Cornea shortly after the Colectiv. Having left willingly or forced, does it matter? The firefighters bear the curse of instability.

We are about to reach February 4th...After a tsunami in politics, it is predictable that even the firefighters should get a hurricane, at least. The position of inspector general has not been made public yet. The most courageous of the military personnel of the country are left in the power of some politicians who only mind their own business. Can we flip the coin on the new inspector general? Iamandi, Balcu, Florea, X? Does it matter? The firefighters will continue to do their job, we all know the puppeteers, but the puppet is missing.

2017 ended on a high note: the huge fire at Moftinu. All ended well. No casualties. No losses. A resounding victory. Everything by the book. The commander on the front, by the army. Some might say that it was his duty. So be it. He accomplished it. The soldiers were pleased. The Canadians full of admiration. The gratitude of the people of Satu Mare county. So? A minister who could not even say a "Well done, bro!" they say it in Teleorman. We expect, in the same note of impertinence when she refused to resign, the suave minister of the Interior to appoint another slave at the command of the firefighters. And then, after six months, another one, if the former fails to succeed. Or even if he gets to...