Yesterday, the firemen of Rio de Janeiro took over the Quartel Central do Corpo de Bombeiros (Basically the home base for all Rio Firemen) in an attempt to get the government to pay attention to their demands for a better salary.
Rio de Janeiro firemen are paid horribly for their services, a mere R$950 monthly. And people wonder why there is a lack of motivation and a delayed response time.
They have been protesting for 2 months now and it has been falling onto deaf ears. They decided to take over the central station, in an attempt to be heard, and brought along women and children as a guarantee that everything would stay peaceful. Sadly, that isn’t how it worked out.
The Bope and Military Police entered the compound at 6am, clearing their way with tear gas and bombs. Total madness ensued. At least 5 children suffered intoxication from the gas and 2 adults suffered head injuries. While not mentioned in the news article, the tv news reported that a pregnant woman miscarried in the middle of all the chaos.
Heaven forbid the city firefighters ask for a bit more money! They aren’t going insane with their demands or anything. They want to be paid R$2,000 liquid a month and have paid transportation (it’s quite common for jobs in Brazil to pay for transportation and lunch).
I really don’t get it. You don’t underpay your firemen and emergency crews! Did they miss 9/11? These are your go-to guys! They are the people who are supposed to be taking a BIG one for the team and working for our safety! But hell, drivers here don’t even respect an ambulance trying to get to a hospital, why in the hell are they going to care about these people’s salary.
The thing is, one day you will need them. At least one time. And at that moment you’re going to have wished that they were well treated and thus motivated professionals. You’ll have your 10 to 30 minutes of waiting for the ambulance to think that one over.