Civic assistants ‘rejected’ by the Civil Protection Volunteers Committee

A measure like the one in question risks irreparably damaging all those who have dedicated themselves to this world, introducing the dangerous principle that one can be voluntary without having any preparation to do so”. So in a note Patrizio Losi, president of the National Civil Protection Volunteer Committee, ‘rejected’ the call for sixty thousand civic assistants to support the mayors in Phase 2. Losi recalls that since 30 January last in the emergency they have been “engaged throughout Italy hundreds of thousands of civil protection volunteers who have provided around one million man-days of services to assist those in need in all Italian municipalities “. 

“Our volunteers who work every day alongside the institutions put at the service of the system – he explains – as well as their time, a constant commitment to education and training, in the development of increasingly effective operational methodologies, in the study and All this is possible thanks to the commitment of the many voluntary civil protection organizations that with daily work in society become an active element of citizen participation in the community life of the country, putting, through the commitment of their volunteers and members, their knowledge and know-how at the service of the common good. These principles are obviously questioned by a provision that entrusts delicate tasks to sixty thousand citizens recruited extemporaneously,who cannot have the adequate preparation to support the mayors nor in the delicate task of guaranteeing social distancing in places of public gathering, the prerogative of law enforcement agencies starting from the local police “.  

“Activities – underlines the Committee – to which civil protection volunteering is able to contribute but only to a limited extent to its function of providing information to citizens, and which, on the contrary, risks exposing unprepared people and citizens to complex situations also from the point of view of safety, an aspect that can never be managed by volunteers “.  

“But even more, civic assistants will not be able to support Municipalities even to ensure adequate information on the behavior to be adopted, especially in places open to the public, and to provide assistance to those who, exposed to particular conditions of fragility, need it. These activities are those in which civil protection volunteering as well as the whole Third Sector more generally, starting from specialized health and social volunteering, has been and is committed daily “, adds Losi.  

For these reasons, the National Civil Protection Volunteer Committee continues, “with increasing bewilderment we read the statements of the President of Anci and Mayor of Bari Antonio Decaro that even more, assimilating civic assistants to volunteers and volunteers of civil protection who they are dedicated to the service of others, generate dangerous confusion and offend their commitment, also due to the fact that these civic assistants should be recognizable by wearing the logos and insignia of national civil protection, which we ask, by virtue of the considerations exposed, an immediate change of course “.  

“Just as we hope that in no case these resources will be entrusted to the coordination of civil protection at any level, even more so in the municipalities where, in particular in the smaller centers, the emergency coordination structures also work thanks to the contribution of civil protection: that is, by people trained and qualified to operate safely in harmony with all the other components of the National Civil Protection Service We hope that the reconsideration of this provision will lead to the recognition of the irreplaceable value that civil protection volunteering, but as clarified more generally the Third Sector “, concludes Losi. The conversation begins.

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