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Brussels paramedics plan strike after ambulance theft and violence
Fire and ambulance staff in Brussels have announced plans to strike after an on-duty ambulance was stolen and paramedics were attacked during an emergency callout.
The SLFP trade union, which represents public services, has lodged a new strike warning for the Brussels’ fire and emergency medical aid service Siamu in the light of these events.
The ambulance was stolen in Laeken in the middle of an urgent call and was recovered shortly afterwards on Rue Gustave Schildknecht.
Shortly afterwards, Siamu fire and ambulance service staff were attacked in Saint-Josse in a separate incident.
In view of these incidents, the SLFP demanded that more be done to ensure the protection of people practising first aid in the Brussels region.
The union is also concerned about arrangements to be put in place during the Christmas and New Year festive season.
“Every day, it is with fear that dozens of staff leave Yser metro station or the Gare du Nord to get to work,” the SLFP explains. “We see that the priorities [of authorities] are elsewhere and that the protection of workers who carry out a job of helping and rescuing people comes second.”
The strike notice will come into force as soon as it is received by the Brussels government and is accompanied by a “much more detailed” list of demands.
In particular, the union wants the powers relating to the Siamu to be withdrawn from Brussels secretary of state Ans Persoon.
She is currently responsible for a broad portfolio including town planning and heritage, European and international relations and foreign trade, as well as firefighting and urgent medical aid.