Further to a previous report on the Départemental Fire and Rescue Services (SDIS) published in 2011, the Court and 13 regional audit chambers conducted a survey of the General Directorate for Civil Protection and Crisis Management (DGSCGC) and a sample of 34 SDIS, examining the staff of these local public bodies, and the national resources, particularly aerial resources, of the civil protection services.
The SDIS are operating in a context characterised by a stagnating workforce, the deteriorating financial situation of the départements, which are their main source of funding, and the recent weakening of the legal status of volunteer firefighters. They are also facing growing risks and ever increasing demands, primarily in terms of providing people with emergency assistance, due in particular to medical desertification and the ageing of the population.
This situation, which demonstrates firefighters’ availability, commitment and dedication, is not, however, sustainable in the long-term. The State and the
départements must provide the SDIS with a framework and tools to enable them to better control their staff costs. It is also their responsibility to achieve a review of the missions undertaken by fire and rescue services in order to refocus them on their core role.