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Helping the Youth Come Home, Chen Fu-Hai Replenishes Kinmen County’s Firefighters

Helping the Youth Come Home, Chen Fu-Hai Replenishes Kinmen County’s Firefighters
Reporter: Weng Wei-Chih / Kinmen County Government

Understanding the parental love and profound anxiety of parents waiting for their children to return, Magistrate Chen Fu-Hai has always believed that bringing the youth back to their hometown to keep their parents company is definitely a good thing. Not only will this allow children to take care of their parents, but also suitably resolve the issue of aging population.
In the light of this, when the 14 new fire fighters and police officers that were accepted in 2014 reported in for duty in Kinmen County on January 13th, 2016, Magistrate Chen instructed the Fire Bureau to coordinate with the National Fire Agency and exchange the special examination quota and Kinmen residents assigned to fire departments in Taiwan. After the efforts of Director-General Yang Su-Kai of the Fire Bureau and Director-General Tsai Liu-Ping of the Personnel Department, as well as Magistrate Chen communicating with each county and city in the last moments, Kinmen residents were finally successfully brought back to serve in Kinmen.
The Fire Bureau pointed out that Kinmen County has the highest ratio of population to fire fighters among offshore islands, in which the ratio in Kinmen County is 1 to 1,468, in Penghu County the ratio is 1 to 578, and in Lienchiang County it is 1 to 391; Kinmen is 2.5 times that of Penghu County and 3.8 times that of Lienchiang County. This statistic shows the shortage of fire fighters in Kinmen County, posing a great challenge to disaster relief and rescue. Therefore, replenishing the number of local fire fighters is an urgent matter. However, according to regulations, those accepted in the special examination in 2014 are distributed in the order of their training scores, and the 14 fire fighters that chose Kinmen were all not originally from Kinmen. Many fire fighters originally from Kinmen but serving in counties and cities in Taiwan wanted to return to their hometown through this opportunity, but could not get their wish at first.
After coordination between central and local governments under the efforts of the magistrate and director generals, the Ministry of the Interior and fire departments of county (city) governments finally agreed to the transfers, allowing Kinmen descendants to return to Kinmen and provide services. Of the 14 new fire fighters, 4 received practical training after passing the 2014 grade four examination for fire fighters and police officers in the civil servant special examination, the units they received practical training are as follows: Chou Chia-Ching (Jincheng Branch), Yeh Chia-Hao (Lieyu Branch), Hsu Kuo-Sheng (Jinhu Branch), and Wu Chia-Wei (Jinsha Branch).
The remaining 10 fire fighters originally from Kinmen that were serving in fire departments of counties (cities) in Taiwan are as follows: Taipei City Fire Department: Hung Kuo-Jung (transferred to Jinsha Branch), Li Chung-Hao (transferred to Jinhu Branch), and Li Tsung-Ju (transferred to Jinning Branch); Taoyuan City Fire Department: Chien Chih-Hua (transferred to Jinsha Branch), Chen Cheng-Lung (transferred to Jincheng Branch), and Hsueh Li-Kui (transferred to Lieyu Branch); Kaohsiung City Fire Department: Huang Chih-Chung (transferred to Lieyu Branch) and Wang Yu-Hsin (transferred to Jinsha Branch); Changhua County Fire Bureau: Chuang Hsiu-Ming (transferred to Jinning Branch); Taitung County Fire Bureau: Wu Kuo-Hui (transferred to Jinhu Branch). Magistrate Chen said that Chinese people have always viewed the saying “The old are provided for till their death, the adults are employed, and the young developed” in the Chapter of Great Harmony of Ta Tung as an ideal world. Chinese people value family and hoped to be with their children when they are old, so they can play with their grandchildren, but this is extremely difficult in modern society. If there are no employment opportunities, the youth can only go into the cities. He has always believed in fate and it has been hard to watch the elderly of Kinmen yearn to see their children in the over a year since he assumed office. Hence, he earnestly welcomes everyone into the county government. Kinmen is an island of happiness and he hopes everyone can be proud of being from Kinmen, as well as being a member of the Fire Bureau. He also stressed that he attaches great importance to fire safety, Kinmen is one big family, and he will implement more measures to bring outstanding descendants of Kinmen back to their hometown to provide services. He hopes that everyone will bring the good environment and atmosphere of Taiwan back to Kinmen. He indicated that he is willing to listen to and accept feedback from front line fire fighters. Of course, once they are back, they must be prepared to work because firefighting in Kinmen is complicated and their challenge is the overall environment, so they cannot be complacent.
It is worth mentioning that negotiating the transfer of the 10 fire fighters took place in a very short amount of time with unprecedented pressure, and the negotiations were not that smooth. However, under the persistence of Magistrate Chen and constantly making compromise, he not only personally spoke with the heads of each county (city) and fire departments, but also made phone calls through the night after his day of official business. There was even a slight setback in the process when Taoyuan City Fire Department denied the request, but eventually the intended results were obtained.
Fire safety readiness is a top priority in Kinmen. Magistrate Chen said that he will do whatever he can to slowly improve, whether it may be manpower, equipment or experience. The county government will not cut corners in care and benefits for fire fighters. He hopes that everyone will work together to improve the infrastructure for fire safety.
“Welcome back” said Magistrate Chen when meeting with the 14 new fire fighters of the Fire Bureau. He also said Kinmen is a friendly island, he talked about having the “right heart and right thinking” last year, and this year he set the theme of administration as “the merciful have no enemies, and the wise have no worries.” Furthermore, he talked about “governing the county with filial piety,” besides setting an example with actions, he reminded everyone to not forget “morning and evening visits” to parents. Aside from showing gratitude, he hopes they will use the power of love, rapidly assimilate into the county government and become an outstanding member, using greater tolerance to make Kinmen a happier island.

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  • Date:2016-12-07