• The San Juan Daily Star

Firefighters demand promised economic incentive

United Firefighters Union of Puerto Rico President José Tirado

By John McPhaul

United Firefighters Union of Puerto Rico President José Tirado charged Wednesday that the island government “forgot” the economic incentive that Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia promised last June to first responders who have worked through the pandemic.

As of Wednesday, firefighters, emergency management employees and medical emergencies had not received the incentive.

“Leaving these public servants, who are already poorly paid and work in precarious conditions, hanging borders on a psychological game on the part of the government,” Tirado said.

“It is time to put a stop to this practice, to playing politics with people’s lives,” the union leader added. “It is unprecedented that the government has not yet processed this economic stimulus to these personnel who have been at the forefront since day one of the pandemic, without rest and under precarious conditions, as widely denounced by us.”

Tirado demanded that the governor report when the promised $2,000-per-person deposit will be made.

“It is important that the incentive be given to public employees promptly, without distinction,” he said. “However, it’s hard not to think that firefighters and emergency management and medical emergency personnel have been abandoned.”

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