Taichung Fire Dept allows sleeping on duty

Taichung Fire Dept allows sleeping on duty
A member of the fire department walks at the fire site of a bowling venue in northern Taoyuan on January 20, 2015.

Starting today, the Taichung Fire Department is changing its policy of "late-night duty" to "sleeping on duty."

If the policy receives good feedback, it will be expanded, according to Taichung Mayor Lin Chia-lung.

Fire Department Chief Hsiao Huan-Chang said the tragedy of the Jan 20 fire in a Taoyuan bowling alley, which killed 6 firemen, has led to deep reflection on the issue of safety for fire department servicemen and women.

Given the work schedule of 48 hours of straight service followed by 24 hours of rest, it is a fact that service personnel carry a heavy workload that weighs on their physical wellness, he said, according to the Central News Agency.

From Feb 1 to April 30, the policy of "sleeping on duty" will be introduced to reduce strain for personnel, with the ultimate goal of improving service quality.

From 10 pm to 6 am, fire department personnel are allowed to sleep and shut the doors.

However, radio and phone lines will still be operational to allow for quick response.

The Emergency Rescue Center operates the 119 hotline, and it is not affected by the new policy, according to CNA.

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