The Fire Services in Cyprus look finally set to become an independent body following years of discussions.
An internal report conducted by the Services has been submitted to the chief of police with the fire services currently operating under the umbrella of the Cyprus Police.
Sources from the Justice Ministry claim Minister Ionas Nicolaou is anxious to find the key to the autonomy of the service which has been a topic of discussion for nearly 15 years now.
Staffing, promotions, and increased wages have been the deliberating factors that have so far prevented the service from breaking away from the police force.
A transitional period is now under discussion whereby the Fire Services hierarchy will report to Police Chief Zacharias Chrysostomou, but promotions and transfers will be dealt with within the service and not by the police as is currently the standard practice.
A second option is to proceed with some promotions in order to push on with autonomy, with the remainder of the changes to follow at a later date.
The overall picture of the organisation of the Fire Services is not a good one as it is seriously understaffed especially when it comes to high-ranking officers.