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Immigrant firefighters hired 'to stop attacks'

TT/Rebecca Martin · 20 Feb 2012, 10:29

Published: 20 Feb 2012 10:29 GMT+01:00

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”At one point some kids were throwing rocks at us. I caught hold of a guy and spoke to him in his own language,” said Ilhan Demir of the South Stockholm fire service to SVT.

The diversity project is meant to widen recruitment, according to SVT, not in the least when it comes to attracting staff with a different background than the traditional Swedish.

It is hoped that it will overcome language barriers and increase security for fire personnel in the big city areas.

The project will cost 7.5 million kronor ($1.1 million) and will be funded by the European Social Fund (ESF). Part of the money will go to the South Stockholm (Södertörn) fire service.

”We're about 300 on active call-out duty, of which only 18 are of a different background than Swedish. There needs to be more,” said Christer Flodfält, union representative for the fire service to SVT.

Story continues below…

According to the broadcaster it has become more frequent that fire personnel are attacked with stones and other objects and it is hoped that the new initiative may bridge the gap between the fire fighters and the gangs of unruly kids.

”This is a very important project,” said fire fighter Nadia Jelili to SVT.

TT/Rebecca Martin (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

11:56 February 20, 2012 by azimov
The ethnicity of the firefighters won't matter. The riff-raff throwing stones will hardly stop to ponder whether assaulting a person of a similar background is really not on. The firefighters should have some kind of security escort or be given permission to turn their hoses on the ar*eholes throwing projectiles.
12:14 February 20, 2012 by RobinHood
"The Swedish fire service is looking to hire more personnel with a foreign background in order to increase safety for fire fighters in big city areas ..."

That's a dreadful reason to hire people with a foreign background as firemen. Recruiting immigrant firemen in the hope that criminals won't throw rocks at them because they are also immigrants isn't going to solve the basic problem; that certain people in Sweden have sunk so low, they throw rocks at firemen. And that the state actually lets them get away with it. Sort that out, and the firemen can be any color you like.
12:36 February 20, 2012 by johnny1939
Yea, Yea make sure they do not speak Swedish either. Such crap in the name of diversity. People should be hired for suitability to the job. Being politically correct will one day kill us all.
13:00 February 20, 2012 by space2
This is stupid... those kids needs a good ol' spanking.

Just to be clear: I'm against child abuse, and I never hit my kids. I'm also of foreign origin, but I still think that a few slaps are more beneficial then speaking their language!
14:00 February 20, 2012 by Mb 65
They have different races in the English fire service and they still get stones fireworks and anything else they can find at the firemen and the fire engines petrol tank.
14:37 February 20, 2012 by Dave N
This is getting more than a joke. A short while ago it was reported that the delivery of mail had been stopped in parts of Malmo because of attacks on postmen and immigrant postmen were being trained to make the deliveries. Now the same thing is happening to the fire brigade.

Soon it will be police, doctors, nurses, plumbers, electricians etc until only people of immigrant stock are allowed anywhere near these no-go areas - which will have effectively become foreign territory on Swedish soil.

" There needs to be more," said Christer Flodfält. No, Christer - there needs to be less... far less immigrants - or Sweden as we know it, is finished.
14:53 February 20, 2012 by Reason abd Realism
During the London riots, the police cameras (installed to fight terrorism) allowed the authorities to apprehend over a thousand looters and make them clean up the mess they created.

Likewise, mobile footage of fire response operations should be used to identify the worthless scum for later apprehension, and to make them clean up the damage at the site of the fire, which the firefighters may not have been able to devote themselves to 100%. And their parents should be fined.

Truly a catastrophe if kids are now throwing rocks at all forms of uniformed personel, even when these are trying to put out fires in their own neighbourhoods. Agree with #1 that the firemen should be allowed turn the hoses on the scumbags.
14:59 February 20, 2012 by StockholmSam
Integration is going to happen one way or another.
15:19 February 20, 2012 by prince T
They should have been hired because they are qualified. Does that mean people with foreign background were not good all along that the law have to be blended to accommodate them.
15:29 February 20, 2012 by Reason abd Realism
@ johnny1939

I am not a fan of quota systems or political correctness, but race diversity within rescue personel can be useful to find a child in a smoky bedroom or have him/her jump into a safety net from a window for example. This adds to the skillset of the firefighting team.

But the main point here is the appalling behaviour of the rock throwing imbeciles. I maintain that hefty fines for the parents of these kids are needed. Maybe put the rock throwers into a paddy wagon and do not release them until their parents show up and pay the fine.
16:50 February 20, 2012 by Migga
It`s immigrants who set neighbourhoods in blaze and then attack the rescue workers when they arrive. No Swedes have ever done this. They aren`t doing it now and they never will.

This quota system is just a result of bad immigration and integration policies. It`s trying to fixs a problem but not the source. I blame the politicans mostly even if the immigrants also have a responsibility to make something out of their lives and not attack rescue workers.
17:32 February 20, 2012 by bourgeoisieboheme
Ummm, if you hire certain people because they are immigrants, then it means you are not hiring Swedes because they are from here. That, is racist. period.

I guess I'm glad I don't want to be a firefighter... but even more scared to think the guy saving my life is there because of his skin color, not because he is the best, smartest, fastest, bravest, etc.
17:43 February 20, 2012 by Kublai
This shows how rasist the arabs are if they only throw stones at firemen of swedish ethnicity. I personally think that anyone who throw a stone at rescue personnel should get shot and the family should pay for the bullet. That would stop this problem.
20:18 February 20, 2012 by calebian22
Have the police shoot a few stone throwers. Guess what will happen? No more punks throwing rocks.
20:40 February 20, 2012 by strixy
Following this reasoning they should now encourage women to wear burkas and hijabs in order to prevent rape.
21:42 February 20, 2012 by efm
Good start at integration. It's not going to stop stone

throwing by a few thugs. These thugs should be punished.
22:03 February 20, 2012 by Iraniboy
That's very stupid! A person who is so stupid that throw stones at firefighters doesn't have enough intelligence to stop his habit by noticing the ethnicity of the his victims! They should instead arrest these stone throwers and deal with them based on their ages.
22:10 February 20, 2012 by fahimfmr
this is a stupid article.... Why would sweden fund a project to hire immigrants because of the stone throwing (which itself sound childish).... The main fact may be was recently there was a fire hazard in a student house near my place and the problem they faced was the student with different backgrounds were in too much panic to listen or understand the english or swedish language and I saw some ppl of same ethnicity giving courage to the stressed students. Things like this has happened one to many times...May be they decided to use the diversity of ethnicity of sweden. Why are you all so negative????
23:09 February 20, 2012 by nar klockan klamtar
Crass brain damaged stupidity of the highest order.
23:46 February 20, 2012 by nathan45
This is by far the dumbest thing i'v ever read just crazy. How are immigrants going to stop people from throwing rocks at fire fighters why would some one do that any way? Who ever thought this was a good idea is a complete idiot.
05:03 February 21, 2012 by Trenatos
This is insane, the police needs to be there and arrest people aggravating or assaulting rescue personell.

Young kid throws rock at firefighter? Haul his ass to the police station, call his parents and put a mark on his record for physical assault of public servant.
05:20 February 21, 2012 by godnatt
Swedish alternative universe logic at work once again...

Act like depraved scum and the solution is being rewarded with more money, more incentives.

The main problem is that Swedish police are impotent pansies.

It starts with enforcing the rule of law and tying consequences to criminal behavior. Sounds obvious but when you mass import violent sociopaths in droves, it's the little things that count to survive.
07:16 February 21, 2012 by eppie
Come one, everyone knows harsher punishment and excessive police violence are the answer here, I mean, look at the US. Everyone know there is 0 crime there.
07:46 February 21, 2012 by bourgeoisieboheme
So if they start throwing stones at politicians... should we only elect immigrants next?
08:10 February 21, 2012 by phil23456
Sweden you need to vote for the Sweden Democrats or soon you won't be able to live in your own country.
08:29 February 21, 2012 by Reason abd Realism
@ eppie

People like you who, with a panicky finger, point to the USA and say, 'look, more police does not solve crime' disregard the basic horror of this situation, namely that Sweden has become the land of rights without responsibilities. These are not Syrian kids throwing rocks at Assad's military death squads, this is kids throwing rocks at firefighters who are there to save them and their neighbourhoods. Accordingly you can expect a lot of anger among posters.

It is possible to go too far to the right with law enforcement, but it is also possible for a nation's so-called justice system to go so far left as to be utterly spineless, and to create a society where there is no serious disincentive to commit murder and other violent crime. I do not blame the police, they have difficult and thankless work, but I do blame the justice minister and judicial system.

People who panick at the prospect of a police state get in the way of those of us who would like to see at least reasonable measures introduced to limit violent crime (at the very least large fines for the parents in this case), including the crime of throwing rocks at rescue workers. A move from the far left to the center woiuld do Swedish society a lot of good.

I also blame the Mayors of the cities and towns where this occurs, not only for failing to introduce negative reinforcement in the form of fines for behaviour like this, but for also failing to create any positive reinforcement, by not creating any sense of community pride, which for example could perhaps be achieved by having an annual sports promotion that brings in a few professional football players to give a clinic for the kids, and then have speaches given by these sports heroes (in Swedish or other languages) that promote good behaviour in the community.
09:09 February 21, 2012 by eppie
@reason and realism

But I never say I don't see there is a problem here. And not only in Sweden, in many other countries this happens as well.

However, the idicoy of most reactions here made me react on those rather than on the article.

Anyway, a more serious reaction: I think Sweden is giving it a good try here, rather then just getting more police. I was wondering the same while around in Stockholm. On my half an hour bike ride I see around 10 cars hopping a red light, 20 parking violations, and literally 100s of people not using indicator lights and mirrors. The answer here is even simpler.....just let the police start fining people.....they even make money. But even for this there is no leverage at all. And here you talk about native swedes that kill other swedes while driving a car just because they can't be bothered to pay attention while driving.

So just hiring more police for protecting fire fighters is fine but are you going to pay for it?
09:18 February 21, 2012 by Reason abd Realism
@ eppie

Firefighters would not require police escort at all times, the firefighters themselves would simply call in the police if there is a rock throwing incident, and the fines (1000 SEK apiece, minimum) should pay for that hour of police work.

And after a few of these fining sessions the problem should go away from a particular community.
12:57 February 21, 2012 by nathan45
Ok so they are going to spend 1.1 million dollars of tax payers money to give more jobs to immigrants even though it's the immigrant children that are throwing rocks and the government is doing it all in the name of multiculturalism. Wouldn't it be better to stop bringing in third world immigrants who apparently cant even control their childrenand spend the money on education or new fire fighting equipment ?!
14:34 February 21, 2012 by Chickybee
Sweden on self-destruct mode.

I have no time for multiculturalism - you don't like Sweden close the door as you go back home to your Third World home :-)
16:48 February 21, 2012 by strixy

When their dads and uncles are firefghters, those kids will stop throwing stones at them and move on to throwing stones at politicians. Now figure out yourself, wha will happen then ;)
22:41 February 21, 2012 by Kazooskibum
Sweden is committing suicide. The end result of multiculturalism and socialism.
08:00 February 22, 2012 by mafketis
Throwing rocks at firefighters = Scum of the earth

No excuses.
12:59 February 22, 2012 by nathan45
@ strixy

You completly fail to understand your an idiot. if they hire 100 of them chances are most immigrants still wont have relatives in the fire service.

@ mafketis exactly how high on drugs does a person have to be to throw rocks at fire fighters on duty?
11:52 February 23, 2012 by slash_gordon
I know this may sound stupid, but while this is a clear-cut case of racism, in a way it's kind of poetic justice for Swedes who refuse to employ immigrants because of their ethnicity.

Somewhere near me last summer there was a case of a swede who sued (not sure of the outcome) the fire service because unqualified immigrants were being employed for summer jobs over him, a qualified fire fighter. In this case there was proof that he was unfairly missing out on a job on the basis of his nationality. But think of all the cases where immigrants apply for jobs (including myself) and miss out. When I rang up one employer after missing out on a position I was told there were more qualifed applicants even though I had a specific uni degree and years of experience. In my case it was clear I missed out because I was an immigrant but couldn't prove it, yet when a Swede can prove it they're immediately off to court.

However, I think what they're doing recruiting immigrants in the fire service is the right thing to do, BUT they need to take other measures too in order to stop the trouble makers. Such as putting CCTV in place to identify the criminals and make them clean up.
09:19 February 27, 2012 by Biorealist
Are Swedes clinically insane? They need to:

a) change their immigration criteria ASAP.

b) deport those who are not assimilating (ie. throwing rocks).
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