As drivers around the Greater Metropolitan Area of San Jose (GAM) lines up for blocks to fill their gas tanks on Monday, fearing a shortage at the pumps as the national strikes continued without end, the same concern was shared at the Cruz Roja (Red Cross) and Bomberos (Fire Department), prompting an announcement Monday afternoon that they would limit their responses.

Bomberos regional fire station

The Cruz Roja said except for critical cases (red) and urgent (yellow) people with minor injuries (green) should try to get to medical centers on their own means.

The Cruz Roja defines “Red” as critical, potentially recoverable patients, who require immediate medical attention and “Yellow”, a patient presenting an emergency situation with life risk. It can be complicated at any time.

According to Jim Batres, deputy director of the Cruz Roja operations, the internal directive is normal when facing major emergencies or circumstances such as that the country is living at this time, “where the transport of fuel to gas stations has been compromised in some way or another and that has caused some level of shortage.”

At the Bomberos, Fire Cheif Hector Chaves, said they have suspended temporarily all non-emergency operations, such as neighbor fire prevention campaigns, to maintain a fuel reserve capacity to meet emergencies.

Chaves added that they have been in conversation with local gas stations for them to reserve at least 1,000 liters of fuel for emergency vehicles. Chaves said they have also been talking to bus fleet operators who have their own gas filling tanks in the event of an emergency.

Authorities are asking the population to “make rational use of our services”, that is not to call 9-1-1 unless there is a real life-threatening emergency.

The measure is expected to remain while the context of uncertainty in the country is maintained..

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