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Project of the week helps fight the wildfire in the Biebrza National Park

24 / 04 / 2020
Category: Programme News

This time, in our "Project of the week" cycle, we present a project that, although it will be completed in just over a year, is already bringing concrete results, in accordance with its assumptions. The CrossEMS project "The new approach to the cross-border emergency management system" is implemented by the Commune of Dobrzyniewo Duże and its partners from the Hrodna Oblast in Belarus under the thematic objective SAFETY.

The main goal of the project is to strengthen the crisis management system and civil protection in the Polish-Belarusian border area thanks to the cooperation of the emergency planning group - firefighters and persons dealing with crisis management. In the project, among others an innovative "Cross-border Emergency Management Plan" will be developed, equipment purchased and new fire stations built.

More information about the project can be found in the pdf file below.

The implementation of the project began in the third quarter of 2019. A group was created with the aim to develop the "Cross-border Emergency Management Plan". During the workshop in Belarus, it defined the document's framework and preliminary assumptions about further work on the plan. Legal analyses of activities on both sides of the border and compliance of the initial assumptions with Polish and Belarusian law were carried out. The purchasing of equipment was also started. In December 2019, the Polish side bought a new car for the firefighters from the Volunteer Firefighting Unit (VFU) in Pogorzałki, and at the beginning of 2020 a special "SUV" type vehicle was purchased for a unit from the town of Sapockin in Belarus. Nobody suspected that this car would be needed in the neighbouring poviat. The VFU Pogorzałki - due to the fire truck it possesses - as one of the three from the Białystok poviat, was selected to fight the current wildfire of the largest National Park in Poland.
On 22nd April, we received instructions to go fight the wildfires burning peat bogs and reeds in the Biebrza National Park. We went by the vehicle purchased from the project - reports Krzysztof Kondraciuk, a firefighter who participated in the action. The goal of our firefighters was to protect the town of Goniądz and the village of Wroceń against the rapidly spreading wildfire. The car is a state-of-the-art vehicle with the ability to operate in wetlands and forests (the most modern off-road drivetrain) with a modern auto pump, a water tank with a capacity of 3000 litres, which was vital for this action. The new vehicle, thanks to its parameters, allowed us for a continuous 12-hour extinguishing operation - adds Mr. Krzysztof.
The firefighting vehicle purchased in the project does not serve only the Commune of Dobrzyniewo Duże. In accordance with the goal of the project, which is the cooperation to save lives, protect the environment, property and economy, due to its capabilities, was also directed to activities in the neighbouring poviat. And if necessary, it will be used for joint actions with the Belarusian side.

According to the grant contract, the project should be implemented by 31st August 2021.

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