3.2 Addressing common security challenges
The Association of Local Governments of Euroregion Bug (Lubelskie Voivodeship, Poland)
Municipal Establishment Development Agency of Euroregion Bug (Volyn Oblast, Ukraine)
Charitable Foundation Ihor Palytsia “Tilky Razom” (Volyn Oblast, Ukraine)
Travel safety on the Polish-Ukrainian border area is one of the burning problems, determined by the poor state of roads and vehicles used there. The traffic in this region is growing constantly, enhancing the risk of dangerous situations. The severe accidents occur often outside the cities, far from the professional help services location. Only volunteer fire brigades operate here, quickly reaching the place and providing first aid to the victims.
The PUFL project supports the volunteer emergency units in updating the equipment and training their rescuers for safe and protection of road users in Lubelskie Voivodeship and Volyn Oblast. Within the project the improvement of rescue and fire-fighting systems will be proceed by 32 Volunteer Fire Departments in Poland and 15 local, newly created fire brigades in Ukraine. To bring appropriate first aid to the victims of accidents the units will be equipped with medical rescue bags, vests, pneumatic lifts, lightweight spreaders, hydraulic shears and other tools. Subsequently, certified trainings, conferences, joint field exercises and study visits for almost 500 rescuers from both countries will be provided strengthening their professional skills as well as constituting cooperation and know-how exchange. The educational campaign “Safe Pedestrian” on first aid and safety road behavior provided by the fire-fighters in Polish and Ukrainian primary schools will result in higher awareness within local inhabitants.
Thanks to the project implementation the service quality of volunteers fire-fighters departments in the Polish-Ukrainian borderland will be improved. Training and equipping them with basic rescue devices will allow to better, more effective saving lives of people experiencing traffic accidents. Local communities in this area will be able to count on quick and effective help. Time and professionalism often decide about the chances of survival.
CREATED FIRE DEPARTMENTS
15 units of the VFB were established in the Volyn Oblast. The experience of the Polish partner was the basis for the creation of this type of structure.
Thanks to the project, the VFB of the Lubelskie Voivodeship gained new equipment used in road rescue. Among other things, rescue bags, tactical vests, pneumatic cushions, hydraulic aggregates, hydraulic shears for cutting cars were purchased.
As part of the project, the Ukrainian VFB units purchased medical bags and tactical vests. The cooperation also resulted in the transfer of equipment and cars by Polish firefighters to colleagues from Ukraine.
A 52-person group from Ukraine took part in the firefighting competition of the Lublin poviat. They were also a guest of two VFB units from the Głusk commune, included in the National Fire and Rescue System. Participants viewed the equipment and the event notification system. They talked about the principles of operation, reaction time, eligibility, and training. Volunteer firefighters from Wilczopole prepared a surprise in the form of a demonstration of saving a fire victim. The second surprise was the presentation of a fire engine, which the commune allocated to help Ukraine. On the second day of the visit, units from the Chełm and Wojsławice communes presented themselves.
The aim of the organizers of the visit was to present various units: both those perfectly equipped with modern equipment and those operating in more modest conditions. It was supposed to show the participants that in all conditions it is possible to act, create well-coordinated teams and help their communities in many areas of life.
Due to the restrictions related to the pandemic, the second visit had to be organized on-line. The partners made every effort to ensure that the scope of the visit and its content was as effective as possible. In preparation for the visit, Polish firefighters made a half-hour film in which they presented the equipment and explained how a rather complicated rescue system in Poland works. Finally, they presented exercises to reach victims of a car accident and a house fire and to help the victims as soon as possible. The film was the substantive part of the on-line meeting. After watching it, firefighters discussed, sharing their observations and experience.
The video posted on the Internet is instructional material for other volunteer firefighters.
160 firefighters took part in joint Polish-Ukrainian exercises. A safe zone with sanitary facilities and a sound system, 2 cars to cut, mannequins, phantoms and services of the state rescue system to conduct and supervise the exercises have been allocated to their organization. The exercises simulated several road accidents with the injured. These were the pedestrians or passengers and drivers who needed to be safely pulled out and provided first aid. Volunteer firefighters were divided into teams, each of which performed different tasks. Professionals coordinated activities on an ongoing basis, commented and suggested how to react.
The training, which was to take place in Ukraine due to the restrictions caused by the pandemic, was carried out on-line. First, Polish firefighters made a 20-minute film in which they presented their team, equipment, and then a simulated accident that resulted in a car being cut. The Ukrainian partner also recorded a short film presenting road rescue equipment and procedures. Then, during the on-line meeting, both films were presented and the teams had the opportunity to ask questions and discuss.
FIRST AID TRAINING
In Poland, a series of qualified first aid training courses was conducted from February to November 2019. Practical and theoretical training conducted in 10 groups ended with a state examination. 370 participants who successfully passed the exam received a lifeguard certificate.
In Ukraine, 100 volunteer firefighters from 15 municipalities of the Volyn Oblast were also trained in qualified medical assistance. They ended with an examination and issuing certificates. The training was conducted in the training center of the Rescue Department of the Main Board of the State Rescue Service of Ukraine in Volyn.
EDUCATIONAL CAMPAIGN "SAFE PEDESTRIAN"
The beneficiaries organized meetings with elementary school students from the Lubelskie Voivodeship and the Volyn Oblast. The participating firefighters, rescuers, and policemen familiarized children with the principles of first aid and road safety. The main goal of the campaign was to make people aware of the dangers that occur on the roads, the obligation to wear reflectors after dusk, that is, developing habits that can protect children from being involved in a road accident. The action was very popular.
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