Canadians studied the needs of local and voluntary fire brigades in amalgamated hromadas of the Vinnytsia Oblast to provide them with equipment and further assistance in training staff.
A meeting of AH leaders and local fire brigades with the representatives of the Alberta Voluntary Fire Brigades Association (Canada) was organised by the Vinnytsia Local Government Development Centre, established with the support of the U-LEAD with Europe Programme and MinRegion.
“The mission of Canadian voluntary fire brigades’ representatives has been in Ukraine since late January, as they want to contribute to the development of this movement in Ukraine and the system of civil protection as such,” says Yuriy Voitsitskyi, regional development advisor of the Vinnytsia LGDC.
According to him, amalgamated hromadas have certain financial possibilities, however, at the stage of formation, local firefighters lack the most necessary things.
In particular, Vasyl Bezbakh, head of the Kunkivska AH (Haisyn Rayon) spoke on this issue as well.
“Our AH has 11 settlements with 4,5 thousand residents The hromada seems to be small, but scattered within 175 square kilometres. The city of Haisyn is located nearby and our territory used to be serviced by the local State Emergency Service department. Our farthest settlement is located about 20 km from the hromada centre, and more than 30 km from the rayon centre. Therefore, we faced the need in our own fire brigade. We have formed it quite recently – in November. Of course, we have provided it with the most necessary things, but this is not enough for normal functioning,” says Vasyl Bezbakh.
The newly formed fire brigades require assistance and training, as well as experience of Canadian colleagues, in particular on creation and organisation of voluntary fire brigades.
David Zayonce, former chief of Alberta Voluntary Fire Brigade Association, and his wife Sheryl, a Ukrainian of origin, came to Vinnytsia to meet the AH representatives. Before communicating with the participants of the meeting, they, together with the leadership of the SES in the Vinnytsia Oblast, visitedamalgamated hromadas, in particular the Zhdanivska AH, in order to personally assess the level of their work and procurement.
“I am very impressed with what I have seen and all the things you do. You are currently creating a system that has been operating in Canada for a long time and is well supported by the state. My area of territorial influence includes region and municipality, services that are maintained for taxes: I am a fire brigade chief. And our Association is the most influential organisation lobbying for the allocation of funds for fire services of different levels. Therefore, I will convey to my management everything I hear and see, and I hope we will be able to help you,” said Mr Zayonce.
He informed that the Canadian mission will carefully study the package of requests from the Vinnytsia Oblast’s AHs on support of local and voluntary fire brigades formed with the help of the Vinnytsia LGDC. Therefore, it will choose the directions to engage in the development, material and technical support.
In addition, Canadian firefighters want to establish communication with their Vinnytsia colleagues in order to systematically transfer their knowledge and experience in fire service formation in hromadas.
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