A volunteer fire brigade is getting ready to work in Zolotonosha municipality
For the second year in a row, the project "Firefighters. Improving Civil Protection in Ukraine at the Local Level", which is implemented by the Solidarity Fund PL within the framework of U-LEAD with Europe and is co-financed by the Polish Aid development assistance programme of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland, has been under implementation in Zaolotonosha municipality. This was announced by Oleh Maslo, First Deputy Mayor.
“In September 2021, we signed a memorandum of cooperation with the Solidarity Fund PL representative office in Ukraine. As part of the project, we created a voluntary fire brigade of 12 people and received firefighting equipment in the same year, for which we are very grateful,” said Mr Maslo. "And in the autumn of 2022, members of our voluntary fire brigade underwent specialized training under the Emergency Services programme as part of the project."
According to him, the voluntary fire brigade of the Zolotonosha municipality consists of volunteers who will act as the first assistants of professional rescuers and respond to fires and emergencies that arise in the municipality. We are primarily talking about concerned citizens who have decided to contribute to the security of the municipality.
Firefighting equipment received by Zolotonosha municipality in the autumn of 2022 - sets of uniform, shoes, gloves, helmets, a generator, a ladder, etc. - was forwarded by the Solidarity Fund PL to the municipality as part of a project implemented in cooperation with BGK (Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego) and financed by the EU.
Furthermore, according to Oleh Maslo, the municipality is to receive a fire truck this year with the assistance of the State Emergency Service in the Cherkasy region. Next year, the Zolotonosha municipality is to open a Citizen Security Centre, where a volunteer fire brigade and a municipality police officer will be based. The municipality has the necessary building for the Centre, but it requires major repairs:
“We planned to open the Centre this year, but due to the war and martial law, these plans were postponed to next year. We already have prepared design and cost estimate documentation. This process will be at the expense of the local budget. In the meantime, our volunteer fire brigade, together with Dmytro Shevchenko, starosta of the village of Blahodatne, who initiated the creation of the team and the participation of the municipality in the Fire Fighters project, modernising the building themselves to headquarter the teams by the winter.
Commenting on the selection of the Zolotonosha municipality for the project, Serhii Slynko, Head of the Regional Office of U-LEAD with Europe in the Cherkasy region, said that a total of 249 municipalities wished to join this project in Ukraine. 45 municipalities were selected for the second stage of the competition, and after verification and site visits, the organisers formed a list of 20 project participants that included the Zolotonosha municipality in the Cherkasy region.
“The goal of this project is to comprehensively support the system of civil defence in the municipalities of Ukraine, in particular through the formation of voluntary fire brigades, assistance to municipalities in the development of an action plan to improve local security as well as through educational visits by representatives of municipalities and the head offices of the State Emergency Service of Ukraine in the relevant regions of the municipalities participating in the project to study Polish best practices in this area,” said Mr Slynko.
The project is implemented by the International Solidarity Fund together with the U-LEAD with Europe Programme and is co-financed by the Polish Development Cooperation Programme of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland
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