Minister for Emergency Situations Vladimir Puchkov has hosted today a teleconference at the Russian Ministry for Emergency Situations to discuss water safety.
The officials discussed safety of ice roads and places where people go out onto ice, maintaining SAR and fire and rescue forces in readiness, holding of drills and exercises.
66 people have died in unauthorized places on bodies of water since ice formed on them, while no deaths occurred on authorized ice roads. The main reasons for accidents in the said period of time are vehicles going across waterways in unauthorized places, going on vehicles onto ice to fish, going into thin ice and breakoff of ice floes. In addition, 90% of the deaths occur when people are drunk.
552 technical inspections of ice roads have been run since freezing-over, 508 ice roads have been commissioned. 1,725 traditional places have been determined for going out onto ice, 1,017 of them are being actively used. 90 ice roads of 8,693 km are operating in Russia, while 164 ice roads are planned to be opened.
Minister Vladimir Puchkov stressed that communications should operate stably in all ice roads.
He also demanded that closer attention should be paid to ice roads in regions with regard to climate.
“Many regions are experiencing warm winter, there are no stable crossings or ice roads and the temperature is changing all the time. Make a schedule and organize operation of ice roads. Make air crossings for cut-off settlements. Take account of weather forecasts and special features of regions when you ensure protection of people not only on authorized ice roads, but in unauthorized places as well,” Mr. Pcuhkov added.
The Minister also demanded that all response divisions tending to ice roads should have winter gears. Traditionally in winter, the Emergency Ministry inspects its forces and facilities, checking winter gears, runs drills for responders to practice using special equipment and holds professional training courses.
More than 3,220 units of rescue vehicles, more than 850 snowmobiles and some 220 hovercrafts are on water safety duty.
More than 2,230 meetings of the Disaster Management and Fire Safety Commission have been held in all regions of Russia to discuss water safety.
575 thousand people and 106 thousand units of equipment of the Single State Disaster Management System, including over 148 thousand people and more than 22 thousand units of equipment provided by the Russian Emergency Ministry are going to respond to possible emergency situations on waterways.