Minister for Emergency Situations Vladimir Puchkov has held today the All-Russian conference “On results and outlooks for the fire department”.
The conference discussed many matters regarding activities of the Russian Emergency Ministry, and one of the first ones was creation of normative and technical councils to assess state of buildings in regions.
“The more intricate the building is, the more effective the system of expert discussing should be involving corresponding specialists and services. In the next 30 days we are going to recreate on a new level normative and technical councils in all Russian regions under the auspices of the Emergency Ministry,” Mr. Puchkov said and added that all most important projects are going to be reviewed by those councils involving the All-Russian Volunteer Fire Society, other NGOs and local residents.
During the conference, the Minister heard reports made by representatives of Ministry’s structural divisions. Deputy director of the Department for Preparedness of Forces and Special Fire Service Vladimir Dezhkin reported that all violations were being eliminated.
“We are gradually getting rid of all systemic mistakes made in fire department before 2012. I am sure that the situation is going to change for the better soon,” he said. According to him the work is being done now to improve legal framework, norms of provision of all kinds of fire departments with special equipment and staffing matters are being handled. In addition, work is being done together with the Russian Labor Ministry to develop and pass labor protection rules in fire departments. Approximate time when the said acts are going to be passed is 2019.
Mr. Puchkov ordered that the situation with fire prevention and suppression was carefully analyzed.
“Analyze once more the true statement of affairs in fire prevention and suppression,” he said and reminded that in 2004, the State Fire Inspectorate was excluded from the bodies examining design documentation for buildings being constructed, and in 2007 from commissions accepting constructed buildings including residential ones.
“The aim was to reduce burden on businesses and minimize acts of corruption, but unfortunately got very negative consequences,” the Minister said.
He also added that the regulations of fire department were cancelled and garrisons disbanded at the same time.
“We have been correcting those mistakes step by step during the past 6 years. We have brought back the regulations of fire department. I personally supervised this matter and demanded that this document should be returned,” the Minister stressed.
The chief state fire inspector of the Russian Federation Rinat Yenikeyev also made a report explaining that large fires that had happened in Russia over the past decade were a result of errors in decision making process in 2004 and 2007 when the State Fire Inspectorate was excluded from the bodies examining design documents for public buildings and issuing permissions to commission buildings. He said that legal framework for public buildings was necessary to be improved and added that inspecting bodies of the Emergency Ministry should take part in commission such buildings.
During the conference, Mr. Puchkov drew special attention to providing additional help to families of firefighters killed in the line of duty.
“I am asking to support all the loved ones of firemen who displayed courage, selflessness and professionalism and were killed in the line of duty,” he said. The Minister called firefighters “heroes of our time”, who have to go into battle in peace time. This year, four firefighters have been killed on duty.
Speaking about social protection, the Minister said that in 2017, employees of the Emergency Ministry got 60 times more residential areas than in previous years.
“This indicator gets better. Municipalities also handled more problems than before. I am asking to continue this way,” the Minister said addressing employees of the HR office of the Ministry. Mr. Puchkov also instructed them to make sure that those employees evicted from flats provided by the Ministry were provided with permanent residences.
“I am demanding care and attention to people in the system of the Emergency Ministry,” he said.
Additionally, the Minister instructed that the staff of all divisions were trained and retrained on time.
In the conclusion, Mr. Puchkov awarded employees, workers and veterans of the fire department with state and ministerial awards dedicated to the Fire Department Day celebrated on 30 April. He thanked each of them for their work and expressed confidence that fire and rescue service has some good outlooks.
“There were tragic minutes and hard times, but those working in fire department have always shown courage, heroism, gone into fire, responded to accidents and carried out combat missions in peace time,” the Minister said.