A press-conference dedicated to functioning and development of mines rescue service of Russia has been in Interfax news agency on 5 July, on the eve of Day of Creation of State Mines Rescue Service. The Deputy Director of the Department of Preparedness of Forces and Special Fire Prevention Konstantin Kondakov spoke on the topic.
Creation of the Mines Rescue Service is planned to be finished by 2020. Within this period, most of non-governmental mines rescue services and units should cease their activity, as they wll be replaced by militarized mines rescue units of the Russian Emergencies Ministry, there will be about 15 of them, mostly based in Siberia and Far East. At the same time, all mines rescue units will be certified under state standards.
Necessary adjustments were made to the Federal Law on Relief services and status of rescuers in 2017. Now, the law requires professional mines rescue services and units to have certification. The law also provides that the Russian Government has exclusive authority to create such units, and only the Russian Emergencies Ministry’s commission has a right to certify them.
Also, new state requirements for all relief units, which are engaged into mines rescue, were introduced this year. New requirements regard composition of a unit, its equipment and constant readiness. Introduction of these changes is topical due to poor performance of small private teams that continue working in mines in accordance with agreements with the owners of facilities. The level of training and equipment of such teams is poor in comparison with set requirements.
Russian Emergencies Ministry’s mines rescue teams were fully reequipped with modern equipment, including new breathing apparatuses that allow the wearer to carry out relief operations autonomously. New equipment, which allows rescuers to stay in gassy environment for 8-10 hours, is also being developed.
Over the last 2 years, the militarized mines rescue units of the Russian Emergencies Ministry responded to 45 emergencies, rescuing over 1,000 miners. Emergency medical brigades provided qualified medical aid to 425 injured miners.