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October 31, 2020

Emergency official Arafat: Diversified missions have increased firefighters’ community involvement

Firefighters’ tasks have significantly modified and their missions have been diversified over the past 26 years, increasing the firefighters’ community involvement, chief emergency officer with the Interior Ministry (MAI) Raed Arafat said Sunday in Suceava.

”In the 1990s, the firefighters would be used mainly in fires, flooding and earthquakes. Now, they are used in everything emergency response – first aid, extrication, diving. The ensuing diversification in their missions made them even more involved in the community,” said Arafat.

He added that the equipping of firefighters is commensurate with the diversified nature of their missions and activities, mentioning to the point the acquisition of new cars and hardware for all the firefighting units in Romania.

”This year, IGSU [Emergency General Inspectorate] has approved 25 million euros and will approve another 35 million euros for equipping alone. In 2015 and in early 2016, we focused on flooding and communications. From this and next year on, our focus will switch to urban search and rescue that includes earthquake interventions and other search-and-rescue scenarios,” said Arafat.

Arafat on Sunday attended the presentation of a battle flag to the Emergency Inspectorate (ISU) Suceava, accompanied by IGSU Chief Ovidiu Vasilica.

”To a military unit, the battle flag is the symbol of its existence (…) a recognition of its existence. They say a unit losing its battle flag is immediately disbanded. The significance to the firefighters is very important because they are on stand-by (…). The firefighters’ foe is not an army, but they race against minutes, seconds to save lives,” said Arafat.

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