The Forum of firefighting associations of the Republic of Croatia, Montenegro, Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Herzegovina-Neretva County and City of Mostar –Ready, Steady, Fire ! was held in Mostar, organized by the City of Mostar and Croatian Chamber of Economy on whose initiative the whole event was launched.
Vice president of the Croatian Chamber of Economy and President of the Adriatic-Ionian Chambers of Economy Mirjana Čagalj emphasized the importance of cooperation and organization of the forum on this topic. “Firefighters are the most important line of defense, security and protection base of each community. When they enter our home, they do not only save our property but also our memories. Therefore, we owe them to provide quality equipment and training conditions to make their job even better,” said Mirjana Čagalj, and expressed her satisfaction that this cooperation began on the 1st Joint Conference of the Adriatic-Ionic Chambers of Economy, and Universities held in October in Split.
Split-Dalmatian County prefect Blaženko Boban stressed the need for stronger and better cooperation by pointing out that we are obliged to provide the firefighters with the maximum, starting with the technical conditions. “In the County of Split-Dalmatia we have launched a series of activities, and in the last year and a half we have allocated almost eight million kuna, and there are also the purchase of 16 new fire-fighting vehicles.
We have plans to create a unique training center that could become a reference center for South East Europe, “Boban said.
Prime Minister of the Herzegovina-Neretva Canton Nevenko Herceg noted that all the members of the Forum are part of a unique area in the zone of the risky territory, so common reflection and better cross-border cooperation are key to ensuring the security of the area.
President of the Croatian Firefigthing Association and Vice President of the International Fire and Rescue Service Ante Sanader thanked the prefect of Split-Dalmatia County, who recognized the importance of fire brigades and their role in society. “Through EU projects we have provided a commanding vehicle and planned the construction of a Regional Center that will be built on 80,000 square meters. There are 20 fire-fighting associations of counties and the Fire-fighting Association of Zagreb, with more than 150,000 firefighters, of whom 3500 are professional and more than 50,000 volunteer firefighters, “said Ante Sanader.
The forum also warned of administrative and legislative obstacles to the international cooperation of firefighters on the field, firefighting potentials of all units were also presented as well as possible forms of further cooperation, such as the construction of the Regional Firefighting and Civil Protection Training Center Vučevica. The center is conceived as a unique firefighting and civil protection training center, including administrative buildings, accommodation facilities, classrooms, simulator rooms and other sophisticated equipment, and a range of modern amenities for quality firefighters training.
In conclusion, vice president of the Croatian Chamber of Economy Mirjana Čagalj and the representative of the Assembly of Herzegovina-Neretva County Damir Džeba presented an analysis of the possibilities of financing the needs of firefigthing associations in programs INTERREG IPA Croatia – Bosnia and Herzegovina – Montenegro, INTERREG Adrion, INTERREG MEDITERRAN and tenders in announcement of operational programs Effective Human Resources (OPLJUP) and Competitiveness and Cohesion (OPKK).
Tenders that can be applied by civil society organizations and local governments were presented, and the need to strengthen the existing regional cooperation and strengthen the fire brigades of the Republic of Croatia, Montenegro and the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina in the prevention and joint fight against major forest fires were presented.