Pivnichna Pushcha Enterprise subordinated to the State Agency of Ukraine on Exclusion Zone Management received quadcopters and a car radio station and antenna from OSCE representatives. This equipment will help to improve the fire early warning and response system and ensure personnel safety. The official transfer of equipment and the first launch of quadcopters took place on the territory of the Opachichi Forestry on 1 March.
According to Jeffrey Erlich, Deputy Head to the OSCE Project Coordinator in Ukraine, the equipment will reduce fire risk in the exclusion zone. In addition, an information campaign for the public residing on the adjacent territories is planned in cooperation with the State Agency of Ukraine on Exclusion Zone Management, Chornobyl Radiation and Environmental Biosphere Reserve and Chief Office of the State Emergency Service of Ukraine in Kyiv oblast, since fires are mainly caused by carelessness.
“Equipment supplied by OSCE can significantly improve the fire early warning system on our territory. The exclusion zone is contaminated with radioactive elements; therefore, any fire or emergency must be detected and confined as soon as possible to prevent spreading of radionuclides”, Vitaly Petruk, Chairman of the State Agency of Ukraine on Exclusion Zone Management, noted.
The car radio station and antenna will allow improving communication with the rescue and fire-extinguishing teams.
The Agency’s plans for 2018 also include the establishment of an interdepartmental coordination center to prevent and respond to fire and emergencies. This center should ensure clear coordination of activities in all units and departments involved into emergency response in the exclusion zone.
According to Vitaly Petruk, the Agency efficiently cooperates with the US Forest Service in the development of the early fire warning system and the establishment of an interdepartmental coordination center in order to exchange best practices and experience. Last year, the Forest Service supplied five surveillance cameras to the exclusion zone, to be installed on fire towers.
“The early fire warning equipment will accelerate fire response. The equipment received today will enable flying above fire to get more accurate fire reconnaissance results. The specialists will specify the number of equipment and personnel to be involved and their location based on the information on fire intensity and direction”. This will contribute to more efficient use of resources during fire extinguishing”, Yevhen Kyrylyuk, Deputy Head of Pivnichna Pushcha Forestry Department, stated.
Personnel training aimed at rescue team staffing by quadcopter operators prior to fire season will start in the exclusion zone in the spring.
SAEZ Press Service