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24 November 2022, 16:15

Belarus ready to share expertise in first responder training with foreign partners

Photo courtesy of the Emergencies Ministry
Photo courtesy of the Emergencies Ministry

MINSK, 24 November (BelTA) – Belarus' Emergencies Minister Vadim Sinyavsky is taking part in the 25th session of the General Assembly of the International Civil Defense Organization (ICDO) in Abu Dhabi, UAE, BelTA informs.

“I am really glad to have the opportunity to participate in today's meeting and reaffirm Belarus' commitment to the noble ideas and principles underpinning the creation of the International Civil Defense Organization. ICDO works to ensure the protection and assistance to people at the global level. Its initiatives and projects have earned it a reputation of an authoritative international platform and garnered a great deal of support from the participating countries,” Vadim Sinyavsky said.

Boosting resilience to emergency risks is crucial for national security and is a priority for each state. The Republic of Belarus is no exception, the minister noted. “In recent years, Belarus has not had a single industrial accident or natural disaster that would cause a significant number of casualties or considerable damage to economy and life support systems. The country has managed to achieve a high level of resilience to emergencies due to its comprehensive emergency prevention and response strategy. This strategy weaves together government agencies, local authorities, the public and the private sectors. The efforts are coordinated by the Emergencies Ministry.

A special emphasis is placed on the multi-tier, multidisciplinary and practice-oriented training of first responders, Vadim Sinyavsky stated."The multi-level training process includes the training of specialists of all levels: from the first responders at the scene to a senior decision-maker in emergency management. The multidisciplinary nature of training makes it possible to train specialists both in responding to chemical and radiation accidents, searching and rescuing people in various conditions, extinguishing fires at oil refining facilities, and fire and industrial supervisors. The practice-oriented approach aims to teach and consolidate practical skills in conditions as close as possible to real ones," he stressed.

According to the minister, the cornerstone of the national system of training firefighters-rescuers is the University of Civil Protection. It is an institution of higher education with 90 years of experience in scientific and pedagogical activities. The university operates the International Rescue Training Center with 26 training sites for modeling various scenarios of emergency situations. More than 6,000 foreign specialists from 71 countries have undergone training courses at the center. "We are engaged in research work, introducing innovative solutions and modern software into the training process, and also using scientific achievements to modernize fire and rescue vehicles, equipment and hardware produced in Belarus. In addition to professional training, the university also offers basic skills courses to people of all ages. The Educational Center for Life Safety conducts classes for children and adults using interactive simulators and simulators based on modern communication technologies, virtual and augmented reality, the Internet of Things, computer vision and others," the minister added.

“I am sure that innovations and resource capabilities of the University of Civil Protection of the Emergencies Ministry of Belarus will be interesting and useful for rescue agencies of ICDO member states. We are open and ready to share many years' experience and to study the best practices of our counterparts in these areas. In this regard, I have decided to propose that the University of Civil Protection join the activities of ICDO as an affiliated member of the organization. I hope this proposal will be supported,” said Vadim Sinyavsky. “Belarus attaches special importance to cooperation with the International Civil Defense Organization and is ready to contribute to the development of the organization's potential and constructive initiatives aimed at creating a sustainable and safe future,” he added.

The assembly participants are set to discuss key aspects of the organization's activities, including humanitarian assistance and support to states in building emergency preparedness and response capacity. Plans are in place to present the basic elements of the state system of emergency prevention and elimination and to outline the perspective venues of cooperation under the aegis of ICDO.

Belarus is also determined to confirm its readiness to remain a reliable partner of the organization and to contribute to the development of its creative initiatives. A number of meetings with the heads of emergency departments of Asian and African countries are planned to take place on the sidelines of the assembly.

More than 117 representatives from 47 countries are taking part in the event.

The International Civil Defense Organization is an intergovernmental organization whose activities are aimed at providing expert assistance to rescue agencies in civil defense and emergency prevention and response. It has 60 member states, mostly in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. The Republic of Belarus has had observer status with ICDO since 2014.

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