Thursday, 23 January 2020

Zadar Car Accident Rescue: Driver and Nissan Suspended Over Sea!

A woman who lost control of her car, which hung precariously off the side of a wooden jetty in Zadar, was rescued and escaped without injury. Early this morning there was a car accident along the Zadar shoreline for which a picture speaks more than a thousand words.

The dramatic rescue operation and rapid intervention was performed by Zadar firefighters, which prevented a woman and her vehicle from falling into the sea on Trpimirova obala near Starački dom (Nursing Home). The driver escaped without injuries, and firefighters are trying to save the vehicle as well, according to Toni Pajkin/HRT on January 23, 2020

Nissan Hung Precariously Off Wooden Jetty

This morning didn’t start off well for the driver of a Nissan. Going around the bend on Draženica, she lost control of her car, while attempting straighten the steering wheel. Although she didn't end up in the sea; most of her car hung off a wooden jetty suspended over water.

The car had stopped before it crashed. But even a slight motion posed a threat of the car tumbling down into the sea. Although the water is not very deep in this area, crashing into the water would have meant that the woman, who was trapped in the car, could have sustained serious injuries.

She could have sustained arm and leg fractures, head injuries or suffered even more severe consequences. Although the possibility of drowning was ruled out, because the firefighters and ambulances arrived quickly and were already on the scene, it is not difficult to imagine a potential ugly outcome.

Zadar Driver Remained Calm, Didn’t Move, Called Husband

The woman didn’t panic and remained calm in her car. She called her husband – and you can see him in the video wearing a black hat watching the rescue. She stayed still so as not to rock the car and waited for rescuers to arrive. Within 20 minutes, firefighters secured the car and had extended a brace over the water. Then they looped a strap through the window openings and attached it to the crane, which stabilized the car.

After that, the woman climbed out of the vehicle, kissed her husband and breathed a huge sigh of relief. She then spent a few minutes in the ambulance to so that professionals could conduct preventive check-up. But when she came out, she said repeatedly to her husband, "I'm still shaking all over; hold me!"

‘My wife parked the car the wrong way!’

Who wouldn’t shake after this experience on this foggy morning in Drošanjica. At the end of the rescue operation, the husband gave his thoughts on what happened: "Aw, no big deal. My wife parked the car the wrong way!" Both husband and wife were up for a little humor after the successful rescue.

Follow our Lifestyle page for keep track of driver and car rescues and creative parking techniques in Croatia.

Friday, 3 January 2020

Government Adopts 2020 Fire Protection Programme

ZAGREB, January 3, 2020 - The Croatian Government on Friday adopted the 2020 fire protection programme, which will increase the seasonal reimbursement from 3,500 kuna (473 euro) to 4,000 (540 euro) per firefighter.

The Ministry of the Interior and the Croatian Firefighting Association are in charge of executing, coordinating, monitoring and directing all activities related to the implementation of the programme.

Defence Minister Damir Krstičević, who is in charge of coordinating the Homeland Security System, said that it was a big step forward to adopt the programme at the beginning of the year. During previous years the programme was not adopted until the second quarter of the year.

"This will allow for an even better preparation and prevention for the forthcoming fire season. Now we have six months to prepare for the 2020 fire season," Krstičević said.

He stated that the Ministry of Defence had at its disposal six Canadair aircraft, six Air Tractors, a Pilatus and two transport helicopters as well up to two hundred ground force personnel ready to respond within an hour, if needed, as well as additional forces of up to a thousand personnel for firefighting activities.

More news about the firefighting efforts can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Friday, 22 November 2019

International Firefighting Exercise Held at Sea Near Pula

ZAGREB, November 22, 2019 - A closing firefighting and anti-pollution exercise was held at sea off the northern Adriatic city of Pula on Friday, with 27 firemen - nine each from Istria, the Slovene port town of Koper and the Italian region of Friuli Venezia Giulia - participating.

Minister of the Interior Davor Božinović attended the exercise, which was conducted after a two-year training of a joint unit, the first such unit in Europe, consisting of firefighters from three countries and formed to protect the common sea as part of the EU project "North Adriatic Maritime Incident Response Group - NAMIRG".

"All modern security challenges are of a cross-border nature, which means that they require a cross-border response. To be successful in that, we must exercise and today's exercise is a result of two years of effort invested by firemen and members of the Croatian Army, police, the Croatian Red Cross and their partners from Slovenia and Italy," said Božinović.

He said that with the exercise Croatia had earned a certificate for putting out fires at sea.

"In recent years we have had serious accidents at sea. Croatia now has a new capability and that is the biggest value of this exercise, with efficient interaction between the Coast Guard and the Croatian Air Force to the emergency medical service and the Red Cross. The incumbent government insists on the integration of capabilities so that we can respond to any situation," Božinović said, adding that Croatia had excellent staff and was well equipped for situations such as the one demonstrated during the exercise.

More news about firefighting in Croatia can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Saturday, 31 August 2019

Commemoration Held for Firefighters Killed on Kornat Island 12 Years Ago

ZAGREB, August 31, 2019 - Croatia today remembers the greatest tragedy in the history of firefighting in the country which occurred on 30 August 2007 on the Kornat island, when 12 firefighters were killed, and a central commemoration was held by the firefighters' families and Interior Minister Davor Božinović at stone crosses that were erected on the island in their memory.

Frano Lučić was the only surviving firefighter of the tragedy. A large number of firefighters from around the country also attended the commemoration.

"I spoke to the families of the killed firefighters today. I empathise with their pain, which is not easy to bear. That is burden that is difficult to live with," Božinović said.

He could not comment on the judicial epilogue of the case which is currently being heard before the Supreme Court.

What awaits us now is to see what the epilogue of that procedure will be. As far as institutions are concerned, they are prepared at any given moment to act if there is any indication or need for that and if requested by relevant authorities, Božinović said.

National Fire Chief Slavko Tucaković said that everyone wishes that a tragedy of this nature never occurs again. He added that he believes that the system has been improved compared to 12 years ago.

Šibenik Fire Chief Dražen Slavica was tried for negligence that led to the death of the 12 firefighters on Kornat island. However, he was acquitted of the charges in two trials, for the second time in April last year.

More news about firefighting in Croatia can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Tuesday, 20 August 2019

Minister Calls on Emergency Services to Be on Alert until End of Fire Season

ZAGREB, August 20, 2019 - Defence Minister Damir Krstičević on Tuesday stated that the relevant services had to be on alert in the next two months until the end of this year's fire season and that a thousand soldiers were also at the disposal to quickly help to put out fires.

Krstičević, who was addressing fire-fighters during his tour of the Divulje fire-fighting operational command centre, called on services to be on alert until the end of the fire-fighting season so that the large wildfires such had been on the Pelješac peninsula last September would not be repeated.

The Croatian Army is here to assist fire-fighters and 200 soldiers can react within an hour and one thousand can be available within three hours, the minister said.

He underlined the importance of the Divulje centre which receives all the necessary information in real time to make decisions on engaging forces to react to fires. He also highlighted the use of drones over the past month which significantly contributed to preventing fires.

Fire Chief Slavko Tucaković said that this season recorded the second highest number of fires in the past ten years but they weren't as fierce as those in 2017.

"This year about 32,000 hectares has been burnt which is about the size of the island of Hvar, of that about 18,000 hectares was along the coast," said Tucaković.

More news about firefighting in Croatia can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Wednesday, 3 July 2019

12 New Firefighting Vehicles Delivered

ZAGREB, July 3, 2019 - Economy Minister Darko Horvat on Wednesday handed over six new multi-functional vehicles that were produced in the Kutina-based Ziegler factory, to local fire stations while the delivery of another six firefighting trucks was organised in the Ozalj-based Flammifer factory which also produces firefighting vehicles.

During the Kutina ceremony, the new TLF 20/70 multi-functional vehicles were handed over for a period of four years with the possibility of extending that period.

Minister Horvat expressed his satisfaction the fact the vehicles are the result of research by Croatian experts and are made in Croatia. Thanks to this Croatian product, fire stations, municipalities and cities in Croatia will be better prepared to face numerous challenges because these multipurpose vehicles can be used in putting out fires and to transport water, he said.

The Ziegler company won the tender in a joint bid with the Ozalj-based Flammifer company which also presented the six firefighting vehicles to the ministry's commodity reserves.

Over the past ten years the ministry has procured 59 similar vehicles and these 12 new vehicles will certainly contribute to battling fires and floods.

The Kutina-based Ziegler factory, after successfully completing a trial run, was formally inaugurated in October 2018, and the plant, which employs over 100 workers, manufactures state-of-the-art firefighting equipment.

The company has plants in Zagreb and Kutina (80 kilometres east of Zagreb) and has been active in Croatia since 2000. It is a member of the German group Ziegler, a worldwide leading provider for fire-fighting and emergency management solutions. The group has factories in Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands.

More news about firefighting in Croatia can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Sunday, 26 May 2019

Israel Thanks Croatia for Assistance in Putting Out Fires

ZAGREB, May 26, 2019 - A Croatian Canadair on Saturday helped to put out big fires in central Israel caused by a heat wave and temperatures which reached 47 degrees centigrade, and Ambassador Ilan Mor thanked Croatia on the assistance on behalf of his people.

The Croatian Defence Ministry said the aircraft was sent after the government granted Israel's request for assistance.

Mor said Croatia and its leadership had again confirmed that the two countries were good friends and that Israel could always count on Croatia.

According to Israeli firefighters, 3,000 people had to leave their homes and 45 houses burned down in hundreds of fires that erupted over the past three days, destroying houses, forests and crops. Aside from Croatia, foreign aid was provided by aircraft from Italy, Greece, Cyprus, and Egypt.

The engagement of Croatian forces shows solidarity and provides experience in flying internationally and in checking national and international procedures, which is important for maintaining readiness for engagement in the rescEU project and in case Croatia needs help in putting out fires from the air, the Defence Ministry said.

More news about Croatian firefighters can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Thursday, 23 May 2019

Croatia Joins RescEU Firefighting Fleet

ZAGREB, May 23, 2019 - Croatian Interior Minister Davor Božinović and European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides on Thursday signed a letter of intent on the continuation of cooperation between the ministry and the European Commission on setting up the rescEU civil protection mechanism and an agreement on direct allocation of EU funds for the capacities Croatia has contributed to this new European system to tackle natural disasters.

Stylianides said that the rescEU mechanism was expanding and announced the establishment of the first joint European firefighting fleet, which will be ready for this year's forest fire season.

Croatia is one of the first members that has joined the fleet with two firefighting planes. That is an example of European solidarity. With rescEU we are showing our desire and commitment to enhance the system of protection. Croatia's forces are brilliant. They are true heroes who deal with fires and other disasters without human losses. Truly, congratulations Croatia. Our aim is solidarity, protection of EU citizens and saving of lives, Stylianides said in Split.

Minister Božinović underscored that activities related to the single EU policy were continuing, as could be seen in Split after the big wildfires in 2017 as well as other parts of Croatia and Europe.

He stressed that procedures had been stepped up to establish a mechanism that would combine forces at the European level through the rescEU mechanism and that Croatia had been very active from the very start.

Božinović said that Croatia had made the necessary changes to its civil protection system to integrate all services and added that the government had considered ways of enhancing Croatia's visibility within the EU even more.

"Croatia has participated in the creation of a new European policy from the start and the public has been able to follow that from the very first day. In the period from 2021 to 2027 the EU plans to set aside 1.5 million euro for the protection and rescue sector. We have been recognised as one of the leading nations due to our long tradition that we have also due to weather and other conditions. On the one hand, we have been creating a European policy that has become a reality and on the other hand, we have organised ourselves so that both Croatia and Europe could have the most benefit," Božinović said.

He recalled that the government had embarked on equipping firefighters and would continue with other forces and show solidarity at the European level.

Croatia will contribute two Canadair firefighting aircraft and will primarily be used to put out fires in Croatia but will also be made available for operations outside the country if required, he said.

Until now, the costs of Canadair services were covered from the state budget whereas with today's agreement, the EU has set aside 1.9 million euro for logistics, maintenance, spare parts and operating costs of firefighting aircraft.

It is important that Croatia has been recognised at the EU level and that it has its heroes who put out fires and save people's lives, the minister added.

More news about firefighting in Croatia can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Saturday, 4 May 2019

Croatia Boasts 150 Years of Organised Firefighting System

ZAGREB, May 4, 2019 - On the occasion of the Feast Day of Saint Florian, the patron saint of firefighters, the Croatian Firefighting Association held a special meeting on Saturday in the town of Marija Bistrica.

Addressing the event, Interior Minister Davor Božinović said that the organised firefighting system had been existing in Croatia for some 150 years and added that this was one of the brands that made Croatia recognisable abroad.

"The task of the government is to help upgrade the system, and since large forest fires in 2017, we have been conducting activities and talks to this aim," Božinović said.

We have decided to connect and coordinate all emergency services so that they can be used most efficiently in cases of great disasters, the minister said.

"Being the strongest and the largest organisation, the Firefighting Association has a special place in that," he added.

Božinović said that last year, 38 million euro of non-repayable funds from the EU were transferred to Croatia's firefighting sector for the purchase of vehicles and telecommunication equipment.

The Firefighting Association president, Ante Sanader, said that 60,000 firefighters presented the strength and safety and security for citizens.

More news about fires in Croatia can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Tuesday, 9 April 2019

International Firefighting Exercise Taking Place on Cres island

ZAGREB, April 9, 2019 - A European Union firefighting exercise, Modex Cres 2019, is being held on the northern Adriatic island of Cres on April 7-10, and a part of the exercise, involving about 300 firefighters from a dozen EU countries and designed to demonstrate joint action by international forces, was presented to reporters on Monday.

This is the first EU exercise focusing on wildfires and it is part of the EU project "Romex" and of activities of the EU Mechanism of Civil Protection, which are designed to promote cooperation between member-states in cases of large-scale natural disasters and technological and environmental emergencies.

Of 34 member-countries, about a dozen are involved in the exercise in Cres, with firefighters from Croatia, Greece, Spain, France, Austria, Romania, Italy and Bulgaria participating directly.

The purpose of the firefighting exercise on Cres, to last without interruption for 52 hours, is to show whether Europe is prepared for big wildfires as recent ones in Sweden and Greece.

The emphasis of the exercise is not on technical capacity but on strategy, planning, tactics, operation efficiency, cooperation, orientation in unfamiliar terrain and flexibility.

The exercise is also part of a pilot project for advanced regional cooperation in extraordinary civilian situations, co-financed with funds from NATO's Science for Peace and Security Programme.

Preparations for the exercise were carried out by the Croatian Firefighting Association, in cooperation with the Romanian consortium CN APELL and the town of Cres.

The participating firefighters are using the Next-Generation Incident Command System, an advanced information system for the management of crisis situations, developed by the US Homeland Security Department's Science and Technology Directorate.

After the exercise was demonstrated, European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides thanked Croatia for hosting the exercise, which he described as excellent, pointing to the importance of readiness and solidarity.

Croatian Minister of the Interior Davor Božinović said that Croatia had not been chosen to host the exercise by chance.

We have shown that we are among the very best, we are demonstrating solidarity and expect it when needed, Božinović said, adding that as part of a transitional mechanism Croatia would make available, for use outside of its borders, two firefighting planes and two police helicopters.

That means that we will get from the EU funds to cover 75% of the cost of our assistance, including maintenance, fuel and other costs, in the amount of around 2 million euros, Božinović said, adding that Croatia had helped before as well but that it had covered the cost of its assistance from its own budget.

He stressed that wildfires no longer affected only the south of Europe and that close to 5,000 Europeans were killed in natural disasters in the last five years. There were 138 major natural disasters, with losses amounting to more than EUR 20 billion, he said, adding that protection and rescue funds would be higher in the next multiannual framework, in excess of 1.3 billion kuna.

Tourism Minister Gari Cappelli, who also attended the demonstration, said that security was one of the most important reasons why tourists visited Croatia and that it was important to show them that Croatia was part of a big European security basin.

National firefighting commander Slavko Tucaković said that more than 600 participants were accredited for the exercise, that the EU had financed the project with 45,000 euro and that it involved all homeland security components - firefighters from five Croatian counties, Air Force members, members of the Red Cross and others.

More news about firefighting in Croatia can be found in the Lifestyle section.

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