Saturday, 23 July 2022

Croatia Continues Providing Aerial Firefighting Aid to Slovenia

ZAGREB, 23 July 2022 - Croatia on Saturday again sent a water-dropping plane and helicopter to Slovenia to help local fire-fighting forces in efforts to contain the ravaging wildfire that has been going on for days along the Slovenia-Italy border.

Croatia has been sending the CL-415 canadair and Mi-8 MTV helicopter to Nova Gorica each day over the last four days, the Croatian Defence Ministry said on Saturday.

The request for assistance was forwarded to Croatia via the EU Civil Protection Mechanism.

In the night between Friday and Saturday, over 800 local firefighters were engaged on the ground.

Ten villages were evacuated due to thick smoke.

The disaster has taken one life so far. On Thursday evening, a 56-year-old Italian woman, who was a volunteer civil protection operative, was killed when a burned tree trunk fell on her while she was patrolling the area along the Italian-Slovenian border hit by that wildfire that erupted in the Kras region.

According to reports by Italian media outlets, the victim Elena Lo Duca was in teams that conducted on-site inspections of the scope of the damage at the affected area when the tree fell on her and killed her.

The wildfire has affected over 2,000 hectares of land.

Slovenian Civil Protection head Srečko Šestan said two days ago that this was the largest fire in the history of independent Slovenia.

Apart from Croatia also Italy, Austria and Slovakia have sent water-dropping planes to help local firefighting forces.

According to the estimates from Slovenia, the blaze could be put out next week when some rain is expected.

Thursday, 14 July 2022

Božinović: We Are Prepared For Wildfire Season

ZAGREB, 14 July 2022 - Interior Minister Davor Božinović said on Thursday that we were ready for the wildfire season and the services did a good job at the site of Wdnesday's wildfire near Šibenik.

"We were prepared for the wildfire season and services did a good job. We have to be aware that climate change is the main change that is occurring and will continue in the years to come."

Božinović underscored that the Mediterranean, along with California, is one of the world's two biggest hotspots when it comes to global warming.

Speaking about the wildfires that hit the Šibenik area on Wednesday, Božinović said that forces in the Šibenik and Vodice hinterland gradually increased, depending on how the situation developed, primarily due to unexpected changes in wind directions.

The minister specified that a total of 350 firefighters were engaged on Wednesday, mostly from Šibenik-Knin County, and half of them from six other counties, as well as 50 members of the Croatian Army and 75 police officers.

Asked how many fire-fighting aircraft Croatia has at its disposal, Božinović replied that there are currently four Canadair planes and three air-tractors available.

"By 23 July, we will have one more air-tractor, and by 30 July, one more air-tractor and one Canadair aircraft." This means that as of 1 August, Croatia should have five Canadairs and five air-tractors at its disposal. Another Canadair, which is being overhauled, should be ready by the end of the year,'' he specified.

Božinović on EPPO action: I encourage the institutions to protect the interests of Croatia and the EU

Asked to comment on the latest action by the European Public Prosecutor's Office (EPPO) and the PNUSKOK - police anti-corruption office regarding alleged bribes and the rigging of the tender process for the extension and reconstruction of the wastewater treatment plant in Varaždin, Božinović said that all institutions have a free hand in enforcing the law.

For more, check out our politics section.

Thursday, 7 April 2022

Firefighters Have To Brace For Tough Season

ZAGREB, 7 April 2022 - Croatian fire chief Slavko Tucaković said on Thursday that the national firefighting system should brace for a tough season.

Addressing a conference of firefighters in Opatija, Tucaković said that the weather forecasts for the spring and the summer show that a very tough season could be expected.

He recalled that in the past period, apart from battling blazes and wildfires, firefighters had been engaged in operations in the aftermath of the two devastating quakes in Zagreb and Sisak County in 2020.

In Zagreb, they participated in 6,000 operations in the wake of the tremor, and in 14,500 interventions following the 29 December 2020 earthquake that hit Sisak-Moslavina County.

Firefighters were thus engaged in rescue operations when 30 people were pulled from rubble or evacuated from damaged buildings in the area of Petrinja, according to Tucaković.

 

For more, check out our politics section.

Tuesday, 8 February 2022

€35,000 Device Donated to Split Hospital's Neonatology Ward

ZAGREB, 8 Feb 2022 -  A device for the inhalation of nitric oxide by premature babies was delivered to the neonatology ward in Split by local firefighters on Tuesday.

The device was donated to the hospital after a fund-raising event organised by the firefighters' organisation in the City of Split.

The head of the ward, Mirjana Bucat, sad at today's ceremony that the device would be be useful in the treatment of acute hypoxic pulmonary hypertension from which premature babies could suffer. She said that annually there were five to seven such cases in their hospital.

Saturday, 10 July 2021

Fires in Croatia Will Be Spotted By 500 Fire Observers and 96 Cameras

July 10, 2021 - During the season, 500 fire watchers and 96 cameras will try to spot fires in Croatia as they arise in order to put them out as soon as possible. And Croatian Forests is investing additional funds in fire prevention and public education.

One of the main threats during the summer season are the fires in Croatia that occur mainly in Dalmatia and its islands, but as reported by HRT Vijesti, 500 observers and 96 cameras will be the main resources to prevent them from spreading and can be put out as soon as possible.

Mr. Ante Vedrić works as an observer of Croatian forests on a fourteen-meter observation post next to the Musapstan Forest Park in the suburbs of Zadar. During the fire season, the forest is monitored from June 1 to September 30 in shifts from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. and from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. The cameras are also on for 24 hours.

''The observer immediately reports to the fire center, the cameras record it and then they list the firefighters and our observers have a work diary and they record it every beginning of the fire, the end of the fire if the Canadian drops water bombs and we count it'', said Croatian Forest Observer Ante Vedrić .

However, fire prevention begins even before the season, so the Zadar foresters in Žmirići in the Nin-Kožino economic unit performed fire-fighting forest clearing.

''On fire prevention, we primarily work on pruning the lower branches, removing dry branches in the immediate vicinity of roads, cleaning belts, grinding small mass and thus reduce the possibility of forest fires and spread'', said Zadar Forestry Manager Mislav Maršić.

Last year, 200 square kilometers of forest were burned. The wood mass itself is worth ten million kuna, but the damage, due to the general useful functions of forests such as oxygen generation or reducing soil erosion, climbs up to one hundred million. That is why Hrvatske šume financed an additional four cameras this year, and a new tender for the provision of video surveillance services is being prepared.

''The four-year contract costs us about twenty million kuna, but that money is nothing because we heard what the damage is, what damage occurs when the forest burns so all the investments we have and that is from 75 to 100 million kuna as the average in the past four years are actually small investments considering how much fires in Croatia are prevented and how much forests are saved'', said the director of the Forestry Department of Croatian Forests Krešimir Žagar.

''Today we have 96 cameras in four counties: Dubrovnik-Neretva, Split-Dalmatia, Šibenik-Knin, and Zadar, where the cooperation of Croatian Forests with the fire brigades of the counties that Croatian Forests finances a certain part of the duty'', said the Chief Fire Chief of the Croatian Fire Brigade. community Slavko Tucakovic.

In Hrvatske šume, they claim that despite the new cameras, they will always need observers who earn four and a half thousand kunas a month. In addition, foresters will buy firefighters new special vehicles for forest fires because the age of their fleet is 23 years.

For more news about Croatia, click here.

Thursday, 1 July 2021

Construction of Regional Training Centre for Firefighters Inaugurated

ZAGREB, 30 June 2021 - Construction works on a regional training center for fire-fighters were inaugurated in Brčići in the Vučevica area on Wednesday as part of the Firespill project, which is part of the Italian-Croatian cross-border cooperation program.

The HRK 120 million project is financed with EU funds, including 65 million envisaged for projects in Split-Dalmatia County, Croatia.

Inaugurating the works, Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said the government gave the land on which the center was being built, thereby contributing to the development of that area.

He said Brčići was a good location as it was close to the Operational Fire Command in Divulje, the main fire command in the country, and that he was "confident it is another good example of utilizing European Union funds."

Plenković said the new training center for firefighters was an important project for Split-Dalmatia County and all of Croatia was it would raise fire-fighting to a new level.

He said his cabinet had strengthened fire-fighting and that Fire Chief Slavko Tucaković managed an annual budget of HRK 450 million.

For more news in Croatia, click here.

Sunday, 6 June 2021

Firefighters Hold Annual Pilgrimage to Marian Shrine of Marija Bistrica

ZAGREB, 6 June, 2021 - Over 1,200 firefighters from Croatia went on pilgrimage to the Marian shrine of Marija Bistrica on Sunday, with several high-ranking officials attending this 22nd traditional pilgrimage.

Addressing the pilgrims before the mass, War Veterans' Affairs Minister Tomo Medved recalled the huge contribution of firefighters not only to efforts to put out wildfires and fires but also to efforts to deal with the post-quake situations in 2020 and to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

The chief fire commander Slavko Tucaković thanked the government for the procurement of 450 new vehicles for the firefighting system.

For more about Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Tuesday, 26 January 2021

Firefighter Whose Petrinja Rescue Dog Was Poisoned Given New Puppy

January 26, 2021 – Firefighter Srđan Botica from Slano near Dubrovnik was inconsolable after his hero Petrinja rescue dog Alice was poisoned a few days ago. Although irreplaceable, Srđan's friends could no longer stand by and watch him grieve undeservedly, so they bought a brand new Belgian Shepherd puppy to cheer him up

Srđan Botica was inconsolable after the death of his dog, Alice. Although she was still quite young, Alice and Srđan had built a strong bond between them. The training required for a dog like Alice to become a specialist search and rescue dog will have that kind of effect. The relationship Srđan established with Alice was strengthened both in his workplace, where Srđan is a firefighter and at home, which is where Srđan brought Alice each evening.

The final test of the pair's attachment was to be the rubble left in the aftermath of the Sisak Moslavina earthquake. Srđan volunteered to travel from Dubrovnik to help in the response. Alice became a Petrinja rescue dog, scouring the damaged and fallen buildings for survivors. The inseparable pair stayed for six days undertaking their work.

ScreenshotaliceandSrdan.pngSrdan and Alice at work after the earthquake

As TCN was saddened to report over recent days, the partnership of Srđan Botic and his Petrinja rescue dog Alice was tragically cut short within weeks of their return. Alice was poisoned on the streets of her home in Slano, near Dubrovnik.

Though Petrinja rescue dog Alice was one of a kind and can never be replaced, the friends of firefighter Srđan Botica could no longer sit by and watch his undeserved grief. Over the last couple of days they clubbed together and bought Srđan a new dog. Srđan's new housemate goes by the name of Amy and she's still just a puppy. Amy is a Belgian Shepherd, the exact same breed as Petrinja rescue dog Alice.

It is probably still too early to say whether Amy will follow in Alice's pawsteps to become a search and rescue dog. But, Belgian Shepherds are one of the best-known breeds for this kind of work. They are used as search and rescue dogs by firefighters and mountain rescue in many countries, and as police and military dogs. They have a good reputation as sniffer dogs, particularly in the field of finding illegal drugs. Several Belgian Shepherds have been decorated for bravery and they are very protective of their owners and handlers.

The US Secret Service, Israel Defence Forces, Indian NSG commando unit and Royal Australian Air Force use Belgian Shepherds in their work. The breed is second in number only to the German Shepherd for use across the whole of the US Armed Forces.

Friday, 22 January 2021

German Firefighters Bring Third Convoy of Aid to Quake-Hit Area

ZAGREB, 22 January, 2021 - Forty-three German firefighters from the state of Baden-Württemberg on Friday brought the third convoy of aid to the quake-hit area in Croatia aboard 16 trucks and four vans, including 17 housing containers, firefighting equipment and construction materials.

The donation also included an ambulance.

The convoy was welcomed by a Croatian foreign ministry state secretary, Zdenko Lucić, and county fire marshal Mijo Brlečić.

The first convoy from Baden-Württemberg arrived on 2 January, bringing 110 tonnes of firefighting equipment, medical supplies and food.

The second, 23-truck convoy arrived on 8 January, bringing firefighting equipment, construction material, clothes, hygiene products and food. The donation included five vehicles for firefighters in the quake-hit area.

Fire marshal Brlečić thanked the German firefighters for their donation.

Sunday, 10 January 2021

Slovenian and Austrian Firefigthers Bring Aid for Earthquake Victims

ZAGREB, 10 January, 2021 - In a humanitarian campaign organised by the Breznicki Hum Municipality with the help of a Slovenian volunteer firefighters association, PGD Paloma Sladki Vrh,  and Austrian OBR fire brigade, 24 trucks and vans on Saturday delivered aid for people in the quake-hit areas of Sisak, Petrinja and Glina.

The convoy entered Croatia on Saturday morning at the Dubrava Krizovljanska border crossing.

According to the press release, the convoy, accompanied by police, delivered large quantities of construction materials, construction tools, beams, planks and slats, generators and heaters, textiles, pillows, blankets, field beds, food, water and numerous other necessities for the many inhabitants of the quake-hit area.

Upon arrival at the storage terminal of a company called NIL-Z in Petrinja, they were welcomed by Petrinja Mayor Darinko Dumbovic, who thanked them for collecting and delivering valuable help.

The secretary of the Slovenian firefighters association, Valentina Oslovnik, its commander, Robert Oslovnik, and the commander of Austrian OBR fire brigade, Johannes Matzhold, expressed their satisfaction with participating in the campaign.

The head of Breznicki Hum Municipality, Zoran Hegedic, thanked the participants of the campaign and firefighter from Breznicki Hum, Slovenia and Austria.

Hegedic also thanked the Croatian customs for the excellent cooperation during the arrival of the convoy, Croatian police for accompanying them and all those who helped in any way.

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