Short title: LLB-Transit
PRIORITY 2: ADDRESSING COMMON CHALLENGES
Measure 2.1.: Protection and sustainable development of environmental and natural resources
Beneficiary: State Fire and Rescue Service of Latvia (Riga, Latvia)
Partners: Vilnius County Fire and Rescue Board (Vilnius, Lithuania), Utena Country Fire and Rescue Board (Utena, Lithuania), Alytus Country Fire and Rescue Board (Alytus, Lithuania), Vitebsk Regional Department of the Ministry for Emergency Situations of Belarus (Vitebsk, Belarus), Grodno Regional Department of the Ministry for Emergency Situations of Belarus (Grodno, Belarus)
Associates: Utena Regional Environmental Protection Department of the Ministry of Environment of the Republic of Lithuania (Utena, Lithuania), Alytus Regional Environmental Protection Department of the Ministry of Environment of the Republic of Lithuania (Alytus, Lithuania), Vilnius Regional Environmental Protection Department of the Ministry of Environment of the Republic of Lithuania (Vilnius, Lithuania)
PROBLEM: the Republic of Latvia has signed bilateral agreements with neighbor countries Belarus and Lithuania on cooperation in the field of emergency prevention and response. The existence of the legal base however has been not sufficiently supported by active interaction between the involved agencies. The part of the reason for that could be the shortage of financial resources for implementation of full-scale activities and recent economic processes that deny partners the possibility of renewing their technical capabilities. The transboundary region of Latvia, Lithuania and Belarus is characterized by high concentration of chemical industrial enterprises (“POLIMIR” Enterprise, oil processing plant “NAFTAN”, oil pipeline “DRUZHBA” in Novopolotsk, and “AZOT” enterprise in Grodno), dense transportation network, and remoteness from major cities. This means a lot of dangerous substances are being transported, so there is always a high risk of large scale transport accident, involving dangerous substances in the region. In case of late or not adequate response the consequences of an accident could spread on large areas and affect territories of neighbor countries. One single country or rescue service is unable to deal with this kind of emergency successfully. Therefore mentioned problems can be solved and adequate response to emergency situations provided only by uniting resources of neighboring countries in a cross-border approach.
OBJECTIVES: Overall objective of the action – to increase the level of ecological safety in the region by dealing with transport emergencies involving dangerous substances in quick and professional manner. Specific objective - to reduce response times and rescue works time in transport emergencies involving dangerous substances.
As a result of the project, the partners improved their coordination and preparedness for joint operations in case of transport emergencies involving dangerous substances in the Lithuanian, Latvian and Belarusian border region.
Off-road fire-fighting vehicles and sets of modern rescue equipment were purchased.
A guide book for first responders with main recommendations and techniques for elimination of consequences of transport accidents involving dangerous substances and coordination of activities with other involved services has been developed. Trainings were organised. A joint field exercise was organised in Belarus, where explosion and fire in the cargo train were successfully extinguished. 120 firemen from three countries took part in the training.