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Latvia - Prevention & preparedness

Vademecum - Civil Protection



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Training

The training of the heads of state institutions, local governments and commercial companies in civil protection matters is organised by the State Fire and Rescue Service. The preparation of civil protection specialists is made by state-accredited institutions of higher education and vocational secondary educational institutions. Educational institutions shall ensure the provision of a mandatory course in civil protection to students, as well as to educatees of general and vocational educational institutions. The minimum requirements for the course in civil protection shall be determined by the Cabinet.

The training of inhabitants in civil protection matters takes place by using the mass media and electronic mass media and by distributing informative materials. It is carried out by the state institutions and local governments as well as by merchants. Training of employees in civil protection matters is organised by the employer. The minimum requirements for the contents of the course in civil protection for employees are determined by the Regulations of the Cabinet of Ministers (No 612 of 11 September 2007).

The Fire Safety and Civil Protection College prepares specialists for the State Fire and Rescue Service and other fire safety, rescue and civil protection services and units, institutions and commercial companies as well.

Exercises

National exercises are performed as part of the Latvian and Lithuanian cross-border cooperation programmes and the Baltic Sea Regional INTEREG IIIB Neighbourhood Programme (Latvia, Lithuania and Belarus).

The guidelines for exercise planning are stipulated in the Regulations of the Cabinet covering the types of exercises and the organisation of exercises (No 772 of 22 September 2008).

The exercises take place at the premises of:

  • The 112 central
  • The Crises Management Council
  • The premises of the Civil Protection Commission of the municipalities and cities under state jurisdiction.

The State Fire and Rescue Service is responsible for the interagency civil protection (horizontal exercises).

The national and regional exercises for testing the preparedness for national and regional disasters are organised at least once every four years and local exercises at least once every three years (Cabinet Regulation No 772 of 22 September 2008).

Tabletop exercises are also carried out, i.e. the CMEP TTP exercise 2005 in the case of rupture of the HPP dam and floods.

Local field exercises are organised each year according to the plans.

International exercises include:

  • EU Joint Assistance in 2006, Ukraine
  • A consequence management field exercise Usimma in 2008 organised by the Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre (EADRCC) in cooperation with Finland
  • Field exercises in 2009 in the case of chemical pollution of the river Daugava
  • Field exercises in 2009 in the case of a chemical spill in Grodno Azot
  • Annual Latvian-Estonian exercise under the bilateral Rescue Services Agreement.

Early warning systems

Early warning systems towards professionals:

  • The European Community Urgent Radiological Information Exchange (ECURIE) and the Rapid Alert System for exchanging information on health due to deliberate release of chemical, biological and radio-nuclear agents (RAS BICHAT) are integrated within the civil protection system
  • The Common Emergency Communication and Information System (CECIS)
  • The International Aid Network (IAN).

Early warning systems towards the population: The State Fire and Rescue Service administers an electronic siren system. TV and radio are involved in the civil alarm and notification system according to relevant agreements.

The public is informed via radio and TV, spokespersons and live transmission from the disaster scene.

The operative information systems used among the operational forces involved in the intervention are SIMPLEX radio, SMART ZONE MOTOROLA and alternative communications by low band radio stations.

Prevention

Prevention of emergency situations is necessary to enhance the security level of citizens. The prevention activities are undertaken in cooperation with experts from the ministries or agencies depending on the specific types of risk.