New fleet of co-ordination vehicles allows for improved response to emergencies

Until recently, the management of the emergency services to disasters such as floods was carried out from a number of call centres dotted around the Czech Republic. But the purchase in 2009 of a fleet of 80 emergency response vehicles has allowed the co-ordination of emergency situations to be carried out in situ at the place where the incident is unfolding.

Additional tools

The new vehicles enable better management of emergency situations The new vehicles enable better management of emergency situations

In a disaster situation police use the new vehicles as management centres from which to assess the situation on the spot and to communicate and co-ordinate with the other emergency services in order to bring the situation under control as rapidly as possible.

The new mobile contact and co-ordination centres, as they are called, proved to be highly effective during floods in the Liberec Region in August 2010. Vehicles were put into place in the flooded areas and were used by police officers as co-ordination centres from which rescue work was organised in the affected towns and villages. The vehicles also brought in practical support, such as material necessities, for locals who were cut off from the outside world during the floods.

Improving the management of disaster situations

People were able to receive the latest information about the situation in their areas from the vehicles, which were also used to transport teams of psychologists to the affected towns and villages to provide counselling. The vehicles have also been used to deal with industrial accidents and ensuring security during football matches.

Each vehicle is furnished with lighting equipment, a mobile power generator, a loud-hailer, an LED information board, radio equipment and a resilient information technology system, capable of being used in the most demanding emergency situation. The communications technology is compatible with the integrated rescue system of the Czech Republic and the project is linked to the network of emergency response call centres that have been built across the country over recent years with support from EU funds.

Project manager Hana Fidranská of the Police Presidium of the Czech Republic said that the new vehicles had substantially improved the country’s ability to respond to emergencies. During a time of limited budgets it would have been very difficult to purchase the new vehicles without EU support, she said.

Of the fleet of 80 vehicles the European Union funded 76 while the remaining four vehicles covering the capital city of Prague — which is ineligible for funding in this category — were financed from national resources.

Total and EU funding

The “Mobile Contact and Coordination Centres” project had a total budget of EUR 4 914 337, of which the EU’s European Regional Development Fund contributed EUR 4 125 060 for the 2007 to 2013 programming period.

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