On 11.11.2022 the implementation of the project “JOINT VOLUNTEERING FOR A SAFER LIFE, ROBG-332 – “JOINT VOLUNTEERING FOR A SAFER LIFE” was completed. The project is funded under contract No. 98956/31.08.2018 and is worth 998 815,75 €, of which 85% is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund and 15% national and own co-financing. The project was launched on 12.09.2018.
The project “JOINT VOLUNTEERING FOR A SAFER LIFE, ROBG-332 – “JOINT VOLUNTEERING FOR A SAFER LIFE” was implemented in partnership by the Municipality of Tutrakan – lead partner, the General Directorate “Fire Safety and Population Protection” of the Ministry of Interior, Republic of Bulgaria, the Inspectorate for Emergency Situations, Republic of Romania and the National Association of Volunteers in the Republic of Bulgaria.
The main objective of the project was to improve the theoretical and practical preparedness of local volunteer response units and contribute to their coordination and effective response in the event of a disaster, thereby also improving joint risk management in the cross-border region.
The grant is used to reconstruct the building of the former primary school in the village of Belitsa in the municipality of Tutrakan and to build a training centre for volunteers. Following a Risk Analysis of the cross-border area, a Voluntary Emergency Response Plan and a Joint Training Programme for Voluntary Response Units were developed. In the period April-July 2022, according to the developed programme, six consecutive and joint trainings took place at the Training Centre, involving a total of 144 Bulgarian and 72 Romanian volunteers. With them, trainers from the Academy of the Ministry of Interior conducted theoretical and practical trainings to acquire basic skills for coordination and response in case of disaster in the cross-border region.
Under the project, a Training Tower was delivered and installed in Constanta, Constanta County, by the General Inspectorate for Emergency Situations, Republic of Romania, in early September 2021. The training tower is intended for training of operational staff of the professional emergency response services, as well as for volunteers working for units subordinate to the General Inspectorate for Emergency Situations; for joint training with external partners, and for holding professional competitions.
In the final stage of the project, two training sessions were also held in Constanta at the Professional Centre for the best performing 20 Bulgarian and 20 Romanian volunteers.
The joint and successful implementation of the project strengthened the good partnership relations between the Municipality of Tutrakan, the General Directorate of the Fire Brigade, the Emergency Inspectorate and the National Association of Volunteers in Bulgaria. The Training Centre in Belitsa is the first of its kind training centre for volunteers. Both in Bulgaria and Romania it is difficult to find volunteers to deal with specific situations. The results achieved by the project provide an opportunity to strengthen volunteering in both countries and to improve coordination and effective disaster response in the cross-border region.