‘Large Scale Disasters’ was the subject of a recent CEPOL seminar held in Vilnius, Lithuania 23-25 September 2009. It was organised by Fire Fighters Training School, Fire and Rescue Department which is part of the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Lithuania. The aim of the seminar was to encourage delegates to reflect on their own working environment both in their national and in the European context, with regards to initiatives already taken and initiatives to be taken in the future. The seminar also aimed at international police cooperation and the implementation of the Common Curriculum as well as the exchange of experiences between colleagues from all over Europe.
Twenty-three participants from 17 countries took part in the seminar.
The seminar started with the introduction of CEPOL. Tatjana Milkamanovi? from Fire and Rescue Department, Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Lithuania presented: ‘EU Regulations of Large Scale Disasters’, ‘EC Civil Protection Mechanism’ and ‘International Assistance System Modules’. Rimantas Ramanauskas, Head of Practical Vocational Training Division, Fire Fighters Training School, discussed ‘Operational Information Management’ and Henrikas Baldauskas presented Lithuanian Emergency Response Team.
The following day the seminar concentrated on practical training issues. The participants were divided into groups and took part in emergency role playing exercises. Everybody had an opportunity to see how Lithuanian fire-fighters are prepared for large scale disasters. Following the activity participants discussed the exercises and expressed how officers would act in their own country having to handle the same situation. Later that day the participants were given a presentation by Marco Guerrini, an Italian expert, on National Experience in Large Scale Disasters Management, which encompassed Italian earthquake handling experience. Before closing the day’s activities, Rimantas Steponavi?ius spoke about Lithuanian Experience of the War Conflict in Georgia in 2008.
On the seminar’s last day “Bulgarian National System of Prevention and Response to Radiation Emergencies“was presented by Bulgaran expert Marina Nizamska. Stefan Petrov Stefanov, a further expert in the field from Bulgaria, talked about the Prevention implemented in the Fire Safety and Rescue Service as well as Cooperation with the Police and Voluntary Formations and International Cooperation - joint Teams in Neighbouring Countries. The seminar ended with Lithuanian expert Birut? Pitr?nait? stressing the Importance and Function of the Police in Large Scale Disaster.
Mr. Valdas Krulikauskas, the Head of the hosting institution, in the seminar’s opening speech expressed a strong belief that the seminar will serve to strengthen the mutual cooperation between law enforcement institutions both those of fire-fighters and police officers within the EU framework.