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14/11/2019   Representatives of the Office of the President and the National Audit Office together with responsible institutions agreed on improving directions for the management of fire safety and emergency situations

On Thursday, representatives of the Office of the President and the National Audit Office, in the meeting with institutions responsible for the systems of fire safety and environment protection, analysed the shortcomings of effectiveness of those systems and agreed on possible directions for their improvement.

The meeting also discussed the factors affecting the risks of fire such as improper waste management and insufficient fire prevention, problems in the systems for the management of critical and emergency situations, and possible ways of increasing their effectiveness.

Attention is drawn to the fact that no assessment has been carried out of all possible risks of emergency situations in Lithuania, their management plans lack guidelines for operation of institutions, all the necessary resources and their sources are not envisaged, there are no adequately equipped emergency management headquarters. Superficial attitude is observed towards training and exercises for the management of emergency situations, therefore the heads and members of emergency situation commissions and operation centres lack proper professional qualifications to manage critical situations.

“Municipalities often lack theoretical and practical knowledge on what to do in emergency situations, therefore there should be a mechanism in place at the national level to ensure the necessary assistance“, said Jonas Vytautas Žukas, Chief Advisor to the President, Head of National Security Group.

During the discussion, it was agreed to initiate regular training and exercises for the management of emergency and critical situations ensuring high level of preparedness. The first training is planned to be held already this year. In case of necessity, military infrastructure can be used for the management of emergency and critical situations. Attention is drawn that it is necessary to increase the awareness of responsible persons, institutions and the public on the importance of civil protection.

The National Audit Office is currently conducting the audit “Performance of Fire Fighting Forces in Reducing the Number of Fires and Damage Caused by Fires” to assess if the chosen model for ensuring and organisation of fire safety provides conditions for the implementation of these functions.

“The existing fire safety measures are not sufficient to manage the growth of the number of fires. Number of fires in Lithuania increases: in 2018 there were 26 % more fires than in 2017. According to the number of people who died in the fires per 100 thousand of population, we exceed the level of EU countries by almost five times. Fire fighting forces are not always properly prepared to fight the fire, therefore the damage caused by fire increases, - noted Deputy Auditor General Živilė Simonaitytė.

The meeting was attended by the representatives of the Office of the President, the Office of the Government, the Ministry of the Interior, Fire and Rescue Department and Fire Research Centre of this Department, the Ministry of Environment, the Environment Protection Agency, Environment Protection Department, and Association of Local Authorities. Participants agreed on further actions and their coordination to ensure effective functioning of fire safety system.

 

Responsible for the information Communication Division
Last updated on 27 November 2019

National Audit Office of Lithuania

Pamėnkalnio St 27, LT-01113 Vilnius, Phone: + 370 5 266 6793, + 370 5 266 6752, Email: nao@vkontrole.lt.