Within the current project ‘Promoting the role of volunteers and the population in Civil Protection’ (ProVoice) which is implemented in Belarus, Republic of Moldova and Ukraine, one aspect is to facilitate regional and international knowledge exchange. During 11 -14 September 2019, 10 representatives from Belarus, Republic of Moldova and Ukraine including representatives of Civil Protection authorities and the partner organisations from those countries, participated in a Study Visit to Austria.
The event aimed at
- fostering standardization of procedures, exchange of experts and lessons learned from UCPM countries and Belarus, Ukraine and Moldova;
- regional cooperation and exchange of experience between Belarus, Ukraine and Moldova as well as between CSOs and civil protection authorities, and
- exchange of know-how with Austrian disaster responders with special focus on volunteer-based systems and the cooperation between volunteer-based response organisations and authorities.
For two days, the participants have been involved in visits to volunteer firefighter posts as well Red Cross local branches where specific aspects of volunteering in emergencies have been approach. A specific interest shown by representatives was given to the functionality of the dispatcher in frame of volunteering posts, recruitment and self-funding and fundraising activities conducted by the local and regional post/branches.
Later in the week, the journey brought us to the Austrian National Disaster Management Exercise, the IRONORE 2019. This full-scale civil protection exercise took place in Eisenerz, Styria. The main purpose was to test the understanding and response to an earthquake scenario in the framework of the Union Civil Protection Mechanism. The focus therefore was placed on development of response starting with local response, request of assistance and opening the European Civil Protection Mechanism, receiving international assistance (EU modules, other response capacities and a Union Civil Protection Team), train host nation support and embed incoming assistance into the Austrian response system.
Besides being a unique opportunity on putting in place the EU mechanism of Civil Protection, the IRONEORE2019 exercise has been a good learning opportunity and an exchange of experience for the ProVoice project. This opportunity was created in order to strengthen the competences of the Civil protection from Moldova, Ukraine and Belarus regarding the application of the EU response mechanism as well to exchange knowledge, opinions and practices.
In the end, the IRONORE2019 scenario gave for the participants a learning opportunity to train mobilization, interoperability and serving / receiving international assistance following the Mechanism procedure.
Further information on the IronOre2019 can be found here – https://www.ironore.eu/