The OSCE has handed over quadcopter devices and modern communications equipment that will be used during the fire season in the Exclusion Zone

The State Specialized Enterprise "Pivnichna Pushcha", which is part of the management of the State Agency of Ukraine on Exclusion Zone Management, received quadcopter and car radio station and antenna from the OSCE representatives. This equipment will improve the system of early monitoring and response to a fire in the Exclusion Zone and security of personnel. On March 1, in the territory of Opachytske forestry, a solemn transfer of equipment and the first launch of quadcopters took place.

As Jeffrey Ehrlich, Deputy Ambassador, OSCE Project Coordinator in Ukraine noted, equipment would reduce the risk of fire in the Exclusion Zone. Also, in cooperation with the State Agency of Ukraine on Exclusion Zone Management, the Chornobyl Radiation-Ecological Biosphere Reserve, the Main Department of the State Emergency Service of Ukraine in Kyiv region, it is planned to conduct an information campaign among the population living in the adjacent territories, as most of the fires arise due to the careless fire behavior.

"Thanks to equipment from the OSCE, we will be able to significantly improve early warning systems in our territory. The Exclusion Zone is contaminated with radioactive elements, and therefore any fire or emergency should be detected and localized in the shortest possible time to prevent the spread of radionuclides," - Vitalii Petruk, the Head of the State Agency of Ukraine on Exclusion Zone Management, said.

The car radio station and antenna will improve the connection between the rescue units and the units involved in the fire suppression.

The creation of an interdepartmental coordination center for the prevention of fires and emergencies and their elimination is also in the plans of the agency for 2018. The Center should ensure a clear coordination of the actions of all units and departments involved in the elimination of emergencies in the Exclusion Zone.

According to Vitalii Petruk, in the process of creating an early fire monitoring system and an interdepartmental coordination center, the agency fruitfully cooperates with the US Forestry Service to exchange best practices and experiences. Also, last year, the Forest Service transferred 5 CCTV cameras to the Exclusion Zone that were installed on the fire towers.

"The equipment for early detection of fires will accelerate the reaction to a fire. The equipment received today will enable to elevate above the area of fire to get more accurate results of fire intelligence. Based on information on the strength and direction of fire distribution, experts will decide on the number of equipment and personnel to be employed and the location of forces. This will contribute to more efficient use of resources during fire extinguishing," - Yevhen Kyryliuk, deputy head of the forestry department of the SSE “Pivnichna Pushcha”, said.

In the spring, in the Exclusion Zone, personnel training will begin, so that, before the start of the fire season, the rescue squads were staffed with operators of quadcopters.

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