MOSCOW, January 2 (Itar-Tass) —— The single emergency service telephone number 112 will become operational in the Moscow region by 2017, the head of the regional branch of the Emergencies Ministry, Yevgeny Sekirin, said.
“We are already working on this and will start drafting technical specifications this year. If we solve this task, and there are reasons to believe that we will, we will start implementing Project 112 in 2013,” Sekirin told Itar-Tass on Monday, January 2.
At the same time, he said it would be “premature” to expect this work to be completed within a year or two.
Other tasks facing his branch, Sekirin named the creation of a volunteer fire service.
“By the end of 2012, there must be about 50,000 volunteers in the Moscow region. Now there are only 1,400 of them,” he said.
There are plans to build 40 fire stations and buy 80 fire engines for them. This will help cover the whole territory of the Moscow region, “Now the fire service covers 76 percent of the Moscow region,” Sekirin said.
The Russian Emergencies Ministry's higher educational institutions are ready to give fire-fighting skills to volunteers, Emergencies Ministry said.
“I hope the law 'On Volunteer Fire Protection' will be adopted, which has already been drafted by the Emergencies Ministry. But volunteers will have to be trained somewhere,” Emergencies Minister Sergei Shoigu said earlier.
“We will create primary training courses for volunteers at our higher educational institutions. They will run for three to six months,” the minister said.
Prime Minister Vladimir Putin called for raising public awareness about fire danger and checking the readiness of fire-fighting systems.
He recalled his conversation with Nizhny Novgorod residents. “People say: we keep on calling but no one talks to us and hangs up,” he cited.
“It is necessary to organise proper information work,” Putin said. “Fire fighting capacities should match the danger.”
“Where there is the risk of fire spreading over to houses, it is necessary to check the condition of fire-fighting means and equipment, organise patrolling by fire crews and volunteers, and undertake all the preventive measures promptly,” he said.
He also stressed the need to “step up control over compliance with the rules of behaviour in the forest.”
“People pay too dear a price for the irresponsible behaviour of those who ignore the bans and violate elementary safety rules,” the prime minister said.