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Russian emergencies ministry setting up special task groups in FIFA World Cup host cities

November 11, 2014, 4:06 UTC+3 MOSCOW

To create this special task force, the ministry will get about 6 billion rubles ($ 130.4 million) from the federal budget in the next three years

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© ITAR-TASS/Alexander Rumin

MOSCOW, November 11. /TASS/. Russia’s Ministry for Emergency Situations and Civil Defence is setting up combined rescue and firefighting units in the cities that will host FIFA World Cup games in 2018, Izvestia daily said in a report published on Tuesday.

To create this special task force, the ministry will get about 6 billion rubles ($ 130.4 million) from the federal budget in the next three years.

“We’re imparting new contours to the firefighting and rescue units, which will be in charge of extinguishing and localization of fires and, on top of that, will take part in search and rescue operations,” Deputy Minister Vladimir Stepanov told the newspaper. “Servicemen of the units will also be employed at other jobs where they specialized skills may be needed.”

The new units will have top-notch equipment and technologies and they will have an ability to move along city streets not only on vehicles but also on motorcycles, which have a clear number of advantages in terms of maneuverability, valuable in the situation of congested city streets.

At present, the Ministry for Emergency Situations has a minimum 100 to 200 people in every region, who can be dispatched within thirty or so minutes to the site of a fire of any degree of complexity. Yet these forces may be insufficient for a prompt reaction to emergencies in the conditions of a major international sports event and that is why the corps of rescuers will be enlarged.

Emergencies Ministry officials make emphasis on the time factor as the various branches of the system are getting ready for the championship. Special attention will be given to coordination of the efforts of emergency services with the aid of System 112 unified telephone switchboard connecting the callers to the firefighters, police or emergency medics.

“The call centers will be getting all the calls in Russian and English and will provide psychological assistance the calling people if need be,” a spokesman for the Emergencies Ministry told Izvestia.

FIFA World Cup 2018 games will be held in Moscow, Kaliningrad, Sochi, St. Petersburg, Volgograd, Kazan, Nizhny Novgorod, Samara, Saransk Rostov-on-Don, and Yekaterinburg.

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