By: Cpt. Ing. Michal Setnička, Ph.D. Fire Rescue Service of the Czech Republic and Population Protection Institute
Integrated Rescue System
The primary mission of the Fire Rescue Service (FRS) of CR is to protect the lives and health of citizens, environment, animals and property against fires and other emergencies and crisis situations (you can find more info about FRS of CR here). In case of a CBRN threat, the role of the FRS has been crucial since 2001 when Act No. 239/2000 Coll. for the Integrated Rescue System (IRS) began to apply. IRS is not an organization but a coordinated process of its units in planning and preparing for emergencies and carrying out rescue and recovery operations. Basic bodies of the IRS are the FRS, Police and Emergency Medical Service, and they operate on a 24/7/365 basis throughout the whole country. If necessary, the main units collaborate with other bodies of the IRS, such as the army, Red Cross, etc. The Act also transferred activities and responsibilities for the Civil Protection from the Ministry of Defence to the Ministry of Interior and then directly to the FRS CR. The FRS plays a key role in the IRS, because firefighters have the position of officers in charge not only for fires but also for most of the other threats including CBRN incidents. In the beginning, firefighters were mainly focused on industrial and traffic incidents connected with the leakage of chemicals. However, after several dangerous terrorist attacks across the world, tasks and equipment of the FRS CR needed to be updated to cover all CBRN threats.
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