Romanian firefighters - an exceptional mission in Estonia, 3.000 km away from home

Tue, 31 May 2016Giurgiu, Romania

Pompierii romani   o misiune de exceptie in Estonia  la 3000 de km de casa | imaginea 1 The Romanian heavy water pumping team (Ro HCP) took part in the Drill for civil protection, support and technical assistance teams and civil protection teams of the European Union, on the Saaremaa Island - Estonia.

This drill is part of the Master Plan within project LOT 2 regarding the "Drill for civil protection, support and technical assistance teams and civil protection teams of the European Union", being organized by the General Inspectorate for Emergency Situations (IGSU) together with the consortium formed of CN APELL Romania (Foundation National Centre APELL for the Hazard Management), project leader, the General Directorate for Fire Security and Civil Protection Bulgaria and the Rescue Service in Estonia. Alongside the Romanian delegation took part teams from Sweden, Latvia and the Civil Protection Team of the European Union.

The firefighters from Giurgiu, representatives of Romania

I.S.U. Giurgiu was represented, at this drill, with a heavy water pumping module, formed of own technique and personnel under the supervision of the team leader, first assistant to the Chief Inspector of ISU Giurgiu, colonel Stancu Marius and of major Dragoman Mircea-Vucașin - assistant to the team leader. The Romanian team was comprised of the following firefighters: Cpt. Elisei Ștefan, Lt. Cioacă Bogdan, Slt. Neguț Florin, Plt. adj. Țepurlui Adrian, Plt. adj. Ciobanu Cătălin, Plt. adj. Trăsnea Mihai, Plt. adj. Bârlan Georgel, Plt. adj. Măniceanu Petre, Plt. maj. Drăghici Bogdan, Plt. maj. Croitoru Laurențiu, Plt. maj. Olaeru George, Plt. maj. Cercel Gigel.

The intervention technique with which the Romanian firefighters went to Estonia had: 2 Operative Trucks 4X4; 2 Intervention Firetrucks; 1 Heavy Motopump -1020 m³/h; 1 Medium Motopump - 800 m³/h; 1 ATV 8x8 Truck with increased crossing capacity; 1 minivan for transporting effectives.

A mission at 3.000 km away from home, crosssing seven countries, with own intervention technique

In fact, the drill scenario supposed that, following some heavy floods, Estonia had activated the European Union Civil Protection Mechanism, asking for international assistance. Like other attending countries in the Mechanism, Romania offered its assistance which was accepted.

In order to take part in this drill, which meant the crossing of seven countries (România, Hungary, Slovakia, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia), over a distance of approximately 3.000 km, the Romanian team started their mission on May 16th 2016, covering the distance to the destination in three days and a half. The road was not uneventful, the Romanian convoy applying the border-crossing regulations. The team, mainly belonging with ISU Giurgiu, containing management and personnel support structures with IGSU, ISU Călărași, ISU Teleorman and USISU Ciolpani was at their first such experience, never before having to cover such a long distance for a mission.

The Polish volunteer firefighters from Cisiek, together with our heroes! We thank them !

Such a complex mission, of such endurance and difficulty, had to show some suprise...the heavy motopump frame broke, and needed immediate repairs, thus the pumping capacity of the Romanian team was drastically diminished. Being in such a trouble, the Romanian firefighters had the opportunity to meet exceptional people: the volunteer firefighters from Cisiek - Poland and their friends who turned the night into day in order to help them...

The Romanian firefighters were profoundly impressed by the commitment with which the Polish volunteers came to their aid ! "We have never met such extraordinary people, they would later say. Honour to them !"

Pompierii romani   o misiune de exceptie in Estonia  la 3000 de km de casa | imaginea 2

They brought honour to the Firefighters' Service: all their missions were successfully accomplished !

Upon their arrival on the Saaremaa island, the Romanian team met, at the Reception and Distribution of the International Assistance Centre with the European Union Civil Protection team which was appointed to coordinate the international assistance teams, upon their arrival. Immediately after, they were assigned their first mission: to pump out the water in Koyguste.

The team have split into two shifts, one left for Koyguste, the other to Kuressaare, the biggest locality on the island, where the international teams had already set up a modern headquarters, and where the Romanian team proudly raised their national flag.

Over the three days of the drill, the Romanian team was appointed both individual missions of situation assessment and heavy water pumping in the localities of Koyguste, Vanamoisa, Stebeli and Nasva, and a joined mission with the Estonian and Swedish teams to pump out the water at castle Kuressaare. They carried out an emergency evacuation drill of the headquarters following ammunition explosions, the Romanian team thus managing to evacuate the headquarters in the shortest possible time and regroup at the designated location.

Tired, sleepless, but full of great satisfaction on a successfully accomplished mission

All the missions were obeyed and carried out to their end, even though the team had to overcome, many times, the field situation, the long distances over which the water was flooding, the swamp, the restrictions in the use of routes in environmently protected areas, or crossing over road networks. The very few sleep hours left marks on the people's faces, but they were all gone in the end when the feeling of proud satisfaction replaced the tension and exhaustion.

"Now, after having returned home, looking back, we can report that we carried out, to the best of terms, the rules of the comsission which had been appointed to us when we left and that, the Romanian flag was proudly raised once more, in an international headquarters, thousands of kilometres away from home." That is the statement of the firefighters from Giurgiu, upon their arrival back home, tired but with the satisfaction of an accomplished misssion and love for the noble duty they have chosen.

Upon their arrival home, they were kindly greeted by their colleagues in Arad

On their way back home, the military Romanian firefighters made a stop at their, by now, good friends from Poland. They, in their turn, were happy about the reunion and proposed to our heroes to join together again in October, when they would celebrate 110 years since the foundation of the Volunteer Firefighters' Station in Cisiek !

At the customs, their colleagues in Arad welcomed them with arms wide open, even though they had not partaken in this mission, but were there in the spirit. The military firefighters in Arad welcomed the travellers with a homemade hot meal, well-deserved after 6.000 km on foreign land !

Congratulations to the Romanian team RO HCP ! We are proud of you ! Audacia et devotio !

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