The Director of the Emergency Aid and Prevention Directorate for the lessons from COVID-19 and their presentation at STROIKO 2020
Almost 7 months have passed since the postponed STROIKO EXPO exhibition, which will now be held from October 21 to 25 at the National Palace of Culture. What have the past months been like for the Emergency Aid and Prevention Directorate?
For us, the past months have been months of work and ambition to do everything possible to adapt to the new rules and measures against the virus and to be useful in the fight against it. All employees of the directorate worked tirelessly, strictly following the instructions of the RHI.
The world has changed radically. What are the changes in you? What lessons did you learn?
What has changed in the directorate is that we have all become more responsible and cohesive, I have found that in such a difficult situation, everyone has worked on the front line without worrying, and no employee, even though they all have families, children, elderly parents did not refuse to perform the tasks related to the supply of food to the quarantined and sick, and transported the samples.
Tell us where the volunteers were?
The volunteers were side by side with us and helped deliver food and shop for the elderly and disabled.
Was there anything that touched you, something you will always remember from this period of isolation?
I was touched by the reaction and gratitude of the people we helped.
What is changing in the municipality's policy regarding COVID-19?
Many things have changed in the municipality's policy regarding COVID-19, as well as in all institutions, institutions and even in one family. Naturally, funds were allocated for the fight against the spread, the regime and the way of work were transformed, the daily disinfection of all municipal sites was envisaged and started, special attention was paid to the MGT, subways, etc.
What will you present to STROIKO 2020?
At STROIKO 2020 we will present our activity and part of the equipment we have, we will present films on how to act in case of fires in buildings, fires in mountainous areas and radiation chemical accidents. We will present a tent that unfolds in 2 and a half minutes and is used to evacuate people in various types of accidents. We have a training ground in Pancharevo, where last year alone we taught 2,900 children, 3rd and 4th grade, what to do in case of disasters, accidents and crises. It is important to say that we have the only classroom of its kind that mimics the 6th grade on the Richter scale. In addition, we have all the information sent to the Ministry of Health by the World Health Organization in connection with COVID-19. We have all the documents and we can explain to people the measures they have to follow. We will also provide information about the volunteers who are with the Sofia Municipality, because in the development of evacuation actions our directorate plays a key role in logistics - water, food, medicine and everything that people need.
The motto of STROIKO 2020 is "The high-tech home and city". What does a high-tech city mean in terms of emergency assistance and prevention and what makes your structure unique?
Our structure is the only one on the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria, which is directly subordinated to the mayor and which deals with prevention and protection of the population. The idea of such a directorate is to reduce the consequences of disasters, accidents and crises with a lot of preventive activity. We have round-the-clock disposal of teams on the territory of Sofia Municipality, which deals with prevention and accidents. Our directorate acts as a coordinator between all activities and the mayor in overcoming the consequences of various types of incidents.
Our digital solutions are related to modern early warning and warning systems at high river levels, we build fire towers connected to surveillance cameras and software that receive a signal for any unregulated landfill or open fire. We also work with the latest model of emergency rescue equipment, the same that is used in Europe. It includes thermal cameras, earthquake search sensors, drones with thermal cameras and sound typical of evacuation. Thanks to the technologies we make outsourced headquarters with satellite connection and we have digital communication with the other services. We have also built our own system in the tetra-system of the Ministry of Interior, in which we can work. So for me the development of these systems is extremely important and literally - life-saving.
What is the correlation between technique and the human factor in your work?
It is very important at the moment that we have the opportunity to use European experience in the field of prevention and protection of the population. Our technology is at a high level. We are constantly buying a new one to upgrade and improve the existing one. We have specialized vehicles, equipment for mountain and water rescue. We are developing something and we will say it only because of STROIKO. We purchase and install 5 information boards to communicate the situation in Sofia - closed streets, weather conditions, etc. We are also developing a free mobile application so that anyone who steps on the territory of Sofia or in a certain area can have this important information when crossing the cell of a mobile operator.
What should a person do if he wants to volunteer with you?
There is an application on the website of Sofia Municipality, which must be filled in, after which the candidate appears before a commission. He must be 18 years old and not have been convicted.
All approved candidates undergo specialized training in fire safety and protection of the population. We send them additionally to first aid courses. They participate in our events. Our volunteers are dressed, shod, have equipment and their own building in which to develop their skills.
There are businesses and activities that can't do without live contact. These include both construction and exhibitions. How should life go on from now on? Your message to the citizens of Sofia?
Everyone says that we need to get used to the new normal.I think we need to follow the well-known rules and behavior to avoid infection and transmission of the virus, but the most important thing is to respect and love ourselves and the people around us, so we protect each other, help each other. This is the only way to overcome crisis, pandemics, disasters, when we are good and united.