The project titled Joint development of the voluntary emergency response and disaster management capacity in the eligible border area (ROHU-10), was initiated by the Association for Business Promotion in Romania, Diosig Commune and the Hajdu Bihar County Firefighter Federation from Hungary.

Through this project the partners aim to increase the capacity and the preparation of the voluntary emergency intervention units from Bihor and Hajdú-Bihar counties, improving the quality of the general emergency response system in the program area.

This system consists of a professional and voluntary branch. Currently, professional fire units are distributed on the territory of the two counties, being concentrated especially in urban centers. The rural communities, which represent a large part of the territory and the population of the two counties, are mainly based on volunteer fire brigades.

The VOLUNTEER project recognizes that a large number of persons involved in the volunteer fire units do not have solid professional experience. This is a challenge that will be addressed through a series of interconnected activities, carefully developed within a dedicated training program aimed at achieving the specific objective of developing the skills and abilities of volunteer firefighters from Bihor and Hajdú-Bihar.

The project will achieve the specific objectives through a complex structure of carefully designed activities. Special training programs will be developed on both the Romanian and the Hungarian side, in accordance with national specifications for firefighting. The most important feature of the trainings are the practical modules for which the training center facilities created in Diosig are essential. The center is equipped with a fire simulation container, allowing participants to perform fire extinguishers under real conditions and under supervision. For many participants this is an invaluable learning experience, as it is the first opportunity to come in direct contact with the fire. During the project, 297 volunteer firefighters (105 – Ro and 192 – Hu) will be trained.

The project initiates the cooperation between the voluntary units on both sides of the border. A cross-border workshop will bring together relevant actors in this field and identify the possibilities for continuing the joint activity.

The interactive platform, developed through the project, of e-learning is bilingual and helps to extend the professional training of volunteers outside the classroom.

Also, the mobile application aims to alarm the members of the units, at the same time it is a tool to bring closer the cross-border relationship between units.

Recognizing the low number of volunteer firefighters in the local communities, within the project we propose the organization of demonstration caravans for firefighting consisting of a series of 20 public demonstrations – 10 in Romania and 10 in Hungary. The caravan aims to educate and recruit new volunteers, but also to promote the work of firefighters.

Duration of the project implementation:

1 April 2018 – 30 September 2020

Project budget

The total budget – 1 406 367 Euro
ERDF funding – 1 195 411.95 Euro
Co-financing of national governments – 172 659.11 Euro
Co-financing from partners – 38 295.94 Euro

Project objectives

The overall objective of the project is to increase the capacity and level of preparedness of the emergency response units in Bihor and Hajdú-Bihar counties.

Specific objective 1 – is to improve the skills and abilities of the volunteer firefighters, as well as to develop the organizational capacity in this sector.

The specific objective 2 – is the creation and operation of professional cross-border cooperation platforms for the volunteer fire units on both sides of the border.

Specific objective 3 – is to raise awareness of the importance and value of volunteer firefighting vocation on both sides of the border.