After recent deaths of three saviours on Hrybovychi rubbish dump, it is actively talked about needful reform of Ukraine’s State Emergency Service in Ukrainian society. Some Lviv media indicate bad organization of saving operation as main reason of Hrybovychi tragedy, writing also about the lack of protective helmets in ordinary saviours during that fire-extinguishing. And like sorrowful destiny’s irony, this tragedy happened the day before planned meeting of the fire-fighters of Lviv region for the changes in Ukrainian saving service and one of the organizers of that meeting, A. Vnenkevych, and his colleague, B. Yunko, both unionists of Lviv region firemen’s union, died under Hrybovychi garbage.
But however such meetings of the firemen were held in July of 2016 in other Ukraine’s cities, as examples, local – in Chernihiv and Zaporizhzhya and all-Ukrainian – in Kyiv, though first meetings of Ukrainian fire-fighters were yet held the last year to attract society’s attention to the problems in State Emergency Service of Ukraine. And what are they, these problems? Firstly, it’s question about firemen’s uniforms of poor quality or very old uniforms, which can be easily torn. Some uniforms are sewn in the 1970’s and are used till now, some uniforms are modern, but made from such cloth that can be burnt and take care fire-fighter only from the dirt. Or radioactive and chemical protection clothing, made in the 1970’s, which doesn’t protect saviours from injurious influence. Or thermal protective uniforms, sewn more than 20 years ago, which have heavy masks (10 kg) with ancient glass diaphragms, through which it’s seen very badly. Fire-fighters often receive boots of poor quality in their fire-fighting departments, its soles fall off and become holed after 1 year of using. Besides it, they receive unhandy working gloves, so buy comfortable gloves for own money. Many firemen’s helmets may break at one blow on the asphalt and its glass diaphragms fuse even during the grass extinguishing, so they can’t care head and face from the fire. And sometimes saviours go to extinguish the fire, wearing in simple tarpaulin clothes, when it is -25 degrees Celsius, so people just freeze before arriving to the necessary place.
Secondly, it’s a huge problem of old fire-engines and firemen’s equipment. In some fire-brigades 131-ZIL fire-engines are used in the last 50 years, though they must be exhibited in the museums nowadays. These fire-engines drive 60 km per hour, may break on the way and its pumps function unwell. Except it, some Ukraine’s fire-engines have the ladders, not reaching higher than the roof of nine-floor-building and it’s a serious problem too. Like a problem of the disposition of some fire-brigades only in Ukraine’s regional centres and cities, while population of small towns and villages sometimes must wait for the firemen too long.
Ukrainian saviours also demand to liquidate contract system of employment, put into practice for the personnel in State Emergency Service of Ukraine in 2008, and to employ all saviours on regular basis like the employers of other state services work in Ukraine. For example, it’s impossible to free oneself by own desire because of made contracts and it’s very problematic to get work time off just for one day. All Ukrainian saviours aren’t insurant and their unpaid overtime is usual occurrence. Ukraine’s fire-fighters complain that they are forced to repair and to dye fire-engines or to go into the forest to prepare firewood in their rest days (because the buildings of all Ukrainian fire-brigades are heated with wood instead of expensive natural gas now). Ordinary saviours are indignant at their small wages (bare salary is the same as it was in 2010 – only 900 UAH) and minimum Ukraine’s pension, big difference in the payments of pecuniary aid for their sanitation in various Ukrainian cities, little financial aid for the families of their dead colleagues. Maybe, that’s why the large problem of a lack of the personnel exists in the majority of Ukraine’s fire-brigades, where one fireman works instead of three firemen. So State Emergency Service of Ukraine must be reformed immediately.