In October 2013, EASST formed part of a UK delegation visiting Moldova to explore the possibility of donating much-needed UK fire and rescue equipment to the country. Julie Utting and Michael Pitney of EASST joined Cameron Black and Stephen Nesbit of the UK Rescue Organisation and World Rescue Organisation, and Craig Kelsall, George Wippich and Bruce Hoad of Operation Florian for the joint mission to EASST’s partner country Moldova.

The UK delegation with Oleg Malashevsky, Chief of the Service and Response Division, Rescuer and Firefighter Directorate

In cooperation with EASST’s partner the Automobile Club of Moldova and the Moldovan Fire Service, the group met with key representatives, organizations and services in order to explore the possible donation including the Minister and Deputy Minister for Internal Affairs, emergency services across the country, the British Ambassador to Moldova Philip Batson, the World Health Organization, Major Chris Rogers of the US Embassy to Moldova, among others.

Minister Recean welcomes the delegation to the Ministry for Internal Affairs to discuss the project

Key meetings were held with Minister Recean and Deputy Minister Diaconu to discuss the project, a primary objective of which is to improve emergency response to road traffic collisions (RTCs), including immediate casualty care, extrication, and multi-agency working arrangements. In 2012 in Moldova there were a total of 2,712 RTCs registered.  These resulted in 441 deaths and 3510 injuries.  An average of 1.45 persons were killed or injured at each RTC, giving a fatality rate of over 11% of casualties.  The current UK fatality rate is approximately 0.01% of those injured.

One of the stations visited by the expert group

At present Moldova has limited emergency rescue response capability with only 12 fire and rescue appliances with extrication capability covering a population of 4.4 million people. Currently throughout the country there are 144 fire appliances available which are designated as having firefighting capability only. Two-thirds of these appliances are between 25 and 40 years old. A recent fire service report suggests that 236 are necessary to provide even a basic emergency response across the country. 

The delegation were welcomed to many stations across the country meeting with representatives of the ambulance, police and fire services

The project, planned to be a long term sustainable project involving the donation of UK fire engines, RTC extrication equipment and training by UK experts over a number of years, is looking to address these issues currently faced by Moldova. Via the provision of its road traffic collision training, this initiative will contribute to the UN Decade of Action on Road Safety 2011-20 which seeks to save 5 million lives during its span. Post-crash care is one of the ‘Five Pillars’ of the Decade, along with safer roads, safer vehicles, safer road users and effective road safety management. EASST, UKRO and Operation Florian with its Moldovan colleagues are addressing an area often overlooked, but absolutely vital to casualty reduction.

Deputy Minister Diaconu met the delegation several times to discuss the donations

EASST’s sincere thanks go to the Automobile Club of Moldova and to Oleg Malashevksy for their excellent coordination of the visit and care of the UK delegation.

Related Links

Meeting with Deputy Minister Diaconu:

Meeting with Minister Recean: