Ukrainian President attends official opening of Ukraine’s new Emergency Rescue Training Centre

News, Post-Crash Response, Ukraine

​Last month, to mark National Rescuer Day in Ukraine, the Lviv University of Life Safety officially opened their new Rescue Training Centre in the presence of Ukraine’s President, Volodymyr Zelenskyi, and other high-profile guests. The opening featured a road crash rescue simulation using FIRE AID’s transformer car and other modern rescue equipment, with rescue workers demonstrating their skills in road rescue and first aid.

This huge milestone follows many years of EASST and FIRE AID working with the Lviv University of Life Safety. In 2016, as part of a project involving Kent Fire and Rescue on the importance of partnership working for casualty reduction, we worked with police, fire and ambulance services in western Ukraine to establish a joint working group to develop a programme of partnership working. The working group includes EASST partners, Road Safety Support Foundation, Impact NGO, local authorities and the Lviv University and has since been looking at ways to improve emergency rescue, particularly post-crash response in the country.

Through FIRE AID, we have supported this process through equipment donations and training. Our most recent project in 2019, supported by FedEx Express Europe, included training and the donation of two de-commission fire appliances from the UK, 12 modern road traffic collision sets, along with FIRE AID’s transformer car, which was donated by EASST and Operation Florian to the Lviv University of Life Safety.

The transformer car is a reusable training simulator originally funded by UK-based fire industry suppliers, Vimpex and Primetech. It allows instructors to demonstrate life-saving extraction techniques without destroying the structure of the car. Elements of the car have been pre-cut for training, which allow them to be easily dismantled when performing training exercises.

First Deputy Interior Minister, Serhiy Yarovy, explained how the creation of the Centre has, in part, been in response to the high number of road casualties in the country and the high number of victims who are dying at the side of the road. He said:

“Rescuers are the first to arrive at the scene. Accordingly, the lives and health of the victims will depend on their skills. The Center allows us to prepare future employees of the State Emergency Service for various unforeseen situations and to acquire professional skills.”

By giving someone first aid within the first 10 minutes after a crash, their chances of surviving increase by 60-70 per cent. Improving capacity for emergency response and post-crash care can make a vast difference to saving lives. For example, in 2016 the WHO estimated that improving emergency care “could address over half of the deaths in low and middle income countries”.[1] We are delighted to see the Rescue Training Centre officially opened and look forward to continuing our work with the Lviv University to save more lives in the future.