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Cooperation of European NGOs
21st October 2014

Cooperation of European NGOs


The European Voluntary Civil Protection Forum (EVCPF) held its 4th Scientific Conference.

The event was organized the National Presidium of the Hungarian Civil Protection Association. Its chief patron was the National Director General for Disaster Management.

The conference was opened by István Endrődi, PhD, President of EVCPF. In his opening remarks, he detailed the circumstances of organizing the event and also on the reason why the delegates of several member countries could not be present, since the year, 2014 was full of extreme weather phenomena in many areas of Europe. The absent participants are elaborating the lessons learnt in their countries, using similar methods as we here in Hungary.

After the opening remarks by the President, a representative of the host, the National Directorate General for Disaster Management, an expert of the National Inspectorate General for Civil Protection greeted the guests. He highlighted the importance of voluntarism in disaster management and mentioned the establishment district and county rescue organizations.

Several representatives of scientific life participated in the work of the conference as well.

BG Dr. Gábor Kovács, Deputy Rector for Education of the National University of Public Service gave account of the establishment of the university, the specialized branches of training and the number of students studying there. He said the university has 6,000 students. The educational establishment is also charged with the continuous refresher training of some 70,000 civil servants.

In the following, the Secretary General of EVCPF reviewed the work done since the last conference. It was mentioned that due to the death of one of members and other personnel changes, the Coordination Council had to be complemented. He also gave account of the issues discussed at the latter meeting, namely that EVCPF was augmented by a new member: an Italian organization requested its cooption.

Afterwards, the workshops took place.

The first one was conducted by Mr. Simon Lewis from the British Red Cross. In his presentation, he highlighted the process of response and recovery following the London underground and bus bombing in 2005, the rescue hierarchy, the dedicated work carried out for the sake of the victims and the next of kin, and the necessity of the post-trauma treatment.

He devoted a special attention to detail the different levels of command and control, how the appearance of the levels was marked with three colours (gold, silver and bronze). He stressed that during response, competence is much more vital than rank.

The other module was taken care of by General Dobranović from Croatia.

In this workshop, the participants scrutinized the significance of public awareness.

It was mentioned that the cooperation between the population and governmental entities during disasters might be different due to historical backgrounds; however, the importance is that the population as the party suffering from and witnessing disasters receives all the necessary information, and based on this, it can participate in and help the protection efforts.

Mr. Davidović from Serbia emphasized the contemplation of trying to increase the role of NGOs, as opposed to the previous one undertaken by the State to ensure everything.

In the evening, the participants observed the international INSARAG qualification disaster management field exercise in Hajdúszoboszló.

Several topics for the agenda of the next conference were suggested, which will be discussed by the Coordination Council and submitted to EVCPF for approval.

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