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Training Camp for Volunteer Firefighters at Lake Ladoga

Great Baikal Trail crew leaders Roman Chubakov and Roman Mikhailov recently underwent training at a weeklong boot camp for volunteer firefighters. From June 30th to July 6th, volunteers from all over Russia learned how to extinguish forest, peat, and grass fires. Organized by Greenpeace Russia and the Society of Volunteer Forest Firefighters, the training camp took place on Pieni Heposaari, one the most picturesque islands of Lake Ladoga, and the planned site of the national park “Ladoga Reefs”.

Volunteers at the camp perfected the most important firefighting skills: how to successfully lead a group during a fire, work with firefighting equipment, and cooperate with government departments.They learned how to extinguish a fire, should it reach a settled area, and practiced various other firefighting techniques.

Experts from Greenpeace also lectured on the principles of fundraising, information campaigns, and photography, which are also extremely important in the development of environmental groups and the growth of their memberships. Irina Vorobyova, journalist and activist from the search and rescue group "Lisa Alert", described how to properly search for people lost in the wilderness. Finally, instructors from Apex | First Aid led classes on first aid.

Volunteer firefighting is a prospective direction for GBT and is extremely important for the Baikal region, rich as it is with forests and often suffering from wildfires.

Finally, on July 8, participants of the camp attended the conference "Together Against Natural Disasters", dedicated to the development of volunteer firefighting. It was conducted by the Agency for Strategic Initiatives with the participation of Greenpeace and the Society of Volunteer Forest Firefighters. Representatives of both federal (Russia’s Ministry of Civil Defense and Natural Disasters, the Federal Air Forest Protection Agency, and the Federal Forestry Agency) and regional authorities, as well as volunteer forest firefighters from all over Russia participated in the conference.

The purpose of the conference was to develop a road map for the development of rural volunteer movements. During a lively informal conversation, the participants presented at least a dozen proposals on the topic. Specifically, the authorities and volunteers agreed to re-issue methodological aids for training voluntary forest firefighters under the stamp of federal authorities. Also planned is to jointly prepare training materials for schools on wildfire prevention.

Дата: 
09.07.2017