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Tallinn prepares for the establishment of the Kopli volunteer fire brigade

Tallinn prepares for the establishment of the Kopli volunteer fire brigade

The City of Tallinn, in collaboration with partners, aims to establish a non-profit organization that will coordinate the activities of the Kopli volunteer fire brigade. The goal is to support the fulfillment of duties assigned to the fire department in the city, especially in Põhja-Tallinn. If the City Council supports the plan, the volunteer fire brigade will begin operations as early as April.

The state-run Kopli fire brigade was closed on January 31. In its place, there is a plan to create a volunteer fire brigade that would partly or fully take over the state brigade's functions, including the former Kopli brigade's premises on Ankru Street.

Mayor Mihhail Kõlvart regrets that the state could not find ways to maintain firefighting capabilities in a district home to over 60,000 people. “Therefore, the local government must take over state responsibilities with the help of volunteers to ensure the safety of its residents. The presence of a local fire brigade allows for a quick response to fires, accidents, and other emergencies, which can save lives and property, and increase the sense of security in the community,” said the mayor.

“We couldn't allow a situation where assistance to the Kopli peninsula, surrounded by the sea on three sides, arrives late. Therefore, we are grateful to our partners, with whom cooperation ensures future firefighting capabilities,” Kõlvart added.

The City of Tallinn aims to establish the non-profit organization Tallinna Vabatahtlik Pääste (Tallinn Volunteer Rescue) along with the NGO Tallinna Vabatahtlike Päästjate Keskus (Tallinn Volunteer Rescuers Center), jointly established by the non-profit organizations Vabatahtlik Reservpäästerühm (Volunteer Reserve Rescue Team), Tallinna Tuletõrjeühing (Tallinn Firefighting Association), and Lilleküla Vabatahtlik Pääste (Lilleküla Volunteer Rescue). The city intends to participate in supporting rescue operations through the NGO, as volunteers alone do not have the necessary resources to ensure the planned level of firefighting capability.

The aim is to ensure basic firefighting service capability from April 2024. This means around-the-clock response capability with a smoke diving team from the Kopli brigade building and readiness to depart within up to 60 seconds. Additionally, Tallinna Vabatahtlik Pääste (Tallinn Volunteer Rescue) will provide faster and more efficient action in case of major accidents, allowing for quicker response and better resource involvement. Other services or capabilities may be added over time, including prevention work and sea rescue.

The NGO Tallinn Volunteer Rescue will sign a contract with the fire department to organize the activities of volunteer firefighters involved in rescue and prevention work. The fire department will also provide equipment and training.

The activities of the NGO Tallinna Vabatahtlik Pääste( Tallinn Volunteer Rescue) are planned to be funded through targeted and project-based financing. The city intends to support the organization's activities by signing an operating support agreement within the limits of the city budget.

The establishment of the non-profit organization must be approved by the Tallinn City Council.