Common needs, identified on both sides of the border area, bring communities together, in order to jointly tackle these shared challenges, using a cross-border perspective. This is the case of the firefighters from Bihor and Hajdú-Bihar counties, who managed to establish a close and long-lasting
cooperation in the field of risk prevention and disaster management.
In 2008, the representatives of the newly established “Unit for Assistance in Special Situations – SAR - TISS ” managed to win EU funding in order to build a training centre for firefighters in Bihor county. Situated in Sântion village, the centre occupied 5,000 sq. m. and had areas reserved for raining courses and practical exercises. More than ten years later, the initiators of this project identified the need to extend the building and bring in
a partner from the neighbouring country, Hungary.
Through the Interreg V-A Romania-Hungary Programme, project CROSSRISK managed to access ERDF funding amounting to more than 1 million EUR in order to deliver an integrated centre, the main goal of which is to improve cooperation over disaster and risk management in the Bihor–Hajdú-Bihar Euroregion.
“We wanted to have a centre that allows training of firefighters from all points of view. The Romanian side is responsible for the seek and rescue and the firefighting component, while the Hungarian side is responsible for the search of debris and interventions in case of chemical and biological hazards. The two components are combined and the result is a complete centre” told us Mr Hadrian Borcea, MD, the president of the association.
On the Romanian side, the centre will be extended by using a number of modular structures procured from the Netherlands. These will allow the firefighters to understand the dynamics of the flames, to organize fire extinguishing drills and to execute search missions. The structures will be delivered starting from April 2020 and the centre is scheduled for inauguration in the following months. The firefighters from the two counties
will be trained together, especially that, during the previous year over a period of 4-5 months, they all took part in foreign language courses: the Hungarian firefighters learned Romanian, while the Romanian firefighters were trained in using the Hungarian language.