Latvian government approves new civil protection plan

On Tuesday, August 25, the Cabinet of Ministers reviewed and approved the state civil protection plan prepared by the Ministry of the Interior, which was developed by the State Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) in cooperation with other institutions, the government press office said.

The National Civil Protection Plan is a planning document that is prepared taking into account the risk assessment carried out by the ministries, their subordinate institutions and local government, and which sets out disaster management, including prevention, preparedness, response measures and so on.

"With the adoption of the Civil Protection Plan, the state must continue to work on practical solutions to improve civil protection and strengthen the State Fire and Rescue Service. The COVID-19 pandemic is not the first crisis, and it would be naive to think that it will be the last, and the security and well-being of the population must not be secondary in the next budget," said Minister of the Interior Sandis Ģirģens (KPV LV party), who called for increased salaries for firefighters and the construction of new depots.

According to the government's news release the new Civil Protection Plan changes the approach to disaster risk assessment and planning of management measures, such as less emphasis on institutional response and more on prevention and preparedness by services.

The main task of the civil protection system is to ensure the safety of people, the environment and property by timely forecasting of possible threats, as well as to provide assistance to the victims of any disaster. The new civil protection plan was supplemented with 35 potential threats identified by disaster management institutions.

Along with the adoption of this plan, Ģirģens also emphasized the need to establish an Operational Management Center: “Every modern city and country that takes care of the safety of the population - epidemiological, climate and public safety - has established a modern operational management center. In Latvia, just like in our neighboring countries, there must be a modern, technically capable Operational Management Center, where services and experts would cooperate in a 24/7 manner,” he said.

The plan updates measures approved in July 2018.

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