New head of State Fire and Rescue Service gets thumbs up

On March 21, the Cabinet of Ministers approved the candidacy of Mārtiņš Baltmanis for the position of head of the State Fire and Rescue Service (VUGD).

The appointment comes following the announcement of the retirement of Oskars Āboliņš, the head of the State Fire and Rescue Service, on March 31 this year.

At the meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers Baltmanis said: "The position of head of the State Fire and Rescue Service (VUGD) brings great responsibility not only towards the employees of the VUGD, but also for the whole of Latvian society. Considering the public's high trust in our service, I am ready to take on this responsibility."

Based on the Law on the Service of Officials of the Institutions of the Ministry of the Interior's System and Prisons Administration with Special Service Grades, the Minister of the Interior appoints the head of the VUGD for a period of five years after the relevant candidacy has been approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

Baltmanis has been deputy head of VUGD since October 1, 2018. In 2006, he obtained first-level higher education in the profession of a fire safety and civil protection technician at the College of Fire and Civil Protection, in 2008 he obtained the qualification of fire safety and civil protection engineer at the Riga Technical University, and in 2016 he obtained the professional master's degree in labor protection at the University of Latvia.  He has more than 19 years of service in various positions at VUGD and has been awarded the Cross of Merit and order of Viesturs.

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