History and traditions of firefighter volunteering in Belarus
THE FIRST Free Fire Society was founded in 1872 in VITEBSK.
In 1876 – in Minsk. The charter was approved by the Minister of Internal Affairs on June 20, 1876. In the same year, the society began to function. The area of departure has been established: Minsk, Borisov, Stolbtsy, Bobruisk, Radoshkovichi. Property: two stone depots with living quarters on their own land.
In 1898, under the Minsk Fire Society, chimney sweep artels were created, 20 foremen and 15 apprentices were engaged in pipe cleaning in the city. At that time 55 thousand pipes from stoves and fireplaces were cleaned in Minsk a year.
In 1876 a free fire brigade was formed in Polotsk.
In 1890, a free firefighting society was created in Borisov, in 1891. – in Nesvizh, 1892 – in Pinsk, 1894 – in Lepel.
In 1896, free firefighting societies were created in Mogilev, Senno (Mogilev province) and Smolevichi (Borisov district).
The village fire brigade first began to function in 1912 in Zaslavl.
The first volunteer fire brigades on the territory of Belarus acted rather isolated. This led to the idea of creating a central unifying body. And at the 1st All-Belarusian Conference of Communal Workers in September 1924, it was decided to create an All-Belarusian Voluntary Fire Society. At the same time, a draft Charter of the Society was developed, which was approved by the NKVD of the BSSR on December 12, 1924.
The first Charter planned:
- research fire prevention and control measures, collect and publish materials and guidelines on these issues;
- to promote the establishment of firefighting societies, squads and teams, to take care of improving their situation;
- organize exhibitions, competitions, readings on fire-fighting, special schools and workshops for fire-fighting and fire-resistant construction;
- encourage the dedication and courage of firefighters.
By October 1, 1925, 975 voluntary societies and squads with 27667 members were active in the BSSR.
In 1926, the Minsk and Vitebsk voluntary firefighting societies were awarded the Orders of the Red Banner of Labor for 50 years of selfless work.
Then the structures of the Society were reorganized, some of them closed their work.
But gradually in the post-war years, voluntary firefighting organizations began to revive.
Already in 1945, a number of orders were issued by the People’s Commissariats of the BSSR on the organization of voluntary fire brigades at subordinate facilities.
In 1946, organizations of a voluntary firefighting society operated in 12 cities of the BSSR.
In 1949, paid voluntary fire brigades functioned in 71 settlements of the BSSR, which were reorganized in 1952.
In 1956, the Council of Ministers of the Republic adopted Resolution No. 791 of December 29, 1956 “On the establishment of a voluntary firefighter society”. This has significantly spurred the work of volunteerism.
In 1957, at the Republican Conference, the Republican Council, the Presidium and the Audit Commission of the BDPO were elected.
In 1958-1959 According to the Decree of the Council of Ministers of the BSSR dated February 7, 1958 “On measures to strengthen the fire protection of national economic facilities of the republic”, workshops for charging fire extinguishers, repairing and manufacturing fire-fighting equipment, lightning rods are being created in many city and district councils of the BDPO. In the regional centers, training courses are organized for the preparation of chiefs of volunteer fire brigades.
In October 1974, by decision of the Central Council of the BDPO, the Republican Training Center was organized in Gomel. In March 1988, the plant was transferred to Minsk.
In subsequent years, the activity of society and its structures began to decline, caused by political and socio-economic transformations in the country.
The Decree of the President of the Republic of Belarus dated November 9, 2006 No. 658 “On the establishment of the republican state-public association” Belarusian voluntary firefighting society “was directed to increase the efficiency of firefighting volunteerism.
The decree identified the following state-significant tasks of the RGOO “BDPO”:
- joining efforts of citizens for the development of fire and rescue business;
- assistance in the implementation of programs in the field of prevention and elimination of fires;
- organization of training the population on fire safety rules and behavior in emergency situations.
- creation (participation in the creation) of voluntary fire brigades, organization of their activities, including in the implementation of fire-prevention measures, fire suppression (supplemented by the Decree of the President of the Republic of Belarus of July 25, 2013 N 332). By the Resolution of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus dated February 28, 2007 No. 263, the Charter of the RGOO “BDPO” was approved.
The Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Bashkortostan by the decision of March 12, 2007 No. 37 carried out the state registration of the RGOO “BDPO”.
By the Decree of the President of the Republic of Belarus No. 113 of March 27, 2019, a new version of the Charter of the RGOO “BDPO” was approved, the following state-significant tasks were determined:
- joining efforts of citizens to ensure fire safety on the territory of the Republic of Belarus.
- the creation of voluntary fire brigades, the organization and coordination of their activities, including in the implementation of fire prevention measures, extinguishing fires.
- participation in the creation of freelance fire brigades.
- assistance to bodies and departments for emergency situations in the prevention and (or) extinguishing of fires.
- assistance in the implementation of programs in the field of fire prevention and extinguishing.
training the population on fire safety measures.