Over fifty pieces of equipment with a total value of 276 million crowns are now at the disposal of Prague’s professional firefighters. This is, for example, an evacuation bus, a truck or a gas fire engine. As Luděk Prudil, director of the Prague fire department, mentioned, acquiring such a large amount of equipment at once is a rarity.
The technique was purchased by the Fire Rescue Department of the capital from several financial sources. From the funds of the European Union, the Damage Prevention Fund, from the state budget and from funds obtained from the capital. That gave about twenty million.
“It’s really rare to get such a lot of technology in one period. It’s because several things came together. There is technology from two European projects that had to be implemented by the end of 2023,” explained the director of the Prague fire department at the central station in Holešovice Ludek Prudil.
The post-covid period also had an impact, when prices rose, but production times were extended and therefore the delivery of some equipment was delayed. The city also had to help the European subsidy, because the increase in prices after the pandemic raised prices by leaps and bounds. In total, there are 43 vehicles and 13 containers.
Almost twelve thousand hits were recorded by Prague firefighters last year. They provided technical assistance in the largest number of cases, and had the fewest cases involving leakage of substances. Two thousand fires were reported to them, almost as many false alarms. They saved through…
Firefighters purchased basic equipment such as four-wheelers, command vehicles or eight CAS 20 syringes. They distributed these to individual stations and handed over the older ones to volunteer firefighters.
In addition, they also purchased special equipment designed to deal with major disasters, such as a fifty-ton crane for heavy rescue work in the event of building collapses or complicated traffic accidents, or an evacuation bus. “When we look back to the covid period, such buses roamed the whole of Europe and transported Czechs who could no longer get on flights from foreign airports,” Prudil said.
As Martin Kavka, a spokesman for the Prague fire brigade, added, previously they had to borrow a bus from a transport company.
Fire and Rescue Department Hl. City of Prague purchased a new Liebherr LTM 1050–3.1 mobile crane for its vehicle fleet for 22,614,900 crowns, financed from the Damage Prevention Fund.
Prudil also mentioned a gas fire engine, which is used for extinguishing under electric current. “It has pressure cylinders in it that have 630 kilos of carbon dioxide to put out substations and things like that that can’t be turned off,” Prudil described. By spring, the Prague fire brigade should receive five more large-volume tankers.
“Until now, we’ve had an average tank age of five years,” Prudil mentioned. The service life of the vehicles is ten years, after which they are also given to volunteer firefighters.
According to Prudil, high-altitude technology is the most economically demanding, which is why the average age at the stations was around twenty years. “A ladder with a reach of up to thirty meters is purchased for around twenty million,” Prudil said.
At the end of last year, the city also approved a subsidy of 200 million for the firefighters, of which they receive fifty million each year for the purchase of equipment and protective equipment.