Southern Towns to Establish Volunteer Fire Brigade After Station Closure
A volunteer fire brigade in Kallaste
( Photo: Postimees/Scanpix )
Due to budget cuts, the Rescue Board is closing nine fire stations this coming May, which has left many dismayed locals before two choices: accepting delayed responses in emergency situations, or taking the initiative.
A rural southern town, Võnnu, has opted for the latter, planning to set up a volunteer firefighting brigade. The alternative, in the event of an emergency, would be to wait a full 20 minutes for squads to arrive from Tartu.
Võnnu, along with five surrounding rural municipalities, announced their plans on a local government website on Friday, reported ERR radio.
On its part, the Rescue Board has vowed to supply the local governments with a building - the former rescue station - as well as 5,000 euros, training for the firefighters, and possibly equipment.
“The municipal governments have the space, the will, and a little bit of money. All we need now is thirty to forty volunteer firefighters,” said Võnnu elder Tõnu Muru.
Elsewhere in Estonia, local governments are planning to establish volunteer firefighter brigades in three other regions.