Margo Klaos starts work as Rescue Board chief

Margo Klaos is new Rescue Board (Päästeamet) chief.
Margo Klaos is new Rescue Board (Päästeamet) chief. Source: Ministry of the Interior.

Margo Klaos has started work as the Rescue Board (Päästeamet) Director General, replacing Kuno Tammearu, whose term ended April 1. The Rescue Board is Estonia's fire service, though his role also encompasses crisis situation plans.

Klaos, long serving chief of the board's Southern Rescue Center (Lõuna päästekeskus), is one of a raft of incoming appointees to state bodies, including Egert Belitšev (Police and Border Guard Board) and Margo Palloson (Internal Security Service, often known by its Estonian acronym, Kapo).

On starting work, Klaos said: "The Rescue Board is a reliable, strong and dignified organization. We avoid the hundreds of deaths every year, through our prevention and rescue work."

"Year after year, we have achieved more and more, precisely through this prevention work. This means a calmer life and fewer tragedies for the people of Estonia," said Margo Klaos and added that in recent years the role of the Rescue Board has become even more important in case of crises involving the entire country.

The board has also drawn on lessons from Russia's invasion of Ukraine, he said.

"We have gained the focus necessary to build a civil defense that offers protection to the people of Estonia, even in the event of military attack, thanks to the lessons drawn from the Ukraine war. One of the Rescue Board's biggest goals is to start teaching residents about crisis preparedness, in cooperation with several partners," Klaos added, via a Ministry of the Interior press release.

Crisis preparedness would include the rapid evacuation and provision of places of refuge, and alerting the public of the same, he went on.

At the same time, Klaos said, this requires "significant" additional budgeting, in addition to providing a highly capable first responder network covering the entire country, including in non-crisis times.

Klaos' resmue includes heading up the Government Office protection task force, lecturing at the Estonian Academy of Security Sciences (Sisekaitseakadeemia) and director of the Järva County rescue service, in addition to having headed the Southern Rescue Center and chairing the South Estonia regional crisis committee (Lõuna-Eesti regionaalse kriisikomisjon).

He also represents the Rescue Board at the Federation of European Fire Officers (FEU) and, as if all the above is not enough, is also board chair of the Estonian fire and rescue chiefs' association ( Eesti Tuletõrje- ja Päästepealike Liit).

Klaos' term is for five years.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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