The national disaster management system has significantly changed in the past few years. The act of disaster management (CXXVIII of 2011) changed the structure of disaster management system, while the complementary regulations include the mandate of functions. New act and the government decree (234/2011 on the execution of the Act on Disaster Management) entering into force on 1st January 2012. The main substance of the act is that the fire-fighting and the technical rescue are responsibilities of the State.
The four pillars of the act are the strengthening of the protection against major accidents involving dangerous substances, the improvement of population protection, the development of the system of civil protection and the establishment of an uniform and strong disaster management body, including the formulation of the maintenance and control of professional fire brigades by the State.”
Operational fire protection tasks belong to the professional fire brigades. The entire territory of Hungary – as an operational territory – is covered by professional fire services. One of the elements of this renewed structure is the Disaster Management Operational Service (DMOS), which stepped into operational phase as a separate organizational body in ever county and the capital in 1st April 2012.
National Directorate General for Disaster Management (NDGDM)
- County disaster management directorates (20)
- Disaster management branch offices (65)
- Professional fire headquarters (105)
- Disaster management posts (58)
- Municipality fire brigades (60)
- Industrial fire brigades (72)
The regional bodies (20) operating under the Ministry of Interior National Directorate General for Disaster Management (NDGDM) are the county directorates of disaster management. The directorates obliged to ran a standby service to have professionals on duty; this is the DISASTER MANAGEMENT OPERATIONAL SERVICE (DMOS), they operate at every Disaster Management Directorate. The members of the DMOS fulfil their duty by acts, regulations of the ministry and the director general.
The structure of Disaster Management Operational Service
The operational area of this duty corresponds to the area of belonging directorate of disaster management. This means that any given DMOS is only entitled to intervene or supervise the events and fire services’ interventions inside its county. The fulfilment of this duty requires 24/48 shifts with constant standby at the station of duty (this means 1 day duty, two days off). The number of days of duty, the day-offs and holidays are pre-set by the internal regulations.
The number of DMOS is 9 persons in each county from which 3 persons are chiefs of duty, 3 persons are deputies and 3 persons are safety and security officers (2-3 persons per day). On the top on that there are 5 persons in the capital as drivers, where the daily minimum for the number of persons on duty is 3 (2 persons + 1 person as driver). The prerequisites to be a member of this group are BSc or MSc in fire service, entitlement to be a chief of fire-fighting, 2 years spent as chief of fire-fighting, drivers licence with high level exam (blue lights, siren, hooter), also health related requirements.
The duty of DMOS starts between 6.00 – 8.00 and lasts until next morning. During the shift turns they have a briefing to share information, check the equipment (e.g. measuring tools, detectors, breathing apparatus). The radio check executed at turns a well. During daytime there are pre-defined tasks to take care of: organizing drills, controlling, holding courses. From the takeover to the handover of the given 24 duty, the chief of the DMOS has the responsibility for the staff, the vehicle and the equipment belongs to it and to keep to the order of the day.
Deployment of Disaster Management Operational Service
The level of alert determines the volume of forces required to eliminate a fire event. The level of alerting can be I. to V. The type and the number of alerted vehicles are defined by the operations control centre. Alerting the OSDM is required in the following cases:
- in cases of level II. (2,5-3 unit) or higher alert level;
- if at any sites a firefighter injured seriously, desperately wounded or died;
- if the county’s or capital’s main- and operations control on duty decides based on the feedback;
- if the chief of fire-fighting on site asks for consulting in case of complex, complicated events (technical rescue, craning, rescue from heights/depths, accidents caused by fallen trees, alpin, etc.);
- if there is a need in DMOS’s special equipment on site;
- if the fire fighter vehicle had an accident and it caused personal injuries;
- for the direct order of the county’s director;
- for the direct order of the county’s inspector general of fire services;
- if the chief of DMOS decides in order to control the elimination of the event or reasonable based on the feedback.
Alternate deployment possible as follows:
- if on-site inspection or on-site control is necessary.
The members of DMOS are required to deploy in 2 minutes after the alert.
The DMOS supervise and control the safe intervention of the responders on site. During the intervention the first but foremost task of the DMOS is to help and support the independent work of eligible chiefs of firefighting in commanding. In reasonable cases they can take over the command. In case of emergency situation the DMOS immediately starts to eliminate the situation. In case of large scale, complicated events, which require huge amount of forces the DMOS take part in the organizing and controlling the commander staff. Initiate the engagement of volunteer rescue services and controls their activity on site.
The Service cooperates with the integrated operations control, that means:
- Main Duty Service in NDGDM;
- Main County Duty Service;
- County operations control duty office.
The on-duty system of disaster management operates a 24-hour service at the national, district and local levels to receive reports and emergency calls from citizens, and it carries out reporting and data provision activities to superiors and partner organisations.
IT developments helps to the Service:
- Integrated alert system
- Modern decision support
- Investments in informatics
- SHIELD programme (for alerts)
The DMOS is constantly monitoring the availability of necessary personal and physical means of safe interventions. They pay special attention in presence of hazardous materials also in case of rescue operations from heights and depths. They collect data about the use of personal protection kit, their fulfilment or probable shortcomings or damages.
They organize drills for the fire service units in the area in order to train or to control them. They organize the situational exercises of fire and technical rescue operations, also control those which are not organized by them.
Organizing, managing, monitoring and controlling table top exercises, fire extinguish drills, joint emergency management exercises are also amongst their duties. In the area belongs to them, once in every half year the OSDM hold controls to evaluate the followings:
- after office-time they check the standby duty;
- check the drills;
- check the training courses (theoretical, technical, sport activity etc.);
- check the shift turnovers.
The official documents of Disaster Management Operational Service:
- event logbook;
- duty logbook;
- the Simplified Fire and Technical Rescue Plans in their operational area;
- basic acts, regulations, internal regulations and joint agreements related to duty;
- the official documents and printouts for control;
- direct order;
- handbook or software of identifying hazardous materials;
- monthly work plan.
If any damage happen and the investigation officer is prevented, than the Disaster Management Operational Service need to start the process. Reasons of fire investigations can be:
- Alleged offense
- Firefighter injured
- Malfunctioning fire detector
- Qualified degree fire
- Considerable damage value
- Professional reasons
Last years approximately half of the fires occurred as a result of using open fire. Emphasis is put on the training of fire investigation staff. In addition to our own training program our staff is trained by police and USA fire investigation professionals. The Fire Investigation Advisory Board provides assistance in organizing the work of fire investigation. At the meetings of the Board the regulation, issues in connection with the implementation, the equipment and personnel requirements of fire investigation are discussed.
Conclusion of Disaster Management Operational Service:
- to support the rejuvenated intervention staff at fire services, who are eligible for fire fighting management,
- in case of need it takes over the management of fire extinguishing,
- performs 24/48 hours standby duty service,
- alert time 2 minutes,
- it has to move to the damage site with the pre-determined equipments,
- it implements operations analysis,
- continuous monitoring of the existence of necessary conditions for safe intervention,
- supervision of fulfilling service.
Tasks of the DMOS are the fast, efficient and safe interventions during firefighting events (fires, accidents, and other damage control); drawing precise conclusions accounting for every detail during fire tests and the analysis of interventions, which can then be used in the field of prevention and intervention; and coordinating the tasks related to the fire fighting and technical rescue activities. The main task of Disaster Management Operational Service is SERVING HUNGARY’S SAFETY.
For more information, go to www.katasztrofavedelem.hu