EU funds help: Ostrava has what is unique in Central Europe (VIDEO)
27. 11. 2020
The Integrated Security Centre of the Moravian-Silesian Region is unique not only in the Czech Republic but also in Central Europe. The Centre, whose construction and equipment was supported by more than half a billion in subsidies from EU funds, helps to save lives and property faster and more effectively by concentrating all security forces in one place.
It looks a bit like the movies from NASA headquarters where they control the journey of American astronauts to the Moon. Dozens of people deal with crisis situations in seconds and minutes through calls, lots of monitors and screens with maps and footage of security cameras.
In the dispatching hall of the Integrated Security Centre of the Moravian-Silesian Region (IBC) in Ostrava, all the threads from the entire region of northern Moravia come together. They often literally save lives here. Telephone calls and other information for police officers, both state and city ones, paramedics and firefighters are received in one place.
This makes it possible to resolve critical situations in the shortest possible time and in maximum cooperation. Within a few seconds, the police, ambulances and firefighters can be sent to one place, all of whom receive information about the intervention at one time. Several police officers also monitor what is being captured on hundreds of security cameras. In this way, they can send rescue services to accidents or other events even before they receive reports from patrols or from citizens asking for help by phone.
A few weeks ago, during a massive windstorm, the phones rang almost continuously. But even on usual days, dozens of ambulance, police and fire brigade interventions are handled here.
"Injury of a skier in Dolní Lomná on the lower part of the slope," the operator sends a car from the rescue station to the ski resort. As this happened after a collision with another skier, she also contacts the police station. In a few seconds, they agree to send a police patrol there. "This is probably our biggest advantage, that we can solve all things in a flash from one place," says the head of the IBC department, Colonel Radek Zeman. "When someone asks for help, it doesn't matter what rescue number they call, we'll share the information immediately and send help," Zeman explains. "It's seconds that sometimes literally save lives," he adds.
THE CENTRE WOULD NOT EXIST WITHOUT EU FUNDS
The idea to get all the rescue services and the police under one roof was conceived in Ostrava before the Czech Republic joined the European Union, sometime around 2001. However, the project was not completed until ten years later, with a large contribution from European funds. In the end, they contributed 566 million Czech crowns out of the total cost of 666 million to finance the reconstruction of an unused building into the Integrated Security Centre.
"Without the money from the European funds, it would be very difficult for us to find funding," says Colonel Zeman. In the end, the Centre was made out of an already existing relatively modern office building. "On the other hand, this resulted in many limitations which, to some extent, complicated the architectural and technical solutions of the individual workplaces," Zeman admits.
If serious events or natural disasters occur, the building can also serve as a crisis centre for the management of the City of Ostrava and the entire Moravian-Silesian Region. "We are ready to operate autonomously here even in the event of a power outage and water supply interruption for up to seventy-two hours," says Zeman.
When the Centre was planned, one of the considered variants was to place the key parts of the Integrated Security Centre underground and build an anti-nuclear shelter. In the end, this idea was abandoned, but the building is architecturally designed to withstand a possible attack. The work of more than two hundred people is not easy here. "Concentrating all components of the security system in one dispatching room is advantageous for people who turn to us for help.
However, the work is demanding here, also due to the number of phone calls we handle every day," Colonel Zeman admits. The IBC building has decent facilities for employees. There are, for example, a gym, relaxation rooms and a spacious dining room. "It's not an easy profession, but I like it here, the work makes sense to me," says one of the workers in the dispatching hall. "We're saving lives, what more should make a person happy?" she adds with a smile.
Photo: Luboš Palata