Strengthening resilience: enhancing safety through joint evacuation drills in Busovača

Source(s): United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction - Regional Office for Europe & Central Asia
evacuation drills
Municipality of Busovaca

The municipality of Busovača, nested in Central Bosnia Canton of Bosnia & Herzegovina, is a small yet proactive community. In 2021, local authorities made a significant decision to join the global initiative "Making Cities Resilient (MCR2030)." Since then, they've been actively engaged in various initiatives aimed at reducing disaster risks. As part of a series of activities, the recent evacuation exercise was a key component of their ongoing efforts.

Within their annual plans and programs focusing on training and conducting exercises, the Civil Protection service of Busovača took a proactive step to raise awareness among the younger population about emergency situations. Specifically, they organized evacuation drills in three elementary schools across the municipality on the following dates: in Kaonik and Bare on December 7, 2023; in Kaćuni on December 12, 2023; and in Busovača on December 14, 2023.

Approximately 550 participants, including students, teachers, members of the Association of Voluntary Firefighters from Busovača, the Police station Busovača, the Emergency Medical Center team, the Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD) team from the Federal Administration of Civil Protection, the Fire Protection service from Central Bosnia Canton, and members of the municipal Red Cross organization, actively took part in these drills. The exercises adhered to the regulations outlined in the FBiH Law on Fire Protection and Fire Fighting. The scenarios implemented were aligned with the Protection, Rescue, and Evacuation plans of the respective schools.

Beyond their educational purpose, these exercises aimed to assess the preparedness of all participants in executing an organized evacuation plan during emergencies. They sought to evaluate the effectiveness of evacuation, firefighting, search-and-rescue operations, and the provision of medical assistance, ultimately minimizing potential risks. The outcomes met expectations, fostering a satisfactory level of understanding, interest, and seriousness among all involved parties regarding evacuation procedures and responses to fire incidents in elementary schools.

Furthermore, this initiative highlighted the longstanding and successful collaboration among various entities involved in emergency response within the Municipality of Busovača. It was unanimously agreed upon that such exercises should be conducted at least annually, with plans to extend them to other schools in the vicinity.

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