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Hungarian Firefighter Association 2020 - Help 27.5 thousand times

Summary of the past year of the HFA, in numbers, with jubilee events – with a message from President Fire Brigadier General Tibor Dobson.

Dear Comrades!

I would like to publish a summary of the 2020 activities of the non-state fire brigades, our aspirations and the main stages of our 150th anniversary, and would also like to thank you for your exemplary support! I wish you further success in 2021, good health and safety in the performance of your responsible vocation!

Fire Brigadier General Tibor Dobson
President of HFA

________________________________________

 

 

Summary

Maybe there is something fateful about the fact that the membership of the Hungarian Firefighter Association (which turned 150 years old in 2020) followed the example of its predecessors, instead of celebrations, carried out his oath for its settlement, for its wider environment, for strengthening national cooperation beyond borders, for preserving traditions. 

The members

  • helped with the disifenction measures, brought medicine to patients, helped the elderly, learned how to use the ozone generator,
  • fought fires, saved people in accidents,
  • were involved in storm and flood protection, and in the environmentally conscious education of young people.

With the annual grant, the volunteers received HUF 700 million, HUF 150 million for the control of the virus, HUF 433 million in the Hungarian Village Programme, 140,000 protective gloves, medical masks, 23 new 5 refurbished vehicles. The total amount of help the volunteers received is close to HUF 2 billion.

Count Széchenyi Ödön laid the foundations for modern fire protection 150 years ago, which was close to a miracle back then. Going back to today's challenges and the example of our predecessors, the professional proposal "Improving disaster and fire intervention with volunteers" prepared at the end of 2017 was presented to volunteers and to the society in consultation this year.

 

2020 marked the 150th anniversary of HFA, and the following anniversary events:

  • Premier of the book on the history of the Hungarian Firefighter Association – January 2020
  • Commemorative plaque inauguration in honour of Count Ödön Széchenyi – 1 February 2020
  • Premier of the HFA 150-year history brochure (in Hungarian and English) – Mar 5, 2020
  • Hungarian Post Office commemorative stamp in two denominations with special envelopes – May 4, 2020
  • Hungarian National Bank commemorative coins of HUF 10,000 and HUF 2,000 and cash-flow coin of HUF 50 - May 4, 2020
  • Premier of the publication with the title „The reformer with two homelands – biographical volume on Count Széchenyi Ödön” (in Hungarian and Turkish) – 14 Sep 2020
  • HFA field day in Balatonföldvár – 19 Sep 2020
  • Inauguration of count Széchenyi Ödön memorial plaque in Turkey - 7 October 2020
  • Thematic stamp exhibition at the headquarters of the National Association of Hungarian Stamp Collectors - 9-11 October 2020
  • Drawing contest, drawing exhibition (HFA and Deák17 Children and Youth Art Gallery) – 15 October 2020
  • Re-inauguration of the historical flag of the HFA in the Hungarian Parliament – 16 December 2020

 


Volunteer firefighters: increasing participation in the fire protection of our country

Volunteer firefighters play an increasingly important role in the fire protection in Hungary: according to statistics, the number of volunteer firefighter associations (VFAs) has more than doubled compared to 10 years ago (as of 2021) and the number of so called "standalone voluntary firefighter associations" increased fivefold.

Over the past decade, there has been a significant increase in VFAs working in fire and damage cases: an increasing number of VFAs have agreed to the provisions of the Fire Protection Act, to assist in the performance of fire prevention, firefighting and technical rescue tasks in their locality. More than twice as many associations are now involved than ten years ago. The 2013 amendment to the Fire Protection Act allowed VFAs to deploy on their own, without the involvement of the so called state or professional firefighters (these are the so called standalone VFAs).

As a result of the process started in 2014, there are now 58 standalone VFAs.


The number of VFAs (shown in orange) and standalone VFAs (shown in yellow) over the years


The deployments of standalone VFAs (yellow) and VFAs (orange)

 


Municipal fire brigades: They are protecting 1.1 million residents

The importance of municipal fire brigades should not be underestimated: due to the number of marches and the proportion of their independent interventions, they play a prominent role in the rescue fire protection of Hungary. There are currently 60 municipal fire brigades in Hungary; overcoming all difficulties, they are protecting 1.1 million inhabitants in 542 municipalities.

Moreover, the number of deployments shows their importance: last year and the year before, for example, they were deployed more than 8,000 times.


Deployments of municipality firefighters from 2015 to 2020 – the number of deployments made in cooperation with so called "state" firefighters is shown in yellow.

 


Facility firefighters: few in numbers but important

The number of facility fire brigades decreased last year, but the remaining 64 still protect outstanding values in Hungary. In the past year, 3 of the facility fire brigades have ceased operations and 1 has been established, so in total 64 facility fire brigades are protecting the largest facilities in the domestic industry. Due to the extremely high concentration of values and special firefighting knowledge, they deserve special attention.

The 2,285 firefighters are on standby with 138 vehicles, and between 2015 and 2020 they will be on standby as follows:

 

Publication about Count Ödön Széchenyi – now also in English

The publication about Count Ödön Széchenyi (the founder of the Hungarian National Firefighter Association) published earlier this year, is available in English. The two part document can be downloaded by clicking on the links below.

Part 1: About the life of the Count in Hungary, written by dr. Imre Berki

Part 2: About the life of the Count in Turkey, written by dr. Gábor Fodor

The publication was funded by the Hungarian Ministry of Human Capacities.

 

 


Turkish news about the Hungarian Fire Brigade Association

On October 5, 2020, Tibor Dobson, fire brigadier general and president of the Hungarian Firefighter Association, met with Honorary Turkish Consul Osman Sahbaz. The meeting was reported by several Turkish news sites.

Newspaper articles pointed out that Count Ödön Széchenyi, the first president of the Hungarian National Fire Brigade Association, also strengthened Turkish-Hungarian relations, as he did a great deal not only in Hungary but also in Turkey to advance the matter of modern firefighting.

Ildikó Hegymegi, the economic manager of the Hungarian Firefighter Association , Honorary Consul Osman Sahbaz, and Tibor Dobson fire brigadier general, President of the Hungarian Firefighter Association on the occasion of the meeting in Budapest.


Turkish delegation at the Hungarian Firefighter Association

At the invitation of the President of the Hungarian Firefighter Association, on October 5, 2020, within the development of Turkish and Hungarian relations, Osman Sahbaz, Honorary Consul, arrived at the Budapest headquarters of the association to discuss the possible future meetings of the two countries' fire delegations. The main topic of the discussion was the 150th anniversary of the Hungarian organized fire brigade and the different characteristics of the Turkish fire brigade founded by Count Ödön Széchenyi from Hungary, given that in Turkey the municipal fire brigades belong to the local governments.

 

 


The memorial plaque of Count Ödön Széchenyi was inaugurated in Istanbul

A commemoration was held on October 7, 2020 at the Istanbul Fire Museum in honor of the 150th anniversary of the establishment of the Hungarian National Firefighter Association founded by Count Ödön Széchenyi and the establishment of the Hungarian and Turkish organized fire brigades.

Due to the threat of a pandemic, it was not possible for the Hungarian fire brigade to travel, so the organization was represented by Veronika Lakatos, First Deputy, and Dr. Gábor Fodor, Director, on behalf of László Keller, Head of the Consulate General of Hungary in Istanbul. At the event, a bronze plaque of Count Ödön Széchenyi, modeled by the sculptor Zoltán Kovács and made in the workshop of the goldsmith Tamás Szabó from Szeged, was inaugurated, and Turkish copies of the biography were handed over. The biography was written by Dr. Gábor Fodor, director of the Hungarian Cultural Institute in Istanbul, and Dr. Imre Berki, director of the Central Museum of Emergency Management.

The memorial plaque and publications were donated by the Hungarian Firefighter Association from resources provided in 2019 by the Municipality of Budapest and the Ministry of Human Resources. The event was attended by the leaders and representatives of the Consulate General and the Municipality and Fire Brigade of Istanbul, where they read out the greetings of Brigadier General Tibor Dobson, President of the the Hungarian Firefighter Association.

The event was also attended by Remzi Albayrak, Head of the Fire Department of the Metropolitan Municipality of Istanbul, Kerim Altug, Director of the Ataturk Library and the Fire Museum.

 

Greetings from Brigadier General Tibor Dobson on the occasion:

 

Dear Consul General,

Ladies and gentlemen!

Dear Turkish Firefighter Comrades!

 

This year, the Hungarian Fire Brigade Association celebrates the 150th anniversary of its founding by Count Ödön Széchenyi, who established the organized fire brigade in both Hungary and Turkey. We can all be proud that, in addition to creating professional values ​​for security, it has further strengthened the historical friendship of the Turkish and Hungarian people, the professional cooperation of our firefighters, mutual respect and esteem in a cross-border way. We prepared with events worthy of the 150th anniversary, at which we, together with our Turkish friends, planned the solemn commemoration in both Istanbul and Budapest. Although the pandemic has rewritten our plans for this year, I sincerely hope that we will have the opportunity to make up for it in the foreseeable future. In view of the current situation, I have asked the Consul General to present a memorial plaque about Széchenyi Pasha to our museum as a symbol of the friendship of our peoples and our appreciation for the Turkish firefighters. With this work, we also express the strong comrades 'unity of the Turkish and Hungarian firefighters' community, which will remain forever in all circumstances. I am convinced that we will continue to go forward together from a glorious past to a worthy future. I am closing my thoughts with our historical slogan:

"Glory to God, help one another!"

 

Istanbul, 29 September 2020

Brigadier General Tibor Dobson