News in English
Memorial evening and exhibition for Count Ödön Széchenyi
The Hungarian Firefighting Association – in cooperation with the Turkish Yunus Emre Cultural Centre of Budapest and with the director of the Central Museum of Disaster Management – organized a memorial evening on December 5, 2022, at 6 pm in the Turkish Yunus Emre Cultural Centre of Budapest on the occasion of 100th anniversary of Count Ödön Széchenyi’s death and the 152th anniversary of the foundation of the Hungarian National Firefighting Association.
The quartet of the Pomáz Voluntary Firefighting Orchestra acted in the event, then Mustafa Aydogdu director greeted the participants, after the welcome Tibor Dobson ff. Major General, President of HFA, and Edit Tasnádi, turkologist, professor and Vice President of the Turkish-Hungarian Friendship Society gave lectures. After the lectures dr. Imre Berki director opened the exhibition, in the realization of which the Traditional Preservation Committee of HFA participated with the leadership of Ferenc Béres ff. lieutenant-colonel.
During the event the President of HFA thanked for the activity of the collaborators with medallions. From the lectures and the publications handed over during the event the participants could get a view of the history of Turkish and Hungarian organized firefighting and of the activity of HFA, both of which contributed to the strengthening of the two nations’ friendship and of the cross-border professional togetherness of firefighters
The mentioned exhibition can be seen until January 31, 2023, in the Turkish Yunus Emre Cultural Centre – Budapest, Andrássy street 62. – in the opening hours.
For more images, visit the picture gallery.
Project meeting of EU in Budapest
In the organization of Budapest’s Firefighting Association took place the meeting of foreign and national, as well as cross border Hungarian firefighting organizations and their partners which take part in DARnet and Profound EU projects, between November 16-18, 2022, in Budapest.
The leaders of the Croatian, Slovenian, Serbian and Hungarian Firefighting Associations also participated in the meeting. On the occasion of the event the present leaders of the firefighting associations and CTIF, its Hungarian vice-president and the leader of EU’s Danubian Region’s Strategic Environmental Risks Priorities Disaster Management working group declared in a letter of intent that in the framework Danubian Region’s Cooperation they will harmonize their activities in the below areas. Presumably, leaders of other firefighting associations of affected countries will also join to the letter of intent.
Volunteer firefighter organizations receive forest fire-fighting vehicles and specialized equipment
Forty-three volunteer firefighter organizations’ equipment will be upgraded in the near future. From April 13, a total of fifteen organizations in Budapest will be able to take over the vehicles that will help them fight the forest fires more effectively. In addition to vehicles, organizations also receive special equipment and personal protective equipment. The development will take place within the project KEHOP-1.6.0-15-2016-00021, establishment of the EU Civil Protection Complex Modules.
Another chapter has begun in the EU Civil Protection Complex Modules project. After mid-April, sixteen Volkswagen Amarok vehicles, four hundred and eighty forest firefighter personal protective equipment, two hundred special equipment, three hundred and sixty special backpacks, seventy-two chainsaws, eighty putty syringes, eight thermal cameras and many other special equipment will be provided to the volunteers. In a total of eight counties, rescue fire protection will be significantly strengthened. Vehicles and equipment will be placed where outdoor fires are particularly common and devastating.
Through the project, forest firefighting groups of sixty people will be formed in the affected counties - Bács-Kiskun, Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén, Csongrád, Heves, Komárom-Esztergom, Nógrád, Pest and Veszprém.
This implements the so-called “ground forest firefighting with vehicles” module undertaken in the project, which allows firefighters to fight wildfires with modern protective and specialized equipment not previously used in firefighting, in Hungary. The module is implemented from a non-refundable EU support of almost nearly 495 million. The total budget of the project is HUF 2 billion 300 million.
At the handover starting on April 13, 2021, the Gyömrő Volunteer Firefighters Association, the Nagymaros Volunteer Firefighters Association, the Veszprém County Search and Rescue Service, the Kővágóörs Volunteer Firefighters Association, the Cross-Border Cooperation, Citizens for the Civils Volunteer Firefighter and Special Rescue Association, the Ipoly Valley Special Rescue, Volunteer Firefighter, Environmental and Nature Conservation Association, the Tokod Volunteer Firefighter Association, the Császár Volunteer Firefighters Association, the Kékes Search and Rescue Foundation, the Agria Special Rescue and Firefighting Group, the Southern Hungarian Firefighting and Technical Rescue Association, the Mórahalom Volunteer Firefighting Association, the Kistelek Volunteer Firefighting Association, the Borsodnádasd Volunteer Firefighting Association, and the Szomolya Volunteer Fire Brigade Association will receive forest fire brigade vehicles and all related equipment.
After the vehicles are handed over, the counties will receive the complete sets of protective clothing, which will also include a helmet, coat, trousers, gloves and boots according to the size requirements of the sixty-person groups.
Earlier, on 5 May 2020, the National Directorate General for Disaster Management of the Ministry of the Interior handed over five refurbished Mercedes-Benz vehicle syringes to support the land rescue capabilities of the intervention forces of Budapest, Napkor, Thelena Ambulance Group, Hortobágy and Mecsek Ambulance Group.
Brigadier General Tibor Dobson, President of the Hungarian Firefighter Association, was promoted to Major General
At the proposal of the Minister of the Interior, Dr. János Áder, President of the Republic of Hungary, promoted Brigadier General Tibor Dobson, President of the Hungarian Firefighter Association and the Hungarian Law Enforcement Faculty in recognition of his decades of outstanding service, on 4 May Firefighter Day to the rank of Major General.
The promotion and appointment documents were handed over at the Sándor Palace, on April 29, in compliance with the epidemiological rules.
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.
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
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.
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:
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.
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.
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
On May 7, the Hungarian Firefighting Association commemorated those killed in action
The Hungarian Firefighting Association in cooperation with the Nemzeti Örökség Intézet (Institute of National Heritage), and with the support of the Hungarian Government, of the Prime Minister's Office and of Bethlen Gábor Alapkezelő Zrt., inaugurated the Nemzeti Tűzoltó Emlékhely (National Firefighting Memorial Site) at 11.00 am., on May 7, 2022.
The site of the ceremony was the Fiumei Úti Sírkert Nemzeti Emlékhely (National Memorial Site of the Fiumei Street Graveyard), 38/1 plot (1086 Budapest, Fiumei út 16-18.)
The Hungarian nation remembers with deep love, acknowledgement and gratitude its heroic sons who lost their lives during serving their homeland and rescuing their fellow-men. This memorial preserves the names of our comrades killed in action, firefighters, bomb-disposal experts and anti-aircraft men. We wish to commemorate them this way.
The site of the memorial is also symbolic, as it is situated in the National Graveyard which is the cemetery of the Nation. The tombs of our 18 comrades can be found here, too.
On the shelves of public records, libraries and archives one can find the documents from which we can know the history of our organization, the deeds, heroism and comradeship of our ancestors, as well as the names and deeds of those killed in action. In our days the certification of a person killed in action is ordered within the frame of legislation. According to the paragraph 14.§ (1) of the decree No. 6/2013 (III. 27.) of the Ministry of Internal Affairs about the tasks related to the social and piety care of the home affairs agencies „a person must be declared a person killed in action, taking into account the circumstances of the death, life and merits of the deceased from the professional staff of the body performing law enforcement duties, if during the service of the protection of Hungary's constitutional order, public security and public order, state border protection, of the elimination of the consequences of fire, elemental disaster or catastrophe, he showed extraordinary courage, outstanding personal integrity and lost his life as a result of his injury".
We commemorate the comrades who lost their lives during the elimination of the consequences of fire, elemental disaster or catastrophe, showing extraordinary courage, outstanding personal integrity.
According to the available sources we begin to list our heroes with Sándor Beregszászi who was a student voluntary firefighter from Debrecen and sacrificed his life for the public in 1861, and we close – hopefully forever – our list of 124 heroes with our comrade, Gergő Kövecs who lost his life in 2013.
In the inauguration of the memorial site the following organizations' leaders and representatives participated and laid a wreath together with the President of the Hungarian Firefighting Association: Prime Minister's Office; Ministry of the Interior, National Directorate General for Disaster Management, Ministry of the Interior; Ministry of Defense; Institute of National Heritage; Committee of National Memorial Site; National Association of Civil Defense, Independent Union of Professional Firefighters. The ceremony was honored by the presence of the representatives of Kárpát Haza Önkéntes Tűzoltó Hálózat - Székelyföld, Vajdaság, Felvidék (Carpathian Homeland Voluntary Firefighter Network - Székelyföld, Vajdaság, Felvidék ) -, and the creators of the memorial site who also laid a wreath.
The memorial site was established by the Hungarian Firefighting Association in cooperation with the Nemzeti Örökség Intézet (Institute of National Heritage) and with the support of the Government and of Bethlen Gábor Alapkezelő Zrt.