The implementation of the program to support youth firefighting teams in 2023-2024, prepared by the Minister of Education and Science, Przemysław Czarnek, may cost up to PLN 400 million. A draft resolution on this matter has been included in the list of legislative works of the government, which is to deal with it this quarter. Czarnek said in Radio Zet that it was an “excellent, educational” program. He said that it was prepared with the Association of Volunteer Fire Brigades and the State Fire Service.
On Monday, the draft resolution of the Council of Ministers on the Government Support Program for Youth Firefighting Teams “Safety of my commune – history, present, future” for 2023-2024 was included in the list of legislative and program works of the Council of Ministers. The estimated cost of its implementation is PLN 400 million.
The argument for the outgoing government to spend such a large amount of money from taxpayers’ pockets, as we read in the justification, is “the urgent need to stop the negative effects of the post-pandemic situation, which is the reason for the decline in youth involvement in 62% of Volunteer Fire Departments.” “In addition, from the perspective of the continuity of the volunteer firefighting movement, the lack of ‘structures dedicated to youth’ in more than half of the units is worrying,” it added.
The idea of the government program “aims to provide systemic and systematic support for the activities of youth firefighting teams and their guardians, in particular in the implementation of educational and care tasks and the development of the above-mentioned teams in terms of preparation to serve as firefighters of the Volunteer Fire Department or State Fire Service in adulthood.”
Money from the program can be used for: “organizing cultural, educational and historical activities, organizing training and recreation camps, conducting classes in rescue operations, training MDP staff.”
As indicated, the planned date of adoption of the project by the government is the fourth quarter of 2023.
“Rzeczpospolita” wrote that this is a project for the second edition of the program. The team preparing the program was established in September 2021. The first money went to young firefighters in the fall of 2022.
Czarnek: the program is educational, I talked about it with Waldemar Pawlak
When asked about the program on Tuesday morning on Radio Zet, Minister Czarnek said that “work on the government resolution lasted for a year.” – It is written in the Law and Justice program that we are introducing it. We intended to introduce it from January 1, 2024, and we will implement it, he added.
As he said, “this is a program prepared both with the Association of Volunteer Fire Brigades, representatives of this association, with the State Fire Service and with curators.” The Minister of Education and Science said it was an “excellent, educational” program.
When asked if he had talked about it with Waldemar Pawlak, president of the Main Board of the Association of Volunteer Fire Brigades of the Republic of Poland, he replied “twice”. – Even in Marshal Zgorzelski’s office, some time ago – he added.
When asked if Pawlak was in favor, Czarnek replied that “everyone is in favor of developing youth firefighting teams.”
– We want every Volunteer Fire Department that runs youth fire teams to develop them every month. That these teams would meet not only for firefighting competitions (…), but that they would meet every month, that there would be classes on safety, for example first aid, and fire protection, as well as physical fitness, as well as historical education – he said.
To the host’s suggestion that perhaps this money could be better spent on teachers, Czarnek replied that “teachers receive PLN 12 billion and 170 million in educational subsidies, a record increase.”
tvn24.pl, Rzeczpospolita, Radio Zet