Later, the President had a working meeting with Mr Shoigu. In particular, Dmitry Medvedev informed the Minister that he had signed an Executive Order on establishing a single telephone number for emergency calls, or System-112. In line with the Executive Order, the Emergencies Ministry will be responsible for coordinating the entire system.
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Speech at ceremony of presenting banner of Emergencies Ministry
President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Ladies and gentlemen,
We have had several very enjoyable festive occasions in these last days of the outgoing year. Yesterday we celebrated Rescuers’ Day and today I will present the Emergencies Minister with the Ministry banner. Without doubt, this is an important page in the Ministry’s twenty-year history. The banner is a special relic that embodies the Ministry’s traditions and our country's heroic history, a reminder that the sacred duty of every individual is to serve his homeland.
The Emergencies Ministry is almost the same age as our country; yesterday we celebrated the Ministry’s 20th anniversary. But the history of your agency is far richer, and it is very important that today the current generation of Russian rescuers is continuing the best traditions of its predecessors, and as we all know, it is trying to uphold the highest professional standards.
Every year, you help hundreds of thousands of people. Yesterday, in my congratulatory speech, I said that this year, like many others, has been full of challenges and difficulties but it has been a special year for the Ministry and not only because it is the year of its 20th anniversary, but unfortunately, because of the situation in the summer, we had to test the Ministry’s capabilities to the full, and as a result thousands of people will remember you with gratitude, the people you saved from wildfires, industrial accidents and other disasters.
The Ministry is well equipped and as I said yesterday, it is one of the most efficient organisations in our country. The results speak for themselves: over the past 18 years, the number of people injured or killed in emergency situations has decreased by nearly 95%.
One of the top priorities today is the development of a nationwide warning system operating in places where there are large concentrations of people. This is especially important in the context of such major public events to be hosted by Russia as the 2014 Winter Olympics, the APEC Summit in Vladivostok and the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
It is vital to introduce new methods for helping people. When we faced an unprecedented number of wildfires and a huge number of challenges this year, we realised that even the relatively good equipment used by the Ministry is not always sufficient to successfully tackle problems across our vast country. That is why the decision was made to provide the Ministry with the most modern equipment.
Our agenda also includes the promotion of our initiative to establish a global and European system for addressing emergency situations. Incidentally, during the meetings and summits I attend, which take place in different countries, I always touch upon this subject, since the Russian Federation is at the vanguard in this area. Perhaps in other spheres we don’t always have the opportunity to share our experience with other states but in your area of expertise that is undoubtedly the case. In turn, the state will continue to upgrade the social status of the fire-fighters, rescuers and military personnel working for the Emergencies Ministry.
Comrades, your service, professionalism and courage have won you a truly unrivalled reputation among Russians and around the world. This reputation, like every other achievement, must be maintained. People in our country must feel confident that if trouble finds them they will not have to face it alone.
I would like to reiterate that today’s ceremony, the ceremony of presenting the Emergencies Ministry banner, is certain to become a historic milestone in the Ministry’s development, and I hope that it will create new incentives for the efficient operation of your service.
I would like to again congratulate the Emergencies Ministry on this momentous occasion and on its 20th anniversary, and, of course, I wish you all happy holidays. And I have a special wish for you: for the Emergencies Ministry a good holiday is one in which you have less work. Finally, I wish you good health and further success.
Minister of Civil Defence, Emergencies and Disaster Relief Sergei Shoigu: Mr President,
I would like to express my sincere appreciation and gratitude for the great honour you have paid us by presenting the banner to the Emergencies Ministry of Russia. We pledge to cherish and honour the relic entrusted to us as a symbol of the state’s confidence in our efforts.
Today, we are implementing in full and on time the plan to build up the capabilities of the Emergencies Ministry and the system of emergency monitoring and forecasting. In the next five years the Ministry’s technical capacity will be upgraded, which will qualitatively improve the response system to various emergencies and fires, and ensure that people receive reliable protection.
Mr President, I would like to assure you that the Ministry staff is ready to tackle the challenges that will face us in the future.