Ten fire stations across Latvia, most of them in the eastern part of the country, will be renovated during the next five years in a USD 1.5 million project funded by the U.S. military.
The renovations, funded by the U.S. European Command’s (EUCOM) Civil Military Operations program and administered by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Europe District, will go a long way toward reducing response times in the entire country, said Col. Intars Zitāns, deputy chief of the State Fire and Rescue Service of Latvia.
“Obviously this is going to improve our capability to respond to disasters more efficiently,” Zitāns said during a July 8 groundbreaking ceremony to commence renovation work on the Limbaži fire station, according to a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers report. “Together we are stronger and together we can accomplish better things.”
Besides the one in Limbaži, fire stations to be renovated are in Madona, Aizkraukle, Gulbene, Keipene, Liepāja, Līvani, Valka, Ventspils and Strenči. The USD 109,000 renovation in Limbaži and the USD 112,000 renovation in Limbaži are the first in the project. At Limbaži, the contractor will install three new overhead roll-up doors, a heating system, internal and external lighting systems, and paving in front of the new doors. At Madona, the contractor will replace existing doors, upgrade the electrical system, as well as construct a small addition in which large overhead roll-up doors will be installed.
The renovations follow a European Union-funded donation to Latvia of standard European-sized fire trucks, which were too large to fit in many of the older fire stations throughout the country, officials said. As such, all 10 renovation projects will at minimum retrofit larger overhead roll-up doors into the garages to support the new trucks.
“Although the fire and rescue service personnel were doing a fantastic job, they needed some help, especially in fitting new trucks that they were receiving into old garages that were built during the Soviet times,” said Lt. Col. Tom Butler, chief of EUCOM’s Office of Defense Cooperation.
Estonian contractor A/S Koger & Partnerid is employing local Latvian subcontractors and using local material to the greatest extent possible for the Limbaži and Madona projects, according to the Corps of Engineers.
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