27 december 2011

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin speaks at a ceremony on the occasion of Rescuer’s Day


Vladimir Putin's address:

Good afternoon, friends,

Today in Russia we celebrate a wonderful holiday. Though it is a professional holiday, it no doubt carries a nation-wide resonance: Rescuer's Day. Today we pay tribute to those brave and noble souls who are the first on the scene, who risk their lives to save those of others in extremely difficult situations; and these people are you! I congratulate you, my friends!

The Russian Corps of Rescuers, a unique service, was created 21 years ago in this country. What followed were hundreds, perhaps thousands of assignments, crucial, urgent and difficult missions to Russian regions, to hot spots on practically all continents of the Earth. And, of course, there was the daily toil, the formation of a national emergency situation prevention and response system.

I want to thank everyone who participated in this work, especially those who contributed to the creation of the system of the ministry – the Ministry of Civil Defence, Emergencies and Disaster Relief – a powerful and effective ministry. It would not be an overstatement to say that for me, having served for eight years as president, and now as Prime Minister of the Russian Federation, whenever I spoke to my colleagues, I was always proud of the Emergencies Ministry because I know that we have one of the best emergencies services in the world. And this is the reality.

Your ministry brings together people from a wide spectrum of professions: doctors, fire-fighters, mine-rescuers, psychologists, aviators, security experts. Everyone is a professional in his field, but you all unite to form a single orchestra, working as one well-coordinated team. And this has always been the case: while responding promptly to various emergency situations, when the service was first being created, and now that its work is in full swing. I won't list all the hot spots where you have been called upon to work, but I have been able to see how difficult this work is -- how hard for a human being to walk amid devastation, among the victims, to provide first aid to relatives. It's an enormous psychological burden. I believe they require psychological assistance themselves at times in order to recover from a situation. I saw how this happened in some places, and I saw the empathy of people, including your workers. There are a great many examples of such missions. This is truly noble work. Unfortunately, there have been losses in your ranks, as well. And I know how you treat the families of your dead, how you honour the memory of your fellow soldiers. This is a true brotherhood of soldiers.

Today I want to say that we will certainly continue to strengthen the system of the Emergencies Ministry. This year we will receive new equipment: aircraft, fire engines and other special equipment. By 2015, the share of new equipment in the Emergencies Ministry will reach 80%. I hope this will have an impact on the results of your work.

I want to congratulate you once again on this holiday, and to thank you for your work. And of course, I wish you a happy New Year, and all the best to you and your families. Thank you very much!