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The 100th Anniversary of the National Firefighters Union of Slovakia

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About The 100th Anniversary of the National Firefighters Union of Slovakia

The National Firefighter’s Union of Slovakia was founded on 6th August 1922 in Trenčín, with its headquarters in Turčiansky sv. Martin. During the founding congress, Vojtech Novák was elected as the first commander-in-chief of the Union and Miloslav Schmidt as the first deputy commander-in-chief. At the general assembly of the National Firefighters’ Union in 1926, Schmidt was elected as commander-in-chief.

The principal task of the National Firefighters’ Union of Slovakia was the operational management of firefighting and the implementation of related technical developments. Its mission was reflected in its motto: “In praise of God and to help our neighbours”. Even today, this credo is still part of the flag of any Slovak fire brigade. An important project that has survived to this day, that cemented the reputation and position of Miloslav Schmidt among Slovak firefighters, was the construction of the Headquarters and Fire Training Centre (Hasičský dom) in Martin. The opening ceremony took place on the 12th October 1930. The ceremony was attended by firefighters from every corner of the country along with guests from abroad.

In cooperation with the state authorities, the organisation, the Voluntary Fire Protection of the SR (VFP SR), which is the successor to the National Firefighters’ Union of Slovakia, plays an important role in fire protection. The mission of the VFP SR includes the education and training of the general population, and specifically, children and young people, in the ways that we can protect ourselves from fire and unwanted events, the execution of interventions, the preservation and enhancement of the historical and cultural heritage of firefighting, the organisation of sporting activities and competitions, as well as welfare, educational and enlightening and cultural activities.

The basic operational unit of the VFP SR, today, and in the past, are the volunteer fire brigades. At present, in Slovakia, there are 2,189 volunteer fire brigades who have 79,762 members. These volunteer fire brigades are grouped into geographical districts within the VFP SR. The VFP SR has eight regional committees. Each region is represented in the VFP SR Presidium and each district organisation is represented in the VFP SR Council. The supreme authority of the VPF SR is the National General Assembly, which meets every five years.

Jozef Smolinský