In a ceremony organised on 29 August 2017 at the Ministry of Interior, the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) delivered 600 personal backpack fire extinguishers and 100 fire-retardant uniforms to the Albanian authorities. This equipment will enable emergency services to cope with wildfire situations across the country.
In cooperation with the Ministry of Energy and Industry, the Ministry of Interior and Civil Emergency Services, TAP managed to provide the fire extinguishers and uniforms within a short period of time. This equipment will enable firefighters to be more efficient in their fight against wildfires, as well as reduce the risks of heat exposure. The backpack fire extinguishers and the fire-retardant uniforms will be delivered to emergency services across Albania.
The ceremony was attended by representatives of the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Energy and Industry, Civil Emergency Services, firefighters, State Police, Armed Forces, Forest Service, etc.
Country Manager for TAP Albania, Shkëlqim Bozgo, said: “Everyone working for TAP, just like any other Albanian citizen, is very concerned about wildfires, which have destroyed large forest areas, and, in some cases, have even put human lives in danger. In line with our agreement with the Albanian Government, which includes a social component, we did not hesitate to give our contribution for solving this situation. TAP staff was fully engaged for a quick provision of the required equipment and within two weeks we managed to deliver all the fire extinguishers and fire-retardant uniforms.”
The Deputy Minister of Interior Works, Stefan Cipa, expressed his gratitude to TAP for its prompt reaction on this emergency: “We thank TAP for answering positively to our request and delivering what was promised in a very short time. We are confident that the cooperation with TAP will continue in the future.”
The General Secretary of the Ministry of Energy and Industry, Koli Bele, acknowledged the positive cooperation between TAP and the Albanian Government: “This is a good example of TAP’s social and environmental investments as part of the agreement with the Albanian Government. I am convinced that in the future TAP investments will be very visible, especially along the pipeline’s communities.”
Taking into consideration the high risk of fires during the summer season, TAP, in coordination with the Ministry of Energy and Industry, and the Ministry of Interior, will provide, in a second stage, fire engines and ambulances which can access mountainous areas.
A long-term investment in Albania, TAP is committed to building sustainable and long-term partnerships with local stakeholders. The Trans Adriatic Pipeline has in the past provided aid for overcoming several emergency situations in Albania. During the harsh winter of 2016-2017, which locked down many villages, TAP assisted more than 1,300 households by providing food packages and blankets.