The Fire Brigade and FS Group: memorandum of understanding on monitoring infrastructure, prevention and emergency management

A steering committee shall verify the achievement of the results, whilst the collaboration shall continue with further protocols adopted by ANAS and RFI 

Rome, 15 July 2022

Today, the Department of Fire Brigades, Public Emergency Aid and Civil Defence together with the FS Italiane Group signed a Memorandum of Understanding to improve the effectiveness of rescue and safety operations and, at the same time, set further objectives such as promoting the training of operators in charge of handling emergencies, studying an infrastructure monitoring system, carrying out prevention activities – concerning fires in particular – along with analysing and monitoring scenarios of potential risk, facilitating emergency management and identifying possible locations for new Fire Brigades in proximity with the railway network.

The Protocol was signed at the CON (Centro Operativo Nazionale, or National Operations Centre) of the Fire Brigade, in the presence of the Undersecretary of State with delegation to the Fire Brigade, Hon. Carlo Sibilia, from the Head of the Fire Brigade, Public Rescue and Civil Defence Prefect Laura Lega and the CEO of the FS Italian Group Engineer Luigi Ferraris.

Present for the occasion were the Chief of the National Fire Brigade Corps Engineer Guido Parisi, the Vice Head of Department Deputy Prefect Cinzia Guercio and the Central Emergency Director Engineer Marco Ghimenti.

Regarding the Protocol, Undersecretary Sibilia remarks, “This Protocol joins the other successful experiences of the increasingly closer cooperation between the Fire Brigade and state-owned companies. Over the past two years, we have brought clear focus on the work of the Fire Brigade in order to ensure it is increasingly a public administration constantly devoted to actively solving the problems of citizens, businesses and infrastructure. Thanks to this collaboration with the Ferrovie dello Stato Group, we enter into the heart of monitoring critical infrastructure, we improve the exchange of information – in both ordinary and emergency conditions – and we further the training of safety and fire-fighting operators with copious investments, also in terms of logistics and equipment.”

This integrated and shared public-private strategy aims to ensure higher safety standards and greater efficiency in rescue operations.” These were the words of the Head of Department, Laura Lega, who continued, “With this protocol, we are putting citizens’ safety at the centre in a complex play that requires us to work hand-in-hand with training operators, monitoring infrastructure and analysing potential risk factors. I see this as a strategic opportunity to look to the future with confidence in our ability to ensure an effective response that is highly professional.”

The protocol signed today consolidates and strengthens an already very strong collaboration between the FS Group companies and the National Fire Brigade,” states the FS Italiane Group CEO Luigi Ferraris. “With this instrument, we lay the foundations for studying and launching together further activities aimed at maintaining high safety standards throughout the system, improving staff training, preventing critical situations and intervening quickly and effectively in the event of possible emergencies.”

Engineer Parisi – after describing to those present the most important operations in which the operational teams were engaged throughout the country – recalled, “This protocol is strategic in terms of emergency aid management along the entire Italian rail network, as well as along the road network. The added value of such an agreement is the ability to work as a system, to respond in a unified manner – each within their own field – also working on prevention, another fundamental aspect of safety.

This agreement is intended to be a further building block in ensuring the safety and resilience of infrastructure in an increasingly challenging environment, as envisaged in the strategy for the Infrastructure Hub contained in the FS Group’s 2022–2031 Business Plan. The protocol also foresees the establishment of a joint steering committee, which shall be responsible for verifying the objectives achieved and the planning of future objectives. Furthermore, the collaboration between the FS Group and the Fire Brigade will continue in the coming months through further implementing protocols that shall be adopted by RFI and ANAS, companies of the FS Group’s Infrastructure Hub, for training operators in charge of handling emergencies, strengthening the dedicated specialised equipment and improving the deployment of vehicles and personnel throughout the country.