Local fire agencies joining international partnership with Olomouc

April 21, 2024 | 12:10 am

Updated April 21, 2024 | 9:25 am

File photo by Owensboro Times

Local fire agencies will join a Firefighter Exchange partnership with Owensboro’s Sister City, Olomouc, Czech Republic. The first group will have 10 members.

The first representatives, including members from the Owensboro Fire Department, Daviess County Fire Department, Airport Sorgho Fire Department, and the Fire Academy of Kentucky, will spend a week in Olomouc.

This initiative marks a significant milestone in the 30-year friendship and collaboration between Owensboro and Olomouc.

Owensboro Fire Department Chief James Howard will be in the first group, and he said he is excited to take this step in Owensboro and Olomouc’s relationship.

“While we look forward to making some new friends, our main objective is to learn about methods, equipment, and infrastructure that can help us to better protect our own community,” Howard said.

Katerine Zbořil, an OSCAR Board Member, said the partnership aims to foster international cooperation and enhance firefighting capabilities through shared learning and training experiences.

“Our main goal for this exchange is to help save lives,” Zbořil said. “By opening our minds to new operations and techniques, we can broaden our tools in the use for saving lives. If even one life is saved from something we learn in Olomouc, that would be a priceless measure of success.”

During their stay in Olomouc, the group will engage in a series of activities to deepen their understanding of firefighting practices and procedures in the Czech Republic. Highlights include immersive tours of fire departments in Olomouc, collaborative planning meetings for future training programs, and participation in cultural activities in Olomouc and Prague.

“This exchange exemplifies the power of international partnerships in advancing public safety and strengthening community ties,” said City Manager Nate Pagan. “We are thrilled to facilitate this meaningful exchange and look forward to the positive impact it will have on both the Owensboro and Olomouc communities.”

April 21, 2024 | 12:10 am

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