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Casp 2022
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Sayı: 68 - Ocak / Şubat 2021



We talked with Mr. Remzi Albayrak who is the Head of Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality Fire Department, about the preparations, future planning and the history of İstanbul Fire Department.

We talked with Mr. Remzi Albayrak who is the Head of Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality Fire Department, about the preparations, future planning and the history of İstanbul Fire Department.
Istanbul is one of the most important city not only in Turkey but also in all Eurasia. The fire department is one of the leading institutions that guides the future of the city, which has faced many natural disasters throughout its history, especially the earthquake.
In 2019, you started to work as the Head of the Istanbul Fire Department subsidiary of the Metropolitan Municipality. Could you tell us about what you have done to the date, and the innovations you have implemented since you took over the responsibility in 2019?
As Istanbul Fire Department, we work 24/7 with 125 fire stations 27 of which are volunteers, 859 vehicles and 4,271 employees. Within this context, we intervene in fires with our fire-fighting abilities, and also provide emergency medical and rescue services by our 49 ambulances on-call at 35 emergency ambulance points located in our fire stations, in addition lifesaving services on beaches are provided too. In 2020, we intervened in a total of 127,693 incidents, including 20,584 fire and 64,606 emergency health cases. Our average arrival time to the fires was 5 minutes 41 seconds. As our life-saving service on the beaches during 2020 summer, 3,811 people in danger of drowning were intervened by our teams consisting of 545 personnel at 43 beaches with a total length of 53,330 meters.
Education is one of the most important issues for us. As 
Istanbul Fire Department, we provide on-site fire safety and disaster prevention trainings for all Istanbul residents from 7 to 70 years old at various locations such as Disaster Coordination Centre (AKOM), Fire Department and IMM First Aid Training Centre, fire stations and schools. We are trying to give our citizens the right behaviours against the fire by conveying these services to them with our mobile training tools.
Many experts say that Istanbul earthquake is very soon. Could you tell us about your preparations for the earthquake?
In the case of an earthquake of seven-magnitude and above in Istanbul, it is estimated that 48 thousands buildings will be heavily damaged. The Earthquake Loss Prediction study (ELP) was published in 2019 by Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality Risk Management and Urban Improvement Department cooperation, which was prepared by the Boğaziçi University Kandilli Observatory Earthquake Research Institute. ELP reveals the picture that will emerge from an earthquake should Istanbul be caught unprepared. The most important data in the report is the estimates that 48 thousand buildings will receive very heavy or heavy damage and approximately 150 thousand buildings will receive moderate damage in the possible earthquake. These data means that, thousands of deaths and millions of people suddenly became homeless. In case of an earthquake of the expected magnitude in Istanbul, especially at the Historical Peninsula; single and double lane roads are predicted to be closed up to 30% in districts such as Beyoğlu, Şişli, Zeytinburnu, Bayrampaşa and Esenler. Such a situation will prevent the access of aid teams and materials. We do not want to be caught unprepared for an earthquake. Our preparations continue uninterruptedly with all our units, especially the IMM Disaster Coordination Centre (AKOM/DCC). We have provided disaster prevention training to 52 thousand students and teachers to the date.
Teams were Established for the Istanbul Earthquake
In the recent weeks, we held the informed earthquake drills in our IMM service buildings. We also increase our efforts for more awareness. In order to improve our response capacity we constantly improve our fire brigade vehicles, stations and personnel capacity by closely following new developments and technologies. In order to be ready for a possible earthquake we receive full support from Istanbul Metropolitan Mayor Mr. Ekrem İmamoğlu, and increase the readiness of the department gradually.
Çelik Yapılar - Sayı: 68 - Ocak / Şubat 2021

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