27 firefighters from the Villach and Klagenfurt-Land region, as well as eleven employees from the city of Villach, were awarded disaster operations medals by State Governor Peter Kaiser and disaster control officer Daniel Fellner on Wednesday. The ceremony took place in the Hall of Mirrors of the Klagenfurt state government. “It’s not obvious what you’re doing, but our society sometimes runs the risk of taking it for granted,” the state governor told firefighters. Therefore, the purpose of the medal ceremonies is to say thank you on behalf of all Carinthians. “We can always count on you. With your commitment you ensure a high quality of life, protection and sense of security in the country,” said Kaiser. He was able to inform the conference of state governors, currently chaired by Carinthia, that the federal government has requested an increase in the lower limit for the supply of emergency equipment under the Disaster Funding Act. The ceiling of 95 million euros in 2013 needs to be increased to 140 million euros. “At the political level, we want to do everything we can to ensure that you are constantly provided with adequate equipment,” the state governor assured.

The medal was awarded on Wednesday.

© LPD/Bauer

Council of State Member Fellner also touched upon the issue of “openness”. For example, he emphasized that it is not guaranteed that we will have clean drinking water coming from our taps or that firefighters will be available to evacuate basements during storms. “What you do is priceless and you invest your life in it. “We want to make this visible with these medals,” he said. Therefore, the awards are “a thank you from all of us,” he said, meaning all of Carinthia. Of course, the Council of State sees this as a problem. Fellner says declining membership in emergency organizations or young people’s attitudes are often cited as problems; “But that’s not the problem,” he says. He argued that membership numbers in Carinthia remained relatively stable due to the presence of more and more women in emergency organisations. Regarding young people, he stated that their motivation is uninterrupted and said, “We are grateful for that.”

Source: Kleinezeitung