“We used to work in a very old and run-down facility, where we operated out of two small rooms. The garage space was arranged in such a way that we had to burn wood in a stove in order to keep the water from freezing. Now, we do not have problems like this, we now have very up-to-date working conditions. We have central heating, as well as all the necessary conditions for normal, smooth operations in the job we do.”

For the last 15 years Tihomir Bogavac has been a firefighter, and most of his colleagues throughout Montenegro envy him for the conditions in which he works. For the past three years, 30 firefighters from Berane have been working in the new fire station, which was built with the assistance of the Delegation of the European Union to Montenegro. The facility covering 1,200 square metres has everything that is needed by a fire protection and rescue service.

“As for the rooms, I would like to mention the most important thing, and that is that, in addition to parking facilities and facilities for servicing the fire engines, we have storage space, meeting rooms, lecture rooms for studying theory, two rooms for physical activity, and dormitories, as well as everything else that is necessary for a fire station”, explains Tihomir.

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The city of Berane is proud of what is the one of the largest fire stations in the country, and the largest in the north. The safety of its citizens has significantly improved. However, it was not always like this. For decades, Berane’s firefighters worked in bad conditions, and operations were very difficult in that environment. After extinguishing a fire they would be wet and freezing for hours. They had nowhere to change their clothes and dry off.

“We used to work in a very old and run-down facility, where we operated out of two small rooms. The garage space was arranged in such a way that we had to burn wood in a stove in order to keep the water from freezing. Now, we do not have problems like this, we now have very up-to-date working conditions. We have central heating, as well as all the necessary conditions for normal, smooth operations in the job that we do”, says Tihomir.

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Construction of the fire station in Berane was a part of the Improvement of rescue and protection service project, largely funded by the EU Delegation to Montenegro. The project cost was 636,321 euros, of which 470 thousand euros were financed by the EU. The construction of a new fire station improved rescue and protection service, not only in Berane, but Andrijevica, Plav and Rozaje, also.