Poland begins to survey country’s air defense shelters

“We are preparing for the darkest of scenarios,” said Polish Interior Deputy Minister Maciej Wąsik as the country’s fire departments begin to survey 62,000 civilian shelters

editor: Grzegorz Adamczyk
author: rmf24.pl
A displaced family from Kyiv sits in a basement used as a bomb shelter during an air raid in Lviv, Western Ukraine, Saturday, March 19, 2022. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

Poland’s fire departments have taken control of air defense shelters and places of refuge across the country, Interior and Administration Deputy Minister Maciej Wąsik revealed on Tuesday. He explained that this action had already been planned earlier and is tied to basic civil protection and defense.

“All district commands of fire departments have begun surveying the shelters,” said Wąsik.

He pointed out that there are 62,000 installations of this type, as declared by the units responsible for their management, mainly local governments. Firefighters are surveying their condition, equipment, and their suitability for use.

He added that the inventory of shelters will take two months to complete. “We will thoroughly visit other locations that could be adapted in that time, and there will be adequate announcements once the inventory is completed,” assured Wąsik.

Wąsik also stressed that Poland is not in any way endangered. “We are in NATO, we are part of the EU. We are not participants of that war. We strongly support Ukraine, but Poland is a safe country,” said the deputy interior minister.

He noted that inventory of the shelters is an action that was planned earlier and is a routine procedure. “There is some concurrence of events with the shelling of civilians in Kyiv, but actually this action was planned some time ago,” stated Wąsik.

Wąsik said that Poland’s fire departments are working with Ukrainian firefighters as well. “We are observing how they organize their civil defense and drawing conclusions from it, and I am certain, that we are following the correct path,” said Wąsik. He added that the system of civil defense in Poland will be built “in a more dynamic way,” with an emphasis on first aid.

“We are preparing for the darkest of scenarios. We are obliged to do that. We are ready, even though there is only a slight probability that they will occur,” stressed Wąsik.

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