In these days the role of the Civil Protection in the management of the Covid-19 emergency and of the measures to contain the spread of the virus is decisive. We get to know the head of the Civil Protection Department, Angelo Borrelli. He “enters our homes”, every day around 6.00 pm, to provide us with the data on the Coronavirus emergency. It has become a fixture that marks these monotonous days Italians are living.
Within the Civil Protection system, volunteers play a fundamental role. Thousands of men and women employed daily in the most disparate activities. From the health aspects (especially the Italian Red Cross and Misericordie) to the delivery of medicines and basic necessities to elderly and vulnerable people. From tent building to the construction of real hospitals (one example is the case of volunteers of the National Alpine Association). It is good to remember that all voluntary and voluntary actions are coordinated by the Civil Protection authorities, at national, regional and municipal level.
The competence and responsibility of all civil protection emergencies lie with the Prime Minister, the regional Governors and the mayors. Volunteering, therefore, in order to operate, must necessarily be activated and act under the coordination of one of the levels mentioned above.
What the Civil Protection system does and how it is organized
It is a system that, amid a thousand difficulties, is now well functioning in Italy and that we have come to know during dramatic events. Earthquakes, floods, forest fires and other natural disasters. The activities that the Civil Protection carries out are many, but punctually identified by the relevant legislation. They are mainly summarized in the prevention and management of emergencies of the risks associated with natural disasters. Chemical and nuclear risk, environmental and sanitation risks (such as the case of an emergency going on currently), civil defense activities.
Activities related to events of significant local impact, support activities for the preparation of emergency plans. Finally, the reception, assistance and support activities for the phenomenon of immigration. The voluntary component of civil protection can be divided into two main categories: that of associations and that of municipal groups. All non-profit associations can join this system. This is the case of the Alpine Association or the National Carabinieri Association, for example. And many volunteer organizations established for specific purposes that can be activated by the competent authority to carry out some activities in situations of necessity and emergency. For the rest of the time, these associations have their own life and purpose.
Civil protection at municipal level
As for municipal groups it’s quite different. In fact each Municipality is responsible for the activities to be carried out in the event of a disaster. How? By activating a structure called Municipal Operations Center, made of administrators and employees. When the situation requires it, when there is the need for further collaboration in emergency management, the MOC inables the Civil Protection voluntary service. We are learning more about this great reality and we are appreciating it during these days even more. An open reality within which each of us can do its part.