U.S.-Latvian State Fire and Rescue Service Project Improves Response Readiness

U.S. Embassy Riga and the Latvian State Fire and Rescue Service inaugurated a new U.S. European Command (USEUCOM) funded response vehicle building in Alūksne, Latvia, on April 8, 2020.

The new three-bay emergency vehicle building will shorten Latvian State Fire and Rescue Service response time for emergency calls and protect the vehicles from weather and damage.

The U.S. Embassy Office of Defense Cooperation, in cooperation with Latvian State Fire and Rescue Service and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, completed the USEUCOM civic engagement project valued at over $515,000.

This is the fourteenth civic engagement project with the Latvian State Fire and Rescue Service. According to Lt. Col. Josh Kaser, chief of the office of defense cooperation, Riga, Latvia, these construction projects enable a critical NATO Ally to enhance their responsiveness to the population’s basic needs.

“The relationship between Latvian State Fire and Rescue Service and USEUCOM’s Office of Defense Cooperation is a great example of Latvian-U.S. bilateral cooperation,” Kaser said. “It also reinforces the Latvian government as a resilient and capable NATO Ally that is ready to respond to any crisis and any disaster.”

Key leaders to include the U.S. Ambassador to Latvia John Carwile, Ministry of Interior Parliamentary Secretary Ms. Signe Bole, Alūksne City Mayor Mr. Arturs Dukulis, and Deputy Chief of State Fire and Rescue Service General Intars Zitāns attended the ceremony.

“The United States is proud to have contributed more than 500,000 U.S. dollars to construct this new facility for the Alūksne Division of the Latvian State Fire and Rescue Service,” Carwile said. “Over the past 11 years, the U.S. Embassy’s Office of Defense Cooperation has implemented thirteen other projects with the Latvian State Fire and Rescue Service valued at more than 4 million U.S. dollars in total.”

“Just like the previous projects, the new vehicle bay in Alūksne will shorten response time to emergency calls and improve capability of the Alūksne Division to provide essential services to more than 20,000 people in its area of responsibility,” the ambassador added. “We are proud to be Latvia’s ally, and I look forward to our continued partnership in the years to come.”

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