Wings, stings, and financial strings
From July units of the Emergencies Ministry are to fight with wasps and hornets on a fee basis
When a swarm of wasps buzzes and settles its issues under your window, it is difficult to remain calm and cool-headed. The hand automatically reaches for the phone and nervously dials 101 — «Help!» At the other end of the line the alarm sounds, six guys jump into a special car on the go. A rotating beacon enabled — the 30-ton vehicle is a bullet hurtling through the city to the caller’s place. A rubber chemical protection suit, an extension ladder, and a sealed package — half an hour later everything is over.
Victory? Factually — yes. Strategically — no. If an apartment with two children on the neighboring street happened to be on fire and units of the Emergencies Ministry didn’t make it there on time, all the explanations about wasps would be weak excuse. And someone would surely ask: «Why didn’t you call the sanitary service?»
— This problem has been dragging on for years. And we call it a problem not for effect: there are thousands of calls like that throughout the country. In 2010, for example, 1332 nests of hornets and wasps were eliminated, in 2011 — 4233. Just imagine, the number of such calls in summer months can reach 10— 20 per day, and during swarming — all 40! Multiply this number by average fuel consumption of a tank lorry, amortization, and manhours — it adds up to a very tangible amount of the budget expenses. But wasp infestation is not included in the emergencies classificator: direct threat to life is not present here, — Eugeny Tochilov, head of emergency services and disaster management of the Emergencies Ministry makes a helpless gesture. — The resolution of the Chief Sanitary Inspector of the republic clearly states: owners and tenants of buildings are fully responsible for their sanitary conditions, and are obligated to carry out a full range of preventive measures. Including disinfection. A question arises: why do tenants not call hygienists, while the situation is still not out of control? One more point. As you know, housing facilities maintenance in our country is the Ministry of housing and utility services’ concern. We have repeatedly asked, why they ignore such requests. They answered that their workers didn’t have the special accoutrements and skills. So it turned out that wasps and hornets were the main problem and concern of the Emergencies Ministry exclusively. Although in our opinion, it’s not in our line.
On May 11 this question was considered by the Commission for Emergency Situations under the Council of Ministers. It was officially recognized that such state of affairs leads to a significant diversion of forces and means, and lowering the level of reaction to emergencies efficiency. So who, after all, is responsible for these aculeate insects now?
— According to the Commission’s decision, removal of wasps’ and hornets’ nests is officially entrusted to emergency units. Not only in buildings but in adjacent areas as well. This service is provided by rescuers for a fee now. Only nursing homes, hospitals, schools, vocational and pre-schools and other public facilities are excepted, — says Eugeny Tochilov. — Before July 1 current year all local house utility services must conclude contracts with our units for the provision of such services. Local authorities must supply rescuers with chemicals for nest cleansing, means of their application, and protective gear.
But what about the combat readiness of the Emergencies Ministry units? At least, this was the point where it all began… The guidelines have been developed for personnel, according to which training is given. The principal innovation is that such calls will be dealt with by the rescuers who are not on the duty squad. And naturally, heavy operative equipment such as tank lorries and quick reaction cars will not be assigned to the tasks. A motor car and one or two trained personnel in special suits and a trap will be enough. An hour of work and that’s all.
So if you live in a private house and have accidentally discovered a cocoon under the window, you have only yourself to blame. And you must pay for calling the resquers in. Therefore it’s better to stop the cracks up with putty in good time, check your attic, basement and shed for the disturbing neighbourhood. There are several basic patterns of making effective traps, the Emergencies Ministry advises. Ten minutes of work — and no «air attack» can possibly bother you.