“We are a company that belongs to the critical infrastructure of the Czech Republic and we are one of the pillars of the Czech economy. At the same time, we are also fully aware of our responsibility to the people living in the vicinity of our production plant. I am happy that our fire rescue service has been helping us realise the position of a responsible and good neighbour for seventy-five years. We very much appreciate the praiseworthy work of all its members. In every situation, they show maximum commitment, not only on deployments within the company, but also outside the site within the framework of the integrated rescue system,” said Tomasz Wiatrak, general director and chairman of the board of the Unipetrol Group, in his comments on the 75th anniversary.
The history of Unipetrol’s fire brigade dates back to 1939 when the local unit was German. In the following years, its ranks were expanded with other firefighters, usually foreigners. Before the end of the war, 180 professionals served in it, but only 13 of them were Czech. A purely Czech brigade was created in 1945 and followed in the footsteps of its predecessors. The name of the fire brigade has changed several times in relation to changes in the name of the company itself. The current name HZS Unipetrol RPA has been used since 2007. “The main fire station that was completed at the site in January 1942 is still being used today,” says Petr Králert, chief of the Fire Rescue Service in Záluží.
The fire brigade has a total of 74 employees at the moment. On the occasion of the anniversary, the members received a commemorative medal. One side of the gold-plated medal depicts Saint Florian, the patron saint of firefighters, while the other side bears the emblem of the brigade and mentions the 75th anniversary. The medals were given to both current and former employees of the Fire Rescue Service, and to certain members of company management.
Unipetrol firefighters also received a new engine for the anniversary. The original combined KHA 60 Silvani fire engine has been replaced by a KHA 60 Rosenbauer vehicle on a MAN chassis whose volumes total 8,000 litres (water tank) and 4,000 litres (foam tank). The engine is also equipped with a pressurised vessel for 1,000 kg of extinguishing powder and a special extinguishing arm with a maximum height of 20 metres that allows intervention with water, foam or powder. The water pump’s nominal output is 6,000 litres per minute at a pressure of 10 bar. The total investment amounted to CZK 20.5 million.
“The firefighters played an important role in the past months when the entire world was facing the COVID-19 pandemic. To all their normal activities, they added a whole range of other ones related to fighting this disease. Despite the fact that they could apply their knowledge of decontamination and procedures to fight a highly contagious disease, this situation was new and unexpected for them as well. From the very start, they consulted and shared their knowledge and experience with their colleagues from the Unipetrol Group and elsewhere in the Czech Republic, at Slovnaft Bratislava, and with firefighters within the PKN ORLEN Group,” says Petr Králert, describing the recent accomplishments of his firefighters.
The firefighters had to adjust their station operations and reorganise their shifts. For instance, they organised the delivery of materials from the Ministry of Industry and Trade, such as facemasks, respirators, single-use suits and gloves. They also participated in the distribution of disinfectants, not only at Unipetrol Group locations, but also within the framework of assistance to municipalities, institutions and hospitals. The fire brigade was also part of the team which prepared solutions for critical situations.
The Unipetrol Group is the largest refinery and petrochemical company in the Czech Republic. It focuses on crude-oil processing and on the production, distribution and sale of vehicle fuels and petrochemical products – particularly plastics and fertilisers. In all these areas, it belongs among the important players on the Czech and Central European market. The Unipetrol Group encompasses refineries and production plants in Litvínov and Kralupy nad Vltavou, Paramo with its Mogul brand in Pardubice and Kolín, Spolana Neratovice, and two research centres in Litvínov and Brno. Unipetrol also includes a network of Benzina filling stations in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. With 418 filling stations, Benzina is the largest chain in the Czech Republic. Unipetrol is one of the largest companies in terms of turnover in the Czech Republic. It earned over CZK 129 billion last year and employs more than 4,800 persons. In addition to its business development, Unipetrol is proud to be a socially responsible corporation. Therefore, it pays an equal amount of attention to initiatives which focus on the cultivation and support of sustainable development, education, local communities, and the environment. In 2005, Unipetrol became a member of the PKN Orlen Group, the largest crude-oil processor in Central Europe.
For more information, please visit the “Responsible Company” section at www.unipetrol.cz
Contact information: Pavel Kaidl, spokesman, telephone: +420 225 001 407, +420 736 502 520, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org