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Slovakia
Integrated rescue system by 2010

A TOTAL OF Sk2.9 billion (€77 million) will be needed until 2010 for the completion and development of an integrated rescue system, the Interior Ministry and the Health Ministry informed the SITA news agency.
The ministries prepared a concept for the organization and development of the system, which they submitted for inter-departmental review. Funds for the integrated rescue system will come from the budgets of the Health Ministry, the Interior Ministry, contributions from health insurance companies and from 8 percent of premiums paid in mandatory car liability insurance.
The integrated rescue system manages the emergency services of the fire brigade, the ambulance service, civil defence, police, and the mountain rescue service. A network of call centres has been established to provide information transmission within the integrated rescue system.
The priority is to deal with emergency calls in cases in which lives, health, or property are in danger. For this purpose the common emergency telephone number, 112, has been implemented, as is usual in European Union countries.
The aim of the Integrated Rescue System is to achieve the level of services in the field of rescue activities, which is standard in the countries of the European Union.


Turzovka
Train kills roe

A PASSENGER train killed a roe deer on the evening of January 1, 2006 on the northern Slovakia track connecting Podvysoká and Turzovka, the daily SME reported.
The train driver said that he saw four roes running across the train tracks. Unfortunately, one of the animals got caught underneath the train, stuck in the chassis, and died.
The train pulled the animal all the way to Turzovka train station where local train rescue service staff removed it.


Nitra
First Slovak baby of 2006

SLOVAKIA'S first baby of the New Year was a girl, born in the Levice district in western Slovakia's Nitra region.
Baby girl Karolína came into the world a minute after midnight at Nitra hospital. She was 52 cm long and weighed 3.91 kilogrammes, according to doctors. Both mother and daughter were in perfect health, Dr Peter Turba told the TASR news agency.
The first child in Žilina, David Várady, was born two minutes after midnight on January 1. He was 49 cm long and weighed 3.34 kilogrammes.
Five minutes after midnight at the 1st Private Clinic in Košice a boy, Adam, was born. He was 52 cm long, weighed 3.64 kilogrammes, and was also healthy. He is the second child of Kristína and Csaba Matyas.
Zvolen Hospital won out this year over its traditional rival Banská Bystrica. The first child in this region was delivered in Zvolen at 1:45. His name is Richard Tura and he entered the world at 55 cm and a hefty 4.3 kilogrammes.


CHILDREN from the village of Lomnička in Stará Ľubovňa district, which has a virtual 100-percent Roma population, have a new school. Funding for the project came from the European Union. An existing school building was reconstructed at a cost of Sk38 million (€1 million). The school has 16 regular classrooms and three specialized ones, one of which is a pottery class. The picture shows pupils in class 2.B.
photo: TASR - Milan Kapusta

Žilina
Robbers strike on New Year's Day

THE POLICE are searching for thieves who targeted a private company on New Year's Day, the daily SME reported.
In the unnamed firm's premises in Žilina two thieves hit a 44-year-old guard and shackled the man.
Then they kicked through a door leading to an electrical appliances store and took more than Sk300,000 (€8,000) worth of goods.
Unknown thieves also stole 300 winter tyres with an estimated value of Sk1.3 million (€34,000) from an express carrier company in Bytča.


Žilina
Attackers target Japanese nationals

THREE people attacked Japanese nationals shortly after midnight of the New Year in the city of Žilina, the daily SME reported.
One of the three attackers started pulling the jacket of one of the Japanese men. Two accomplices also hit the 39-year-old man in the face, on the back and on the legs.
Another Japanese man tried to intervene but the three attackers also attacked him, and the wife of one of the men.
The foreigners suffered light injuries, according to SME. Police have already started procedures against the attackers, one of whom was arrested after the attack.


Bratislava
Runners do the bridges

IN A TRADITIONAL Silvester (last day of the year) run across five Bratislava bridges, 158 runners bade farewell to the old year despite a freezing temperature of minus eight degrees Celsius, the Pravda daily wrote.
"You have to run so that you are not cold. You can ski in the winter and therefore you can also run," said Eduard Králik, who won the 10-kilometre-long Silvester race.
"I have won this run six times already. I could not run very fast this time. There was a lot of ice in some places, while in other places there was a lot of snow," Králik told the daily.
This was the 17th year of the run across the Bratislava bridges. This year the route was expanded to include the new Apollo Bridge.
"It's nice when they build new bridges. There could be even more so we have a place to run," said the oldest participant in the Silvester run, 68-year-old Milan Varga.
"At the end of every year I put my fitness to the test. The main thing is that the young people do not overtake me," said the senior runner, with a smile.


Slemence
Torn village united at last

AFTER 60 years of being divided into two villages in two states, Veľké Slemence in eastern Slovakia was united symbolically with Malé Slemence in Ukraine (Mali Slemenci in Ukrainian) at the beginning of the New Year with a new border crossing, the SITA news agency wrote.
The village was artificially divided by a new borderline after the Second World War.
The international road border crossing Veľké Slemence-Mali Slemenci is mainly dedicated to bikers and pedestrians.
It will be opened 12 hours a day from 8:00 to 20:00, police presidium spokesman Martin Korch announced.
The new border crossing was built following an agreement between the Slovak and Ukrainian governments that took effect on January 1, 2006.


Janova Lehota
Helicopter crash kills crew

A HELICOPTER belonging to the Air Transport Europe (ATE) medical rescue service crashed shortly before 20:00 on January 2 near the village of Janova Lehota in central Slovakia. All three crewmembers on board were killed, the TASR news agency reported.
Eye witnesses and Miroslav Jansto, head of the fire crew that was called out from the nearby town of Žiar nad Hronom, confirmed the information. Another eyewitness saw flames coming out of the low-flying helicopter, and two subsequent explosions.
When the fire brigade arrived at the scene of the crash, part of the helicopter was still in flames. After the fire was extinguished, the three bodies were pulled from the wreckage.
According to ATE spokesman Pavol Svetoň, the crewmembers included a pilot, 47, a doctor, 33, and a rescue worker, 28.
"The pilot had 20 years of experience, and was trained to fly at night ... the helicopter was equipped with state-of-the art instruments, and the weather on January 2 was not considered too severe for flying," the ATE spokesperson told TASR.


Levice
Army helps clear up flood

DOZENS of troops helped residents of the town of Levice in western Slovakia's Nitra region and the nearby village of Kalinčiakovo to deal with damage caused when local rivers overflowed their banks at the beginning of January.
A 21-strong team of professional soldiers from the Levice mechanized battalion helped to build dikes and raise riverbanks by stacking up sandbags along a 200-metre-long stretch of the flooded Sikenica River.
Assisting the public to clear up the effects of natural disasters is one of the tasks of the military, the TASR news agency reported.

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