Poland: Capabilities, Organisations, Policies, and Legislation in crisis management and disaster response

Publication Type:



IT4Sec Reports, Institute of Information and Communication Technologies, Number 119, Sofia (2015)


disaster preparedness, disaster response, National Firefighting and Rescue System, Poland, Standing Operating Procedures


• Poland is a country in the eastern part of Central Europe with an area of almost 312 000 sq. km. Poland is an almost unbroken plain reaching from the Baltic Sea in the north, to the Carpathian Mountains in the south.
• The Polish crisis management system is a complex architecture which is still under construction. The heavy floods of 1997, 2001 and 2010 exposed significant shortcomings and prompted a series of legal and institutional reforms.
• In Poland, there is no single authority dealing with disaster management. The structure of the Polish emergency management has five levels: state, ministry (central government body), province (voivodeship), county (poviat) and district (commune, gmina).
• The national firefighting and rescue efforts are the pivotal part of the crisis management system of the country. The Chief Commandant of the State Fire Service, under the supervision of the Minister of the Interior, is the central body of the state administration responsible for the organisation and management of those activities.
• Several services and structures also support or make part of the wider Polish crisis management system, including (but not limited to): the Police; the Border Guard; the State Inspection for Environment Protection; the Institute for Meteorology and Water Management; the National Atomic Energy Agency; the mining rescue stations; the maritime search and rescue service; the naval rescue service; NGOs, e.g. Mountain Volunteer Rescue Service; Tatra Mountains Volunteer Rescue Service; Water Volunteer Rescue Service; Mazurian Rescue Service and others.
• The role of the private sector in the civil security system is limited, while NGOs are important and cooperate closely with the state institutions. The Volunteer Fire Service is the biggest part of the volunteer sector in Poland.

Last updated: Wednesday, 07 October 2015