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Interim Committee on Rescue Cooperation / Working Group on Emergency and Rescue Services Co-operation (WG ERS)
Risk scenarios for major accidents, natural disasters, and man-made emergencies show many similarities in the Barents Region. There are long distances between economic centres, sparsely populated rural communities, limited rescue personnel and equipment, and restricted means for transport and hospital resources available in case of larger accidents.
Photo: Ersberg& Falkdalen /SRSA
Increased transboundary co-operation across national/federal and county borders would facilitate and improve emergency and rescue operation. Assistance could be provided more efficiently, faster and at lower operating cost. Direct access to additional resources and specialised functions in neighbouring countries could be assured. Preparedness and prevention measures could be co-ordinated.
To strengthen and expand ongoing, transboundary, emergency and rescue services co-operations at county level in order to improve the interoperability of emergency and rescue services functions in the Barents Region, a BEAC Working Group on Emergency and Rescue Services Co-operation (WG ERS) was established in September 2002.
The aim of the Barents Rescue co-operation is to improve the possibilities for the rescue services agencies to co-operate on emergency and rescue issues across county and national/federal borders in the Barents Region. Such increased co-operation would make optimal use of the widely dispersed scarce resources and provide assistance faster and more directly. Specialist functions would be made available to neighbours in need. In addition to the main working with issues of joint training, exercises, and legal/administrative frameworks.
Focus is on day-to-day basic emergency situations, such as traffic accidents, forest fires, tourism related accidents, fires in open cabins, floods and ice plugs, and industrial and chemical accidents.
The Barents Rescue co-operation will also relate to ongoing emergency and rescue co-operation within for example the UNEP, the NATO-Russia co-operation, and in the European Union. An enhanced emergency and rescue services co-operation in the Barents Region should be viewed as a county-based implementation of agreed international commitments, norms and standards adapted to the special conditions of the north. The main tasks and priorities in ongoing and futre work are the following:
- Conduct joint risk assessment for different parts of the Barents Region and disseminate the results to all relevant actors
- Identify contact points for requesting/providing assistance and ensure regular up-dating of lists of contact addresses
- Prepare and implement joint education and training programmes
- Arrange mutual participation as observers in regular exercises and live operations
- Organise and conduct joint training exercises
- Investigate possibilities to train and equip new joint teams for specialised operational functions
- Review and clarify relevant legal/administrative procedures and regulations applicable to request/provision of emergency and rescue assistance across national/federal and county borders
- Compile clear and simple instruction manuals in all relevant languages for request/provision of rescue assistance
- Co-ordinate preventive measures
In addition to the main working group, three task forces have been established, working with issues of joint training, exercises, and legal/administrative frameworks. See the Work plan for 2004-2005 .
WG ERS Mandate
CSO has set up an Interim Joint Committee on Rescue Cooperation, which plans the future emergency cooperation in the Barents region. The Chairperson of the Committee is Norwegian Bente Michaelsen from the Ministry of Justice and the Police.
Members of the WG ERS
- Kjell Larsson, Chair,
Swedish Rescue Services Agency, Sweden
Tel: +46 54 13 50 00
- Kenneth Burhol, Project Leader, County Administrative Board of Norrbotten, Sweden
Tel: +46 920 96069
- Erik Jakobsson, Norrbotten County Administrative Board of Norrbotten, Sweden
- Seppo Lehto, State Provincial Office of Lapland, Finland
- Martti Soudunsaari, Regional Emergency Service of Lapland, Finland
- Andrey Maslov, North-Western Regional Centre of EMERCOM, Russia
- Dmitry Lobanov, EMERCOM of Russia, Russia
- Anne Holm Gundersen, Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre North Norway, Norway
- Øyvind Juell, Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre North Norway, Norway
Members of Task Force 1, Training
Members of Task Force 2, Exercise
Members of Task Force 3, Legal Aspects
- Jan Nyquist, Chair, Swedish Rescue Services Agency, Sweden
Tel: +46 54 13 50 63
Complete list of contacts