The Barents Rescue Exercise 2015 in Kittilä, Finland
The Barents Region is characterized by long distances, harsh climate and challenging terrain. All these traits combined with the limited resources of the emergency and rescue personnel could be seen as a puzzle – but in terms of cross-border cooperation, they create an ideal setting for fruitful collaboration that benefits the region as a whole.
The Joint Committee on Rescue Cooperation – and independent working group under the Barents Euro-Arctic Council – has succeeded to create shared region-wide practices in the events of natural disasters, major accidents and other emergencies. In addition to emergency response, the committee has also worked on prevention and preparedness through policy development, information sharing and training. The committee has fourteen members, all experts and civil servants from respective ministries and other emergency-related public agencies.
In 2017, the Committee will be working on the next Barents Rescue Exercise, which will take place in September in the Republic of Karelia, Russia. The exercise is expected to gather approximately 350 participants and 50 vehicles – be it helicopters, ambulances or fire trucks. These exercises, organized biennially in the country of the respective BEAC Chairmanship, are one of the biggest – and most visible – achievements of the rescue cooperation.
In January the Committee also updated the Barents Joint Rescue Manual – the operational tool for the implementation of the intergovernmental agreement that guides the cooperation. Read more about the Barents rescue cooperation from the Committee's website and about the coming exercise from the information page of the Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations.
Field hospital in the Barents Rescue Exercise 2015