About us

Estonian Rescue Association unites and represents organisations operating in the field of voluntary rescue in Estonia.

Under the roof organisation called Estonian Rescue Association there are 120 organisations from land rescue, maritime rescue and special rescue services. 

We work daily with the Ministry of Interior Affairs, the Estonian Rescue Board and the Estonian Police and Border Patrol Board in order to represent the voluntary rescuers in Estonia.


Founding of the Rescue Association

Estonian Rescue Association was founded on the 22nd of January 2010 in the Parliament. This was preceded by four years of discussions and debates in various places in Estonia - Tartu, Elva, Türi, Viljandi and Eidapere, with the participation of over a dozen of the most active societies across Estonia.

Safe Estonia 2025

At the General Assembly held in Narva on 4-5 November 2016, the Rescue League adopted a new vision "Secure Estonia 2025", which envisaged:

  • making rescue units into community safety centres;
  • bringing population protection skills to the people.

Estonian firefighting and rescue 100

On the 7th of September 1919, voluntary fire-fighting associations founded a national fire-fighting organisation - the Estonian National Fire-Fighting Union - in the Estonia Theatre in Tallinn. This laid the legal foundations for nationwide joint voluntary fire-fighting activities. Today, Estonian Firefighters Day is celebrated on the seventh day of September.
Estonian Rescue Association is the continuation of the Firefighters Union.

Merger of the Estonian Rescue Association and the Estonian Firefighters' Union

On January 3rd, the merger of the Estonian Rescue Association and the Estonian Firefighters' Union was confirmed by a register entry. The Estonian Firefighters' Association will continue to carry on the more than 100 years of continuity in voluntary rescue.
With the merger, all the activities of the Estonian Firefighters Union (including professional training and assessment of chimney sweeps) and traditions such as the awarding of medals will be transferred to the Estonian Rescue Union.


Estonian Rescue Association started helping Ukraine

Russia's aggression in Ukraine, which began on the 24th of February 2022, galvanised the Estonian Rescue Association into action.
A project to help Ukraine was launched, which has grown to over €6 million thanks to donors and volunteer rescuers.

Estonian Rescue Association signs cooperation agreement with Ukrainian volunteer rescue umbrella organisation

On the 7th of September 2023, the Estonian Rescue Association signed a cooperation memorandum with the umbrella organisation of Ukrainian volunteer rescuers.
The aim of the cooperation agreement is to share knowledge, exchange experience and educate each other on different rescue topics.




call responses




prevention work

Rescue on land

A ground rescue unit is usually a volunteer fire company with at least one main vehicle, a crew operating it, and associated equipment.

Maritime rescue

The heart of the maritime rescue unit is the rescue boat, the crew using it, and the relevant communication and special equipment.

Special rescue

Several associations related to specific rescue operations have emerged in Estonia over the past few decades. For example, there are associations whose efforts have been spent on raising and training water rescue dogs.


The day-to-day activities of the Estonian Rescue Association are organized by the chairman of the board. The head of communications provides assistance to the chairman of the board. 

The strategy is set by the Council. The Council of the Estonian Rescue Association is elected on the principle that volunteers from each region of Estonia are represented by one member of the Council and two members represent members with a pan-Estonian area of activity.

One member maintains the continuity of the Estonian Fire Protection Association, which has joined the Estonian Rescue Association.

Our members provide services for the government

Estonian Rescue Association unites non-profit rescue organisations that provide their services to the Government. Land rescue organisations provide services to the Estonian Rescue Board and maritime rescue organisations provide their services to the Estonian Police and Border Patrol Board. Special rescue organisations vary from their responsibilities and they provide their services to both of the government Interior Affairs organisations.

We help create the laws, ordinances and regulations

Estonian Rescue Association is an emphatically open organization. We want to be the best example of Estonian civil society. We always have a say in the creation of laws, ordinances and regulations regarding voluntary rescue and marine rescue.

We deal with the organization of joint procurements, trainings and safety days. Regarding our activities, the financial situation of volunteer land and sea rescue teams and with the support of local local rescue centers and state authorities has improved.

We stand for safety

Over a decade, the Éstonian Rescue Association has stood for Estonia to be among the countries where accidents, senselessly lost human lives, and destroyed property are exceptional incidents.

We try to make life in Estonia safe and ensure that being a volunteer rescuer is as easy, exciting, and useful as possible. We are trying to change social thinking towards a more sustainable and safer living environment.

By 2025, we will ensure a safety level in Estonia equal to that of Scandinavia

In 2016 at the general meeting held in Narva, Päästeliit adopted a new vision "Safe Estonia 2025". In terms of the goal, the vision coincides with the Rescue Board's vision to ensure a safety level equivalent to Scandinavia by 2025 in Estonia, taking into account those who died and got injured in accidents. As a rescue association, we believe that in order to reach this goal, the volunteer land and sea rescue commandos must be much more capable. 

We are taking concrete steps to realize the vision. We are trying to involve business sponsors more than before and we expect everyone to contribute in a smaller amount. Let's make life safe in Estonia!

+372 527 4112
Sirge 2, 10618 Tallinn, Eesti


Register number 80302703
IBAN EE547700771002741382

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