Members of Päästeliit gained experience from ICE-SAR

17.August 2023 A week-long period with the Icelantic voluntary rescue, Slysavarnafélagið Landsbjörg  gave the Estonians a chance to learn rescue in extreme conditions. 
Local volunteer rescuers shared their expertise on floods, earthquakes, volcanoes, search and rescue and much more.

The aim of the study trip is to train teachers who will pass on the knowledge and experience gained in Iceland to Estonian volunteer rescuers. As a result, there will be people in Estonia who are ready to apply their knowledge, experience and skills in emergency and crisis situations, both here and around the world.

During the first training days, the volunteers were given an overview of the ICE-SAR organisation and their daily activities. ICE-SAR, the Icelandic volunteer rescue organisation, has been working for many years to ensure a sense of security in society, both in preventing and responding to earthquakes, volcanoes and more dangerous weather events.

A large part of the field training focused on learning how to conduct SAR operations in the mountains. Estonians were given the opportunity to participate in patrols and to detect potential sources of danger in the mountains. The major threats to ICE-SAR are natural phenomena that attract tourists, for whom flowing lava flows are an attraction rather than a danger sign. This is why they also work daily to create safety zones and safer roads for people in the more dangerous areas.

Iceland is covered by three major glaciers, the largest of which, Vatnajökull, was introduced to us by the National Park ranger. As one of the biggest tourist attractions, rescuers need to be aware of the dangers and features of glaciers.

In Sauðárkrókur, Estonians had the opportunity to practice special capability of rope rescue with members of the local volunteer rescue team. An important part of this was learning different knots, where Estonians found some new knots to use in their daily work. One of ICE-SAR's tasks is to rescue victims from hard-to-reach places, so the Estonians gained practical experience of the special capabilities of rope rescue.

In Iceland, Estonians also got to know the local rescue teams. Almost every commando has a rescue drone, which is one of the most effective and safest tools in rescue operations. The Estonians were particularly impressed by the Icelandic volunteers' machinery, which included a large number of machines for both land and sea rescue.

🎥 The Rescue Association's website will soon also be updated with training videos to give a better overview of the specificities of Icelandic rescue.

The project is funded by Nordplus, which supports Nordic and Baltic organisations in the field of adult education. The aim is to share knowledge and skills through exchange visits on the themes identified in the projects.

The Estonian Rescue Association, in cooperation with the ICE-SAR, is taking part in the project to broaden the experience and knowledge of rescue work. In about a week, Icelandic volunteers will also arrive in Estonia to receive training on the specificities of rescue in our environment.

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