Statutes and history

In the Rescue Association, good ideas come by themselves

For nearly a decade, the Rescue Association has been striving for Estonia to be part of those countries where accidents, lost lives and lost assets would be very unusual incidents. We try to make life in Estonia safe and ensure that being a voluntary rescuer and maritime rescuer is as simple, exciting and useful as possible. We are trying to change our social mindset towards a more sustainable and safe living environment.

The Rescue Association was founded on 22 January 2010 in Riigikogu. It was preceded by four years of discussions and debates in various parts of Estonia – in Tartu, Elva, Türi, Viljandi and Eidapere, where a few dozens of more active associations participated from all over Estonia.

By now, nineteen founding members have become a private organisation representing more than a hundred land and maritime rescue associations with regional and sectoral members of the Supervisory Board, a CEO, Head of Sponsorship and Partnership, and a biannual General Assembly.

We are always participating in the preparation of laws, rules and regulations concerning voluntary rescuing and maritime rescuing. We are engaged in the preparation of joint tenders, training and safety days. As a result of our activities, the financial situation of voluntary and maritime rescue commandos and the interaction with local rescue centres and public authorities have improved significantly. At the end of 2016, in the General Assembly in Narva, we confirmed the new vision of the Rescue Association – to ensure a safety level in Estonia, which is equivalent to the safety level of Scandinavia, by 2025. To do this, we have foreseen a number of activities about which you can read more on our vision page.

It is emphasised that the Rescue Association is an open organisation. We want to be the best example of Estonian civil society. Everyone who wants to make their life in Estonia better and more enjoyable are welcome to join and think along.

Articles about the creation of the Rescue Association


Statutes approved on 17 November 2012 in Nelijärve.

  1. The Rescue Association is an association of volunteer rescue service organisations in the Republic of Estonia and is a non-profit organisation established in Tallinn, the Republic of Estonia, which is founded for the joint realisation and protection of the public interests of rescue-related NGOs.
  1. The main goals of the Rescue Association are the development of joint activities of voluntary associations operating in Estonia in the rescue area, standing for the common interests of members, the introduction and implementation of good practices of joint activities, and the involvement of the public and its members in the development of civil society in Estonia.
  1. The Rescue Association can issue scholarships and engage in training activities.
  1. Any association of rescue volunteers operating in the public interest in Estonia can apply for membership in the Rescue Association.
  1. The Supervisory Board may establish special statuses (for example, supporters or honorary members) outside the members of the Rescue Association, to whom the rights and obligations of members of the Rescue Association arising from the law and the statutes shall not apply.
  1. In order to join the Rescue Association, an application must be submitted to the Management Board of the Rescue Association in the form provided. The Supervisory Board of the Rescue Association shall make a decision on becoming a member of the Association within a month or, if it does not agree with the decision of the Supervisory Board, the decision shall be made in the next General Assembly.
  1. All rights and obligations of a member arise after paying the membership fee for the current year. Documentation about members and payments is managed by the Management.
  1. In order to resign from the Rescue Association, the member presents an application to the Management Board that shall be satisfied within one month after the member has paid his or her debts to the Rescue Association, including the membership fee for the current year.
  1. A member may be excluded from the Rescue Association by a 2/3 majority of the votes of the Supervisory Board, under the procedure and on the basis prescribed by law, if a member fails to comply with these statutes, violates the generally accepted ethical standards or does not pay membership fees.
  1. The Management Board shall notify the excluded member at least two weeks in advance of the meeting of the Supervisory Board discussing the exclusion proposal. The excluded member has the right to submit his or her explanations and to request the discussion of the issue at the General Assembly in accordance with the law.
  1. The rights and obligations of the members of the Rescue Association arise from the law, the statutes and decisions of the General Assembly.
  1. The General Assembly of the Rescue Association has all rights arising from the law that have not been conferred to the Supervisory Board with the Statutes.
  1. The General Assembly shall be held at least once a year in the cases and according to the procedure prescribed by law or whenever necessary. The notification on convening the General Assembly shall be notified at least 14 calendar days in advance by e-mail. The General Assembly has a quorum regardless of the number of participants.
  1. Between the General Assemblies, the tasks of the General Assembly will be performed by the meeting of proxies (referred to as the “Supervisory Board” in the statutes, in the statutes of the Supervisory Board and in the daily management). The Supervisory Board is competent, in addition to the provisions of the law and the Statutes, to elect and recall the members of the Management Board, to supervise the activities of the Management Board, to expand and restrict the right of representation of the Management Board, and to approve the budget and activity plan of the Rescue Association prepared by the Management Board, and the annual reports before their submission to the General Assembly.
  1. The members of the Supervisory Board shall be elected by the General Assembly from among the candidates presented by the members of the Rescue Association in accordance with the law for a period of three years. A member of the Supervisory Board may resign before the termination of the term of office, notifying the Supervisory Board thereof at least one month in advance.
  1. There will be up to 5-10 members elected to the Supervisory Board, the principles of exact size and territorial representation of the Supervisory Board are determined by the General Assembly.
  1. The Supervisory Board confirms its organisation of work (Council Statutes) and chooses a chairman among its members. The provisions of the law and the statutes on the General Assembly do not apply to the convening and conducting of meetings of the Supervisory Board.
  1. The Rescue Association is managed and represented on a daily basis by the Management Board consisting of one to five members, elected by the Supervisory Board for a term of up to three years. The procedure for the remuneration of members of the Management Board and the conclusion of agreements are within the competence of the Supervisory Board.
  1. In all situations not provided for in the statutes, the provisions of the law shall apply.
  1. The merger, division and liquidation of the Rescue Association take place in accordance with the procedure prescribed  by law.
  1. Upon termination of the activities of the Rescue Association, the liquid assets and financial resources remaining after the satisfaction of claims shall be transferred to a company registered in the list of non-profit organisations and foundations, or a legal person governed by public law with income tax incentive.