Barents Rescue Exercise organised in Petrozavodsk
Finland, Norway, Sweden and Russia are participating in a Barents Rescue Exercise in Petrozavodsk, Russia, between 4 and 8 September 2017. Barents Rescue Exercises are held every two years, and the previous one was organised in Finland in 2015. This year’s exercise is already the eighth of its kind.
Exercises are based on the agreement between the four countries in the Barents Euro-Arctic Region on cooperation concerning emergency prevention, preparedness and response. The agreement includes joint exercises and training aimed at increasing the ability of these countries to provide swift and effective assistance to each other across the borders.
"Barents cooperation is, by nature, very practical, and joint exercises are a good example of this. In border areas, the authorities may have to request assistance where it is easily available, even across borders," says Esko Koskinen, head of the Finnish delegation and Director General for Rescue Services.
The actual exercise will start on Wednesday 6 September. The exercise scenario will involve a bus accident, a structural collapse and related gas leakage as well as a ship accident. Finland is prepared to respond to Russia’s request for assistance during the exercise by sending a rescue team consisting of fire and rescue experts; rescue divers; search and rescue dogs; and a team comprising a doctor, nurse and two experts providing psychosocial support that evaluates the need for medical evacuation.
A total of about 90 people from Finland are taking part in the exercise, some of them carrying out different kinds of observation and evaluation tasks. The Finnish organisations participating in the exercise are the North Karelia, Oulu-Koillismaa, Kymenlaakso, Lapland, Jokilaaksot and South Karelia Rescue Departments, the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, the Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa, Vantaa’s Social Emergency and Crisis Centre, the Crisis Management Centre (CMC), the Emergency Services College, Customs, the Laurea University of Applied Sciences, the Regional State Administrative Agency for Lapland, the Regional State Administrative Agency for Northern Finland and the North Karelia Chamber of Commerce. The rescue service units taking part in the actual operational exercise come from the North Karelia Rescue Department.
Esko Koskinen, Director General for Rescue Services, tel. +358 50 4122318 (number available only in Russia, Barents cooperation)
Hannu Rantanen, Specialist, tel. +358 50 521 5311 (practical arrangements)