Efficient cross-border emergency response in the Danish-German border region

By pooling resources and developing response procedures, the EU-funded project “Emergency response without borders” provides for faster and better coordinated emergency help in Schleswig-Holstein and Southern Denmark.

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The project brings Danish and German fire fighters together for a more efficient emergency response. The project brings Danish and German fire fighters together for a more efficient emergency response.

" Cross-border cooperation makes one plus one equal three for citizens in the region. "

Peter Staunstrup, Project worker

As a result of the project, citizens in the region can now obtain emergency help from the closest fire station, irrespective of the country in which it is located. The communication between Danish and German firemen has been facilitated by the publication of dictionaries, joint trainings, seminars, direct radio communication and a better coordination procedure among the Danish and German emergency control centres.

Addressing the problems of cross-border actions

The project aims at increasing cross-border cooperation through three approaches. Firstly, the use of resources across borders has been addressed by the publication of a map of fire brigade locations and their equipment. Joint trainings have familiarised firemen with the material and equipment of their respective partners, and the responsibility areas for major catastrophes on land or at sea, such as train accidents or oil pollution on the shores of the border region, have been fixed.

Secondly, seminars and workshops were organised in order to enable the fire fighters to get to know each other. This was accompanied by joint exercises and a recruitment campaign for young volunteers in the fire brigades.

Thirdly, the project concentrated on the legal issues around rescue activities across borders, including insurance questions. Both personnel and equipment are now certain to be insured during cross-border activities, and legal problems have been resolved.

Rescue services close to the citizens

One of the main achievements of the project is bringing the fire brigades closer to the citizens, through local media, volunteer recruitment, and more efficient services. To date, eight cross-border emergency response actions have been carried out successfully, and the success of the project has led the six project partners to decide on a long-term cooperation agreement which will ensure continuation and a close cooperation after the end of the project.

Total investment and EU funding

Total investment for the project “Gefahrenabwehr ohne Grenzen” (“Emergency response without borders”) is EUR 381 869 with the EU’s European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) contributing EUR 248 215 through the “Syddanmark-Schleswig-K.E.R.N.” Operational Programme for the 2007-2013 programming period.

Draft date

03/11/2014