Strengthening mountain rescue teams in Sweden and Norway

A cross-border project has strengthened and improved the efficiency of cooperation and communication between mountain rescue teams in both Sweden and Norway. Specifically the municipalities covered are Storuman in Northern Sweden and Rana in Northern Norway.

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Joint training is a key feature of the project. © Matilda Schön Joint training is a key feature of the project. © Matilda Schön

The Cross-border Mountain Rescue II project improved team skills through providing education and greater knowledge of local conditions in both Swedish and Norwegian territories. The focus was on improving cross-border skills and information provision, communications, and how to launch and carry out effective and efficient searches. Training included working with mountain rescue dogs as well as improving rescuing ability in caves, in water and on glaciers.

Mountain rescue service tends to be challenging as it takes place in difficult terrain over a large geographical area. A high level of experience and skill is required by the mountain rescue teams to cope with every eventuality.

Close cooperation

Rescue teams from both municipalities worked closely together and this close cooperation greatly improved overall efficiency in both teams. It also formed and strengthened personal bonds between individuals, which is extremely useful on joint rescue missions.

As a direct result of the project, vast improvements in both sides’ skills have been made through further education, better communication and greater knowledge of local conditions. This has lead to a professional, safe and efficient rescue service in both municipalities.

In addition to the exercises, the project has tested technical equipment which allows people on both sides of the border to hear all calls for help, and enables the call to be directed to the service that is located the closest, regardless of which country it is in.

Over the project's lifetime, more than 20 cross-border training sessions, each lasting several days, took place. This training has already proved crucial in real life situations with several parties being rescued after coming into difficulty.

Cross-border Mountain Rescue II also collaborated with the INTERREG IV B project “CoSafe”, which was partially funded by the Northern Periphery Programme.

 

Total investment and EU funding

Total investment for the project “Cross-border Mountain Rescue II” is EUR 400 876, of which the EU’s European Regional Development Fund is contributing EUR 200 438 from the INTERREG IV A Operational Programme “Botnia Atlantica” for the 2007 to 2013 programming period.

Draft date

04/12/2014