The ResQU2 project partners and particularly Polish stakeholders gathered in a workshop under headline “Multithreaded rescue operations at the Baltic Sea and port regions” in Gdansk, Poland, on 26-27 November 2019 to disseminate the results of the projects of the platform and discuss the ways of promoting emergency preparedness within the Baltic Sea region.
On the first day of the meetings the managers of the four projects of the platform presented the outcomes of their projects, and Mr. Maciej Zawadzki, Director of the SAR service in Poland, talked about implementation of DiveSMART Baltic achievements in SAR operations in Poland.
The presentations gave good food for thought for two workshop sessions. First, the participants discussed how to capitalize on the experiences gained in the four projects when it comes to emergency preparedness. Even though the topic was handled mainly from the Polish point of view, mutual points were found that unite the countries. Generally speaking, there is a need and a will to cooperate more closely both nationally and internationally and the importance of proceeding emergency preparedness is jointly recognized. However, legislation, variety of division of tasks between authorities and agencies in Baltic Sea countries and resources, for example, cause challenges for more efficient cooperation.
What could be the way ahead then?
The discussion continued in the second workshop session which focused step by step on identifying strengths, challenges and needs for improvement of emergency preparedness in each represented country and in international cooperation. As a conclusion after fruitful discussion, it was agreed that international adjustment of capacities is needed with a toolbox of continuous communication and evaluation, gap analysis, organizing exercises and ensuring recruiting of the next generation so that emergency preparedness could be improved. In the future, as a further development, a maritime SAR group or unit of some kind could be established to be in charge for an emergency services board and international exercises in the Baltic Sea region.
Text: Anna-Liisa Aunala, The Finnish Border Guard
Photos: Päivi Söderholm & Kirsi Laitio