ResQU2 supporting capacity building for maritime emergencies

The key activity of the ResQU2 project platform is to bring rescue authorities of different Baltic Sea Region countries together and create discussion and exchange of experiences. Last week ResQU2 gathered over 60 professionals from six Baltic Sea Region countries under the same roof in Palanga, Lithuania, to advance capacity building and preparedness for maritime emergencies in the participating regions and countries.

The two-day workshop held was titled Multithreaded rescue operations at the Baltic Sea and port regions. Representatives from rescue authorities and services from Finland, Germany, Lithuania, Latvia, Poland and Sweden got together to exchange views and support each other towards more efficient and safe rescue operations. The first day started with the opening speech by Mr. Marius Garbenis, Chief of Klaipeda Fire and Rescue Services and the meeting host. Mr. Aivaras Birbalas, Captain Coordinator of Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre, introduced the resources and work of the MRCC. He showed statistics from Lithuania, which spoke for themselves: for the past ten years, 8 – 304 people rescued yearly. Ms. Dalia Gun and Mr. Aleksandras Kaupas, State Enterprise Klaipeda State Seaport Authority, presented the operation of the Klaipeda Sea Port. Ms. Else Timms, Swedish Coast Guard, introduced DiveSMART Baltic, one of the ResQU2 projects, and how it made progress in the field of under-water SAR. Mr. Teemu Niemelä, Finnish Border Guard, explained how another ResQU2 project ChemSAR‘s outcome helps rescue operations when chemicals are involved in a maritime incident. Ms. Maria Nykyri, Southwest Finland Emergency Services, concentrated on emergency communication, which was tackled in the HAZARD project. Nykyri emphasized that the most important thing in emergency communication is that all involved authorities offer correct and same kind of information. The first day ended in a session where the capitilization of ResQU2 projects’ results were discussed in groups. Ms. Anna-Liisa Aunala, Finnish Border Guard, and Ms. Nykyri led the process. The workshop day was moderated by Mr. Aurimas Perednis, Journalist at News Radio.

The second was dedicated for rescue diving. Ms. Timms held a session where near twenty divers from the Lithuanian Police, Navy, Firefighter college, and from the Fire and Rescue Services of Vilnius, Kaunas and Klaipeda were analyzing the situation in their country. As the result of the discussions, the national strong points and challenges were discovered, first steps in the development work.

The workshop in Palanga took place on 6 – 7 February 2020. In addition to this, ResQU2 partners have organized workshops or seminars in Latvia, Poland, Lithuania, Finland, and Germany. Partners have also disseminated best-practices in different events in Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, and Spain. This has proven to be an effective way to reach regional and national rescue authorities and services.

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