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Newsletter April 2010

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Photo: Skapti Hallgrimsson

Photo: Britt-Marie Nordstrom

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Welcome to European Union project CoSafe.

Cooperation for Safety in sparsely populated areas

A summary of the seminar
held in Akureyri, Iceland, 17th of March 2010
As part of the regular CoSafe workshop in Iceland an international seminar was held on the 17th of March. The seminar was a huge success with over 80 attendants, who represented the CoSafe Project, the Cross-border Mountain rescue, stage 2 project as well as different bodies in Iceland, all related to disaster preparedness in some way or another.

The seminar offered a mixture of lectures and exhibition. The above projects, CoSafe and the Cross-border Mountain rescue, stage 2 project started by introducing their projects. Representatives from rescue groups in Finland, Iceland, Sweden, Scotland and Norway introduced their different organizations of rescue work in order for the audience to understand the systems better. Then there were presentations about the interesting history of rescue clothes in Iceland and a comprehensive presentation about the unique work of the Icelandic Search and Rescue service (ICESAR) which has very good reputation worldwide. A representative from the Icelandic Civil protection department gave the audience very good overview of their organization and how they work, especially when the coordination centre needs to be activated. The Icelandic Coast guard play a big role in search and rescue and one of the staff explained their part in the search and rescue system.

A very interesting lecture was also given on how weather can affect human security and environment and took an example of the necessity of evacuation related to eruption / floods in the southern part of Iceland (which had to be activated due to the eruption in Eyjafjallajokull (written on the 20th of April 2010)). In addition lectures were given about the application of TETRA system in disasters and the organization of training courses for rescue people.

The final speaker, who is a mountain guide, gave the audience an insight into an interesting case report, and experienced a rescue in one of the rural mountains when bad weather, long distances, waiting time and very difficult situation characterized everything.
During breaks the attendants had the chance to wander about the exhibition with different posters, e.g. about the different products and services as a result of the CoSafe project.

The Scots introduced their “Katie” stretcher, being a very applicable stretcher in a rescue operation and the Swedes introduced their GUIDE system, a GOOGLE based product, which can be used to locate resources / equipment etc in different places.

Finally we had full bodied “dolls” dressed up in different rescue clothes reflecting the history of rescue clothes in Iceland.
The organizers were very pleased with the seminar which provided a lot of information for as well as lot of interactive discussion which hopefully can lead to further cooperation on an international basis.

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  CoSafe newsletter April 2010 in PDF format for printout


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