Welcome to European Union project CoSafe.
Cooperation for Safety in sparsely populated areas
Within the CoSafe project homepage you can find information about the
project, activities, participants, contact addresses, news, and a
photo gallery with pictures from the different meetings and
The 8:th meeting, work shop 3, within the CoSafe
project took place in Stornoway, Western Isles, Scotland on
September 22 – 24, 2009. Teams from Sweden Scotland, Iceland and
Finland were represented.
team gave a short presentation of their results so far.
The aim of the meeting was to find out gaps identified so
far which have to be developed in this project.
Results from the questionnaires in step 2 will be
available late this year.
the meeting we paid a visit to the site where the Scottish team has
located the scene for the air crash, which is one the scenarios we
are working with. We were also invited to the MCGA Helicopter and
got information about how the helicopter was working and a
presentation of the Technical Rescue Teams.
We took part of the seminar “Remote & Rural Major
Incident Management”, read more below.
Our last day in Scotland, we decided on how to go on with
products and services. We also got a demonstration of a special
stretcher developed for mountain rescue and a demonstration of the
Scottish ambulance service telemedicine communication.
In March 2010 we will have our
first international seminar in Iceland. We have invited members of
the Botnia Atlantica project ”Gränsöverskridande fjällräddning etapp
2” with participants from Norway and Sweden to the seminar and
people from the Scottish mountain rescue, Greenland and Faeroe
Remote and Rural
Major Incident Management Conference ’09 -
Under the auspices of the Highlands and Islands Strategic
Coordinating Group (supported by the Scottish Resilience Development
Service (ScoRDS)) and the Cooperation for Safety in Sparsely
Populated Areas (CoSafe) Northern periphery Programme project a
conference on Remote and Rural Major Incident Management was held on
23rd September 2009 in An Lanntair, Stornoway, Isle of Lewis,
Scotland. The conference was organised and coordinated by Tom
Laverty, NHS Western Isles Emergency Planning Officer and Local
Project Leader of the CoSafe project.
The meeting was
attended by 60 -70 local and off island people involved in the
management of major disasters.
The conference was opened by
the Lord Lieutenant of the Western Isles, Mr Sandy Matheson, OBE. In
his opening words he welcomed the audience to the conference and
introduced them to the Western Isles. He made specific mention of
the uniqueness of the Outer Hebrides and the challenges posed by
remoteness, the sea and the weather. By way of introduction Andrew
Sim described the objectives of the Cosafe project, described its
activity so far and the initial results of its studies. He
emphasised that the theme of the meeting was to learn from lessons
of the past.
The meeting was in two parts:
state of the art lectures were delivered on topics important to
major incident management:
• Mike Langran a full time GP in
Aviemore with special interests in immediate medical care and ski
patrol medicine gave a talk entitled “Equipment Challenges at the
Pre-hospital Coalface” he highlighted recent equipment advances and
areas for future development.
• Jason Long, consultant in
Emergency Medicine at the Southern General Hospital in Glasgow
presented his analysis of the Emergency Medical Retrieval Services
in the Northwest of Scotland . Illustrating his talk with examples
from the government supported emergency retrieval service pilot
study which is nearing completion.
• Mick Tighe, mountain guide,
mountain rescue expert and past National Training Officer for the
Mountain Rescue Committee of Scotland used his presentation Wild
Mountain Times – Frontline Rescue Experiences to illustrate the work
of the mountain rescue service and draw attention to areas which he
thought needed investment and expansion.
these presentations and in keeping within the theme of leraning from
lessons of the past three other presentations were made:
Matheson described two Western Isles local disasters; the sinking of
the Iolaire (1919) and the Shackleton aeroplane crash in South
Harris (1990). He emphasised the difficulties of coordinating
disaster management in an isolated environment.
• A specially
commissioned DVD, made with the support of Ian Burgess (Operations
Manager for the North of Scotland) of the Maritime Coastguard
Agency, graphically and dramatically depicted the rescue of 14
fishermen from the trawler Spinningdale grounded on St Kilda in
• Agnes Munro, manager of the Accident and Emergency
Department in the Western Isles Hospital gave a personal account of
the road traffic accident in Shawbost (2004) emphasising that an
incident with as few as 5 casualties stretches the local services to
near breaking point.
Interesting discussion took place about
the interactions between the various agencies involved in disaster
management and information was shared on the advances in
communication and organisation spearheaded by the Northern
The Chief Constable of the Northern Constabulary
and Chairman of the Highlands and Islands Strategic Coordinating
Group closed the meeting by emphasising the importance of using the
opportunities made available through the CoSafe project to make real
and practical improvements in management of major disasters in
remote and rural areas.
SNAM exercise in Akureyri –
a result of cooperation in CoSafe
On a beautiful, clear and cold
Saturday morning the 5th of September 2009 a SAS aircraft landed at
Akureyri airport. The plane was neither full of business people nor
tourists - Swedish health care staff and “12 bus crash patients”
stepped out of the plane at 7 a.m. The reason for this is due to
cooperation through the CoSafe project resulting in better
information concerning international help / service when big
accidents or disasters take place.
The Swedish National Air Medevac
(SNAM) had their annual exercise for their crew on the 5th of
September. The choice of exercise location arose through cooperation
when working in NPP projects like CoSafe. Such cooperation is very
valuable making it easy to be in touch, arrange and organize such a
big event. This exercise was organized by the SNAM team and the
Icelandic CoSafe team, together with the Akureyri Hospital, the
local ambulance service and the volunteer rescue service in Akureyri.
The “patients” were brought to the hospital where they were
simulated as proper patients with lots of injuries and burns. The
staff in the Intensive care unit and the emergency department then
had their in-hospital training in triage, treating and preparing the
patients for transportation.
The Swedish team then arrived with
their ICU stretchers or normal transport stretchers in order to
transport them from the ICU or Emergency department to the airport.
When all the patients had been transported to the aircraft everybody
were invited to have a short sightseeing tour in the SAS aircraft in
order to see how the crew and the health care staff organized their
patients during the flight. The exercise was very tight scheduled
but everything worked out smoothly. The Swedish group was very
pleased with the help from everybody involved and the Icelandic
CoSafe project team was very privileged to be able to participate in
such an international project. IT must be mentioned that the
interest was so much within the health care team in the hospital and
the rescue service that almost everyone was there on a voluntary
basis. This exercise stresses the importance of working together on
an international level.
A project as the Cosafe project, where the
focus is on preparedness and plans for disaster and emergencies in
rural areas, is very important is this matter. It is very valuable
to have the possibility to disseminate new knowledge, skills and
information in order to enhance further international cooperation.
That is one of the reasons why NPP projects like the CoSafe project
In March 2010 we will have our first
international seminar in Iceland. We have invited members of the
Botnia Atlantica project ”Gränsöverskridande fjällräddning etapp 2”
(Cross-border mountain rescue, stage two) with participants from
Norway and Sweden to the seminar and people from the Scottish
mountain rescue, Greenland and Faeroe Islands.
Latest updated information you always find at our homepage