A new initiative of the Specialized Search and Rescue Unit of the State Emergency Service of Ukraine in Ivano-Frankivsk region “Safety in the Mountains” has been launched. During the first online meeting, the topics that are the most interesting for the tourists were announced, as well as questions from tourists using social networks were answered. Taras Brynda, Head of the fourth specialized search and rescue group, also announced the next round of Q&A. It will be held on May 18 as part of the Info Day within the project “Adaptation of the former observatory on Mount Pip Ivan for the needs of Alpine Rescue Training Center” (PIMReC), funded by the European Union under the Cross-Border Cooperation Program “Poland-Belarus-Ukraine-2014-2020 ».
The initiative to hold online meetings with tourists arose as a result of the discussion on social networks of resonant events related to the situation in the mountains. According to Taras Brynda, Head of the fourth specialized search and rescue team, in many cases such discussions demonstrate lack of awareness and poor knowledge of the tourist community in matters primarily related to the regulatory and legal framework governing the rights and responsibilities of people in the mountains. In addition, these discussions do not lead to real actions, solving existing problems. Therefore, from now on, tourists will be able to communicate with rescuers online every month, and the PIMReC project website will promote attraction of the maximum number of people to these meetings and disseminate them. After all, it is better to hear once than to read a hundred times, especially as interpretation by an unknown person.
During the first meeting, the main six topics, which will be the core for the next monthly discussions, were outlined. These include:
1. Recommendations for tourists to prevent emergencies in the mountains.
2. Interaction of tourists and rescuers. Communication channels, platforms for receiving information.
3. Marking of routes.
4. Certification of guides – current status and the regulatory framework on this issue.
5. Arrangement of infrastructure in the mountains.
6. Rescue activities on Mount Pip Ivan, plans to establish an international rescue center within the premises of the Observatory (PIMReC project)
During the meeting on April 14, Taras Brynda also answered specific questions from tourists about the algorithm of action in difficult situations, rules of conduct in the mountains during a thunderstorm, how to choose a place to spend the night and set up a tent.
Interaction of tourists with the rescue service, necessity to register tourist groups, interaction with mountain rescuers during preparation to the trip and during hiking were also discussed.
Rescuers promised to conduct a separate meeting, devoted to involving of helicopters in rescue operations in the mountains.
For more than half a century, helicopters have been used around the world for search and rescue operations. During this time, hundreds of thousands of lives have been saved. It is not a secret that no search and rescue service in the world works without an aircraft, especially during rescue operations in mountainous areas, where no roads exist. But we have certain problems and obstacles in using helicopters for rescue operations in the mountains. Therefore, certain steps are needed to solve the issues and support the rescuers’ initiatives by the tourist community. In particular, it concerns functioning of the mountain rescue unit at the Observatory on Mount Pip Ivan Chornohirsky at the European level.