Rescue 2016

May 15, 2016 in General

The 22nd of April 2016 marked another important achievement in the EVOLSAR calendar during a training weekend organized by the Italian member team ‘Edelweiss’.

The event saw rescuers from all of the six (6) member teams of EVOLSAR, as well as another six (6) countries, represented by volunteer rescue teams that aspire to join or work with the organization in the near future. A twelve (12) hour, full scale rescue simulation gave the volunteer rescuers another opportunity to work together and experience interoperability in the different scenarios as prepared by the Italians. Such scenarios included confined space rescues, rescue from heights, mass casualty rescues and, for the first time, a rescue operation from the fourth floor of an operational hospital in Soverato which had to be conducted in the shortest and most discrete way possible. Other than the simulations, a number of workshops were organized for the participant rescuers while presentations were held by Petzl, the Hungarian Team ‘Central Buda – Volunteer Civil Protection Association’ which officially accessed EVOLSAR as a member team during the same weekend. New teams from Spain & Portugal presented an overview of their organisation to EVOLSAR. An interesting highlight was an experience shared by ‘Serve On’, the British team member, who shared a bitter sweet experience during one of their deployments in Pakistan.
In the words of Mr. Pasquale Pipicelli, president of Edelweiss, this training weekend was worth every every second of preparation as it was a total success in every way. Mr. Pipicelli thanked everyone present during the closing ceremony, the government officials who visited the event, Edelweiss’ sponsors and most of all each and every active member of Edelweiss, who gave up so much of their time during the past months for the successful outcome of this exercise.

This three day event included meetings as part of the Erasmus+ KA2 project entitled ‘Synergising European Volunteers Rescue Teams – A Rescue Operations Manual’ led by the Maltese rescue team the Emergency Fire & Rescue Unit (EFRU).

Migration and Refugee crisis in Greece

April 5, 2016 in Humanitarian Aid

Over the past seven months, since September 2015, volunteers of the Elite Special Task Force Greece (EP.OM.E.A) have provided their assistance in this difficult situation that both Greece and the refugees are facing.

Initially, upon assistance request, EP.OM.E.A. worked at Skala Sykamias on the island of Lesvos, with the support of the region of Thessaloniki, and operated in emergency units as set up by Doctor Andreas Iliadis (a paediatrician from Patra) with the assistance of Georgios Roumeliotis (President of EP.OM.E.A. Egaleo), on a daily basis for one month. The EP.OM.E.A. team that reached Lesvos island consisted of fifteen (15) volunteers (lifeguards, medical personnel and first aiders) who were operating on a daily basis, using a 12-meter inflatable all-weather boat and ATVs on land, as long as this could be financially possible.

Following this humanitarian activity of EP.OM.E.A., thanks to the cooperation and assistance of WAHA International and its General Secretary Dr. Sinan Khaddaj, the rescue team was registered within the strategic operation plan of the National Health Operations Centre (EKEPY) of the Ministry of Health. Thus, the rescue team started offering medical services in the refugee camps thanks to its doctors, rescuers and nurses on the Greek Islands of Lesvos and Kos, in Eidomeni, in the Baseball Stadium and in the Arrivals section of the Elliniko Camp and Elaionas Camp, where medical clinics have been set up, with sixteen (16) EP.OM.E.A. volunteers, on a daily basis. Therefore, EP.OM.E.A. is currently providing medical services at theses clinics for 8 to 10 hours daily, thanks to this cooperation with WAHA, the headquarters of which lie in Paris. EP.OM.E.A. thanks Dr. Sinan Khaddaj who has facilitated this cooperation.

SAR Day

November 15, 2015 in General

SAR DayThis is the disaster area that has been set up by our own Portuguese Team Escola Portuguesa de Salvamento. The joint training exercise entitled ‘SAR DAY’ will see all themembers of EVOLSAR work together once again in 2015 with the aim of standardising the rescue techniques adapted by the organisation. This training is being organised in conjunction with the First Transnational Meeting of an ERMASMUS + cross-European project entitled ‘Synergising European Volunteer Rescue Teams – A Rescue Operations Manual’. This project will see the following teams participating as partner organisations: Escola Portuguesa de Salvamento (EPS Team Portugal), Edelweiss (Italy), Elite Special Task Force of Greece (EP.OM.E.A.), the Cyprus Civil Protection Volunteer Team and Serve On (UK).  Good Luck to all the volunteers who have left their families to prepare themselves to save lives when disaster strikes.

SAR Day Logo

Collection of Food in Aid of Serbia

July 10, 2014 in Humanitarian Aid

For the second consecutive time, the Greek EURO SAR member, the Elite Special Task Force of Greece (EP.OM.E.A.) – branches of Thessaloniki, Aigaleo, Sintiki, Boeotia, Velo (Corinth) and Larissa – has collected various food items with the assistance of other Greek NGOs (such as KIPODA) and the general public. The Greek team took responsibility of the financial necessities to transfer the donated loads to Serbia. The donations were distributed among those in need, between Serbia, with the assistance of the Serbian Rescue Team, and Bosnia.

The Greek team would like to show its appreciation to the Serbian Rescue Team president, Mr Danilo Budimir, and to Mr John Koudouna, representative of GPA in Greece, for their cooperation. Above all, sincere thanks goes to all the EP.OM.E.A. volunteers who have for the second time showed such effort to assist those in need in the neighbouring countries. It is with each individual’s efforts that this mission was made possible.

Another similar mission will be taking place in 15 days’ time and the collected items will be sent to provide humanitarian assistance to a part of the Bulgarian community.

This mission was accomplished under the auspices of EURO SAR – The European Association of Civil Protection Volunteer Teams.

Balkan Floods Deployment – 8th June 2014

June 8, 2014 in International Deployment

EURO SAR was established on the 10th of May 2014 with the sole aim of assisting the European and neighboring territory in the case of emergencies. Just a few days later, floods occurred in the Southeastern part of Europe, affecting Serbia and Bosnia Herzegovina badly.

Immediately EURO SAR members EP.OM.E.A. (Greece), EPS SAR TEAM Portugal, Edelweiss Italy, CCPVC Cyprus and a prospective team member from the UK offered their assistance in rescue. As the Serbian situation unfolded, a fellow Serbian rescue team communicated the need of humanitarian aid.

The Greek team EP.OM.E.A. geared their logistical preparations in this regard and deployed to Serbia on the 29th of May. Their mission in the Serbian territory is still ongoing. Malta’s EFRU, currently holding the presidency for EURO SAR, took the responsibility for any communication among EURO SAR team members and other fellow teams.

EP.OM.E.A delpoy to Serbia

May 23, 2014 in International Deployment

Serbian Rescue Team request assistance from EURO SAR. Good Luck EP.OM.E.A (Greece) on your first deployment as a member of EURO SAR.

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EURO SAR

May 10, 2014 in General

The 10th of May shall mark one of the most significant milestones in the successful journey of the Emergency Fire and Rescue Unit with the signing of the EURO SAR statute alongside four other European rescue teams.

Following an international 24-hours-long exercise which brought together several volunteering rescue teams, the 5 founder members of the EURO SAR finally sat round the table to launch the European Association of Civil Protection Volunteer Teams. The Association – named EURO SAR – foresees the long-term collaboration between several European rescue teams, all of which operate on a voluntary basis. Five such teams constitute the foundation of the Association: Malta’s Emergency Fire and Rescue Unit, the Italian team Edelweiss, the Elite Special Task Force of Greece, the Cyprus Civil Protection Volunteer Corps and the Escola Portuguesa de Salvamento from Portugal. The purpose behind EURO SAR is to create a European common platform for collaboration and sharing of best practices within the field of rescue and emergency response. The signing of the Association’s statute, today, is being considered as the first step towards what shall eventually be a unified rescue team made up of volunteering members from all across Europe and fully-equipped with the necessary equipment and complementary expertise to respond in cases of emergency in countries within the European Union and beyond.