´SERBIA 2019´ – international emergency response exercise.

The international exercise ´SERBIA 2019´ ´is currently ongoing in Serbia, organized by the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Serbia and the Ministry of the Russian Federation for Civil Defence, Emergencies and Elimination of Consequences of Natural Disasters (EMERCOM). The rescue teams from seven countries arrived at Nis (Southern and Eastern Serbia), for the intensive training of the rescue procedures held from 25th until 28th June.

The exercise was officially inaugurated by the Russian Deputy Emergency Situations Minister Alexander Chupiyan and Serbian First Secretary of State in the Ministry of Internal Affairs Milosav Miličković. They both pointed out the importance of emergency situations prevention, organization of the joint exercises and training, bearing in mind that changing weather conditions and the climate change we are now facing, do not recognise the state and administrative boundaries.

Russian deployment to Serbia (photo by МЧС России / EMERCOM)

More than 500 rescuers and 120 vehicles from Russian Federation, Serbia, Cuba, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Northern Macedonia, Hungary and Turkey are participating in the exercise, together with the representatives of the Russian-Serbian Humanitarian Centre, the Russian-Armenian Centre for Humanitarian Response, and the International Civil Defence Organization.

The EMERCOM deployed the largest team among the exercise participants. Approximately 200 rescuers, 7 aircraft (3 helicopters Mi-8, Ka-32, and the mighty Mi-26; Be-200 ChS amphibious aircraft, Il-76 airlifters) and 11 units of another emergency equipment were sent to Serbia from Moscow, St. Petersburg and Rostov-on-Don.

The goal of the exercise is to increase the level of readiness and to develop capabilities needed for responding and eliminating the consequences of the emergency situations, involving the specialized teams, rescue equipment and aircraft. The training is organized in the vicinity of Nis, Prokuplje and Aleksinac and the main scenario is based on the strong earthquake that hit the Balkan Peninsula.

Kamov Ka-32A-11BC, EMERCOM (MAKS-2017)

The rescue teams will have to put out the fire in the machinery factory, eliminate the effects of those fires and earthquake demolitions, and rescue the injured workers. Additionally, the scenario includes a dangerous chemical leak from the railway tanker, fire and rescue scene in the multi-floored building, forest fire and searching for the survivors. The medical assistance will be provided by the Центроспас (Centrospas – Central Rescue Group of EMERCOM) aeromobile hospital.

The exercise is organized at three stages: priority measures and alerts, the organization of the joint response and practical training during the emergency situation.

The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Internal Affairs of Serbia, Nebojša Stefanović together with the Minister of Emergency Situations of Russian Federation, Yevgeny Zinichev, will attend the closing ceremony to be held on 27th June, at King Milan Square in Nis. Earlier that day, both ministers will attend the exercise demonstration at Bovan Lake.

Beriev Be-200 ChS amphibious aircraft / EMERCOM (MAKS-2017)

The Serbian-Russian Humanitarian Centre (Руско-српски хуманитарни центар) in Nis was established in 2012, based on the bilateral government agreement. The Centre was founded to provide the emergency response in Serbia and other Balkan countries – preventing the natural disasters, industrial accidents and other emergency situations and eliminating their consequences. Until today, the Centre provided assistance and humanitarian aid in Serbia, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Greece and Slovenia.

One of the most important rescue operations provided by the Centre was performed in 2014, during the flood disaster in Serbia. The rescuers from the Centre saved, according to the official information, 2,262 people, 604 of whom were children.

Beriev Be-200 ChS amphibious aircraft / EMERCOM (MAKS-2017)

МЧС России / EMERCOM press released were used, (1) photo by EMERCOM