Risk scenarios for major accidents, natural disasters, and man-made emergencies show many similarities in the Barents Region. There are long distances between economic centres, sparsely populated rural communities, limited rescue personnel and equipment, and restricted means for transport and hospital resources available in case of larger accidents.
In this environment, the Joint Committee on Rescue Cooperation is working to make most of the widely dispersed resources in the region.
The aim is to improve the possibilities of the rescue service agencies to cooperate across the national, federal and regional borders on emergency and rescue issues in the Barents Region.
The cooperation makes it possible to provide assistance more efficiently, faster and at lower operating cost. As a result, direct access to additional resources and specialised functions in neighbouring countries can be assured and preparedness and prevention measures can be co-ordinated.
The focus of the cooperation is on day-to-day emergency situations, such as traffic accidents, forest fires, tourism related accidents, floods, ice plugs and industrial and chemical accidents.
The objectives and scope of the cooperation have been defined in the Agreement on Cooperation within the field of Emergency Prevention, Preparedness and Response, which is available in English, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish and Russian.
The Committee has one subgroup, the Planning and Evaluation Group (PEWG), which assists the Committee in its work and represents it in the planning processes of the main events, such as the Barents Rescue Exercises. The Terms of Reference and contact information for the PEWG can be found here.
Barents Rescue Exercises
One of the core activities of the rescue cooperation are the biennal Barents Rescue Exercises. The exercises have until 2019 been organized in the country of the respective BEAC Chairmanship, but will from 2022 on be organized every third year. The event will in 2022 take place in the area of Bodø, Norway, and will be organized by the Norwegian Directorate for Civil Protection and Emergency.
Read more about the previous exercises from the links below: