A European project addresses training for Search and Rescue operations

Effective training practices are essential for professionals and volunteers that engage in Search and Rescue operations. They can enhance the capabilities of responders by preparing them to face critical situations while maximising their safety during missions. This key topic was addressed on 24th March 2022, by the EU-funded Search and Rescue (SnR) project, taking the form of a webinar titled “Training for SAR operations: a multidisciplinary approach” which gathered around 150 participants from across Europe and beyond.

The Search and Rescue project is a large EU-funded research project composed of 28 partners from 12 European Countries aiming to improve the capabilities and safety of first responders who engage in Search and Rescue (SAR) Operations. This workshop was one in a series of open workshops to stimulate discussions and raise awareness on certain key topics related to SAR.

This particular webinar addressed the subject of SAR training through different perspectives. Indeed, depending on the location and type of mission, the training, tools and practices may vary considerably. The webinar was therefore a platform for exchange on experience and best practices through presentations covering topics as varied as SAR dogs (K9) Training / Maritime Rescue Training / Mountain Rescue Training / CBRN training. These were complemented by discussions on how to train responders to use new technologies and an introduction to the Galileo SAR Service.

“With this webinar we wanted to provide a broad overview of the different types of Search and Rescue operations and of the training practices associated to it. It is not often that experts from various countries such as Romania, Greece, Germany, Spain and Belgium can gather and share their knowledge and experience. One of the main takeaways is that responders need to be continously trained throughout their carreer to adapt to new challenges and familiarise themselves with the use of innovative tools.” Marie-Christine Bonnamour, Secretary-General of Public Safety Communication Europe.

The Search and Rescue project has concluded its requirements and validation phase and will start testing new technologies in the course of 7 pilots in 2022, the first of which is taking place in Poggioreale (Italy) on the 28th of April. The webinar materials (recording and presentations) are made openly available on the project website.