Synergising European Volunteer Rescue Teams – A Rescue Operations Manual Erasmus Project

General information for the Synergising European Volunteer Rescue Teams – A Rescue Operations Manual Erasmus Project

Synergising European Volunteer Rescue Teams – A Rescue Operations Manual Erasmus Project
July 7, 2020 12:00 am

Project Title

Synergising European Volunteer Rescue Teams – A Rescue Operations Manual

Project Key Action

This project related with these key action: Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices

Project Action Type

This project related with this action type : Strategic Partnerships for adult education

Project Call Year

This project’s Call Year is 2015

Project Topics

This project is related with these Project Topics: Overcoming skills mismatches (basic/transversal); Health and wellbeing; Regional dimension and cooperation

Project Summary

Context / background:
Europe has a number of rescue teams which provide assistance to the general public in cases of emergencies. These rescue organisations work on a voluntary basis and provide training to their volunteers to equip them with the necessary knowledge of how to act in a particular situation. Before our project, the working methods that used by volunteers during these rescue operations was not harmonised. Therefore volunteers from one organisation handle an emergency situation differently from volunteers of another European rescue organisation. This creates problems when multiple organisations need to mobilise their volunteers in order to meet the increasing demands for assistance in an emergency.

Following the above-mentioned problem, six organisations came up with the idea of creating a Rescue Operations Manual containing best practices and common working methods to be adopted for a number of rescue disciplines that were targeted in this project. The six participant organisations will eventually adopt this rescue manual as a common training document, altering their training curriculum to harmonise the manner by which volunteers act when they are involved in rescue missions. This facilitates the deployment of multiple rescue teams working together, making their response safer and more efficient.

Number and profile of participants:
The participants for this project include the applicant and lead organisation (EFRU) together with five partners from Italy, Portugal, Greece, UK and Cyprus. Every organisation appointed a Project Coordinator, 2 Key Persons and a Manager. All have a significant background in within the organisations as volunteers and knowledgeable about rescue response. The 2 key persons are experts in the rescue disciplines tackled by the project. The Managers were responsible for the development of the Rescue Operations Manual, working closely with the key persons.

Methodology and Description of activities:
The project was conducted through discussions in transnational meetings, while rescue simulations were used to gather data required for the development of the rescue manual and also to validate the results of the project. A conference served as a dissemination activity of the project results.

1) 5 Transnational Meetings: During these meetings the key persons and the managers discussed the rescue disciplines targeted by this project, more specifically the content to be included in the rescue manual, including best practices and common working methods identified observed during the rescue simulations. The transnational meetings also served for planning of activities and also for project coordination, making sure it was running smoothly.

2) 2 Simulation activities: The first simulation was carried out after the first transnational meeting and its scope was to bring together rescue volunteers from the participant organisations and assign them to multinational teams responsible to perform different realistic rescue tasks. Their behaviour and interaction was noted and this was used to help the Managers devise the best possible working methods to be included in the Manual. On the other hand, the second simulation was held after the last meeting and exactly before the Conference in order to test the results of this project.

3) A Conference: This was held at the very end of the project to publish the rescue manual and make public the results of this project. A number of keynote speeches related to volunteering in rescue were also delivered during the conference. The media was invited to attend this conference to extend the awareness to the community.

Results and impact:
The result of this project culminated in the Rescue Operations Manual which was finished to high standards and distributed during the conference. The rescue volunteers that participated in the rescue simulations benefited from the experience of working alongside each other in mixed teams and had many learning opportunities valuable for when they might be called to assist in major emergencies. The participant organisations are now able to improve their training curriculum to make it more in line with the common working methods in the rescue manual, to harmonize the training of their current and future volunteers. Other organisations that attended the conference also had the opportunity to receive the rescue manual and to network with other organisations with a view to cooperate together in the future.

Longer term benefits:
Harmonisation of training and networking of rescue organisations will ensure that more rescue volunteers will be able to work safer and better-coordinated when working alongside one another in the event of major emergencies thus providing a more efficient service to the community in the time of most need.

EU Grant (Eur)

Funding of the project from EU: 156405 Eur

Project Coordinator

Emergency Fire & Rescue Unit & Country: MT

Project Partners

  • Escola Portuguesa de Salvamento
  • Serve On Ltd
  • edelweiss
  • Cyprus Civil Protection Volunteer Corps