Polska pomoc


Modernisation of Chornohora mountain rescue station

There is no high-mountain rescue station in the area of the Carpathian Mountains in Ukraine. The area of operation of the Ivano-Frankivsk State Emergency Service of Ukraine (SESU) includes the highest mountain ranges and peaks (the Chornohora range) in Ukraine with the highest tourist traffic intensity and, consequently, the highest accident rate. Rescue operations are conducted from the SESU posts situated in towns at the foot of the mountains, which increases the time and costs of conducting them and at the same time decreases the chance to be rescued for those who had an accident or got lost. The post will naturally assume the function of the “hub” to coordinate the activities of the unit with the groups from the valleys.

The SESU has full-time employees, usually trained in fire-fighting, protecting people and counteracting natural disasters. Therefore, they require additional and specialist education. There are not enough people with appropriate competences and willingness to work in the mountains. As there is no high-mountain rescue station, it is impossible to train them in natural conditions, mainly in terms of winter rescue (avalanches, hypothermia, etc.).

The Polish-Ukrainian School of Mountain Rescue at the district SESU has been operating since 2013, where several trainings have been conducted together with the Polish Mountain Volunteer Search and Rescue (GOPR), mostly in Poland, due to the lack of necessary measures available in Ukraine. The rescue station in Chornohora will be able to fulfil this function - SESU can use a ruined military facility situated on Pip Ivan, in the Chornohora range. From 2014, its rooms have been used for 24-hour duties of the rescue team. A makeshift renovation was conducted so that the station would be able to operate in the summer - in severe conditions and thanks to the immense enthusiasm of the rescuers on duty. However, the conditions make it impossible for the station to function throughout the whole year and SESU has no funds for adjusting the rooms so that they could be used in the remaining seasons. This project provides for conducting necessary adjustment works.

The beneficiaries of the project will be SESU, which will receive the first high-mountain intervention point, the Polish-Ukrainian School of Mountain Rescue and tourists who benefit from the help of the Rescue Service.

Modernisation of Chornohora mountain rescue station

The project is scheduled to be implemented from 15 July to 31 December 2016, in cooperation with the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Kiev and the Polish and the State Emergency Service of Ukraine.

The objective of the project is to prepare the mountain rescue station on top of Chornohora for operating throughout the entire year, also in severe winter conditions. There is already an actual convenient facility, partially adjusted to the performance of these tasks. Adjusting the rooms to the needs of the Station will require conducting all internal works. First and foremost, it is necessary to strengthen the ceiling construction and replenish some of its parts, level off the ground and lay the floor as well as place electrical, water, central heating and sewage installations. Everything requires drying, waterproofing, insulating and plastering. Some parts of the internal walls also need replenishing. The facility has over 250 m2 and includes the duty office, 2 sleeping rooms for rescuers, a break room with stove tops, a sanitary unit, a storage room (fuels, oil, water), a garage for the snowmobile and the quad. Also, some rooms will be set apart for a common sleeping room for the participants of general and military trainings organised by the School of Rescue. At other times, it will be used as a place for tourists to have a break, to prepare meals and as a place for staying overnight when the weather suddenly deteriorates.

The primary and direct beneficiaries of the project will be the SESU mountain rescuers in the Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast, including volunteer rescuers. The rescue station will have 4 rescuers on 72-hour duty all year round, 24/7. Currently, there are 67 personnel members in 6 rescue stations. The location of the station will allow to  introduce a new system of rapid response in case of accidents in the east Carpathian Mountains, assisted by shelters in Vorokhta, Yaremche, Werchowyna, Kosovo, Wygoda and Osmoloda as well as local health facilities. The rescue station on the Pip Ivan mountain will make it possible to conduct general and military trainings in actual high-mountain conditions.

The beneficiaries will also be tourists who use the help of the Rescue Service. Thanks to the all-year rescue point in high mountains, the safety of the tourist traffic will improve. It is also worth mentioning that the station, thanks to the constant presence of rescuers, will help to seal the border and limit illegal migration.

The value of the project amounted to PLN 166,000 (about EUR 40,000) and about PLN 123,000 (about EUR 30,000) was obtained from the Polish Aid's funds. For the purposes of calculation, the following exchange rate was applied: USD 1 = PLN 4.1749.

Modernisation of Chornohora mountain rescue station

The project was implemented from 1 to 21 December 2016. The primary objective was to prepare the existing rooms of the mountain rescue station on the Chornohora peak, so that it would be possible for a group of rescuers to station there throughout the year, also in severe weather conditions. The rooms were cleaned from debris andinsulated, the walls were repaired, the floors were made even, and the electrical and heat installation were placed. A water intake and parts of fencing were prepared.

Between the date of the project submission and signing the contract, it was necessary to change the partner for technical reasons. The previous partner - the State Emergency Service of Ukraine was replaced by a social organisation, the Foundation for the Development of Social Initiatives. Also, the scope of activities provided for in the project changed - it became necessary to purchase windows.

The direct beneficiaries of the project are mountain rescuers of the station situated on top of Chornohora. The indirect beneficiaries are tourists visiting the Chornohora range, which is the most popular trip destination in the Carpathian Mountains in Ukraine. The presence of rescuers substantially improves the safety on the trail.