In early July 2017, the Polish Bieszczady Mountains became a training ground for Ukrainian mountain rescuers in rescue rope techniques. For a week, under the watchful and specialist eyes of instructors from the Bieszczady Group of Volunteer Mountain Rescue Service, Ukrainian rescuers improved their skills in providing assistance in places hard to reach at high altitudes or below the ground. They learned how to operate with ropes, how to tie and apply different knots, how to build a back-up post and how to make an improvised harness or “climb on an angling rod.”
This is the second year that Poland has been providing support for a unit of mountaineer rescuers working in Eastern Carpathian Mountains established in the Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast. A 24-hour all-year-round mountain resource outpost is being set up in the Chornohora chain in a pre-war astronomical observatory as one of many projects co-financed with Polish development aid. In addition to renovating the facilities, Poles are also training rescuers and providing the unit with specialist equipment.
The completed training was organised as part of a project run by the Marshal’s Office in Rzeszów (for more information about the project go to www.polskapomoc.podkarpackie.pl). At the end of the year, Podkarpacie plans to carry out avalanche rescue training. Ukrainian rescuers have the knowledge and skills to enable them to adequately organise a search operation, safely reach injured persons and also to correctly assess the degree of avalanche threat and define the area in which it will occur and limit the negative consequences both with respect to people and the natural environment. In order to better perform its work, the outpost will be equipped with the necessary equipment, including a ski scooter, installations to forecast avalanches or rescue kits.