Promotion of the New Specialized Equipment and Vehicles for Winter Rescue Operations (Video and Photo)

New specialized equipment and vehicles for rescue in winter conditions, intended for the Mountain Rescue Service, Alpine Club PATAGONIA, and for the local teams from Debrca and Gramsh Municipalities, were promoted today at Ohrid Riviera. This equipment was procured with European Union funds, through the IPA2 Cross-border Programme between the Republic of North Macedonia and the Republic of Albania, within the project “New opportunities for safe winter adventures”, implemented by Ohrid Red Cross.

With the procurement of these vehicles and equipment, the Mountain Rescue Service completes the process of equipping for effective operation in all seasons and meteorological conditions, and by equipping the local teams in the Municipalities of Debrca and Gramsci, significantly expands the territorial scope and efficiency of rescue operations in the future.

The President of the Red Cross Ohrid, Mr. Sasho Tockov, the Minister of Local Self-Government of RNM Mr. Goran Milevski, and the EU Ambassador to RNM, H.E. David Geer addressed the present guests, expressing satisfaction with the success of the projects that established this regional Mountain Rescue Service in accordance with the highest international standards, and stressed the importance of active involvement of local governments in its future sustainability.

After the official part, members of the Mountain Rescue Service presented the new vehicles and equipment to the guests. Also, the senior officials of the Crisis Management Center, Directorate for Protection and Rescue, Special Task Force, Helicopter Unit of the Ministry of Interior and Air Force, visited the operational and training center of the Mountain Rescue Service and discussed the deepening of cooperation, in order to increase the effectiveness of rescue operations in the future, not only in the Ohrid region but also beyond.

On this occasion, we would like to express our special gratitude to the Delegation of the European Union to the RSM and the Ministry of Local Self-Government, not only for the financial support but also for the active involvement in the process of integration of the Mountain Rescue Service in the national risk management system, as well as for quick and effective operation across borders.

Promotion of the new project that will be implemented by the MRS and the partners from the region

On February 12, 2020, on the border crossing Saint Naum a promotion of the project “New Opportunities for Safe Winter Adventure Tourism” was held. This project is funded by the European Union, through the Cross-border Cooperation Program with the Republic of Albania. Partners of this project, in addition to the Ohrid Red Cross MRS, are also the Alpine Club Patagonija Ohrid, Debrca municipality and the municipality of Gramsh, Albania. The main goal of the Project is to further promote the socio-economic development of the wider Ohrid-Prespa cross border region through sustainable tourism development and promotion of high safety standards in tourism. For the Mountain Rescue Service, this project will provide complete equipment for the safe operation of rescuers in winter conditions, as well as special off-road vehicles equipped with caterpillars and trailers for the transport of injured people in snowy conditions. This equipment will significantly improve the capacity of the Service as well as its efficiency in the winter.
At the ceremony, the Ohrid Red Cross Mountain Rescue Service and the National Coordination Center for Border Management signed a Memorandum for cooperation, aimed at coordinating the operation of the rescue service team so that they can cross the border as quickly as possible and intervene to rescue as soon as possible on the Albanian territory. This memorandum is the first step in the process of creating a special protocol, which will in the future enable the Mountain Rescue Service, with all its equipment, vehicles and rescuers, to cross the border at official border crossings or so-called green crossings without interruption, but also by helicopter if necessary for the effectiveness of the action. This means a systematic improvement of the security conditions in tourism, as well as greater security of the population of the cross-border region.
Mr. Sasho Tockov, President of the Ohrid Red Cross noted that the establishment of a system for efficient operation of the Mountain Rescue Service and the launch of the new project will complete the long-standing commitment to the security system and conditions for all tourists, lovers of the mountain, as well as for the mountain lovers and all residents of this region.
Mr. Nicola Bertolini from the EU Delegation for Cooperation and Development, for his part, pointed out that the European Union has always recognized and will support in the future all projects promoting cross-border cooperation as one of the most important priorities under EU support programs.

The Minister of Local Self-Government, Mr. Goran Milevski, the Director of the Customs Administration, Mr. Gjoko Tanasoski, as well as the mayors of the municipalities of Debrca and Gramsh, Mr. Zoran Nogacevski and Mr. Klodian Taçe, expressed their satisfaction for such successful projects, which affect not only the economic development of the region but also contribute to the promotion of tourism potentials of the municipalities.

Following the promotion, an initial workshop was organized at the St. Naum Hotel, with representatives of relevant institutions from both countries.


Mountain Safety Day

The Red Cross celebrates January 15 as a “Mountain Safety Day”. On this occasion, the Red Cross Ohrid Mountain Rescue Service used yesterday’s day to perform duties and fitness training, with the aim of installing a new radio communication transmitter, which will significantly improve the capacity of the Service. It is a radio transmitter, which will enable the Service a smooth communication within a radius of at least 50 km, and which will cover most of the territory on which the Mountain Rescue Service operates. The radio transmitter was purchased under the project “Lake Ohrid Region – Safe Destination for Adventure Tourism”, funded by the European Union, through the IPA Cross-Border Cooperation Program with Albania.

On this occasion, the Red Cross Mountain Rescue Service welcomes all colleagues, volunteers, and professionals from the rescue services around the world, with sincere wishes for а successful work, many joint mountain associations, and less rescue operations.

Opening ceremony of the MRS Operational and Training Center

Finally, another significant segment of our two-decade mission to develop the Mountain Rescue Service in the region around Lake Ohrid has finally been realized. Opening ceremony of the operational and training center, the first of its kind in our country and beyond. Many thanks to the European Union and the Ministry of Local Self-Government for the financial support provided through the cross-border cooperation program with Albania. Soon we will be releasing more details and a photo album of the opening ceremony.

P.S. Special thanks to the video to the Digital Box team