Meeting with the Director of the Directorate for Protection and Rescue

Today, at the Mountain Rescue Service Operational Center, a meeting was held with Mr. Adnan Dzaferoski, Director of the Directorate for Protection and Rescue, to whom, to our great satisfaction, was presented the work of Ohrid Red Cross MRS, the new operational and training center, as well as the projects we are implementing with financial support from the European Union through the cross-border cooperation program with Albania.

The possibility for future closer cooperation between MRS and DPR was discussed at the meeting, in order to increase the security of citizens, as well as to improve conditions for the development of adventure tourism.

The head of the MRS at the Red Cross Ohrid informed the Director Dzaferoski that the Service is ready to intervene 24 hours, 7 days a week on the territory it covers (municipalities: Ohrid, Struga, Vevcani, Debrca, Resen and Pogradec), as well as that, are ready to assist in rescue operations on complicated technical terrain throughout our country.

Director Dzaferoski expressed his satisfaction with the work of the MRS at the Ohrid Red Cross, emphasizing the readiness for closer further cooperation and support of the Service, in order to integrate it into the system for protection and rescue of the Republic of North Macedonia.

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 Rescue Service intervention on the Baba pass, mount Galicica

The Mountain Rescue Service, in the evening hours, was pulling out a car stuck on the Baba pass on Mount Galicica. Performing regular training activities and check-ups of the terrain and mountain conditions, tonight the Mountain Rescue Service team found a car stuck with two passengers at the Baba pass and assisted in pulling it out of the snow with an off-road vehicle. This pass of the road R-2332, through the mountain Galicica, is completely blocked off the snow. The MRS appeals to mountain lovers and winter adventurers to be extremely careful on this road, which currently has heavy snowfalls, frozen ground, and landslides, jeopardizing the safety of road users. We also remind you that the same road is restricted in winter, with only 9 km of traffic allowed, from Trpejca to Korita picnic area, while the rest is closed to traffic.

Ohrid Red Cross Mountain Rescue Service intervention

At 13:46 pm today, the Mountain Rescue Service received a notification from the Ministry of Interior Ohrid about an accident on rocky and inaccessible terrain in the “Labino” area. A team of six mountain rescuers arrived at the scene immediately, but unfortunately due to the severity of the fall and the seriousness of the injuries, it was impossible to do anything to save the life of the injured person. After falling from a high altitude, the victim’s body was found near the lakeside shore, where, with the support of a border police boat, the death was confirmed by an Emergency medical team, after which an appropriate inspection was conducted to determine the causes of the fall. The Ohrid Red Cross Mountain Rescue Service regrets the unfortunate event and appeals to all nature lovers to be especially careful when moving on rocky and steep terrain, where low temperatures lead to ice and danger of slipping, with potential for serious consequences.

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.

The first rescue intervention for the Mountain Rescue Service in 2020

On 13th of December, 2020 at 13:50, Red Cross Ohrid Mountain Rescue Service received a call for assistance by SVR Ohrid, for the evacuation of an injured person in an accident caused by a tractor on inaccessible mountain terrain. A four-man team immediately headed to the village of St. Openica, Ohrid, where they assisted the Emergency Medical Team in successful evacuation, immobilization, and transport of the injured person in the terrain vehicle, who sustained severe body injuries and was transported to the Special Orthopedics and Traumatology Hospital “St. Erasmus of Ohrid” for further treatment. The action ended at 14:59.

ST. CLEMENT’S CHARTER FOR MOUNTAIN RESCUE SERVICE

At the solemn academy held on December 12, 2019, on the occasion of St. Clement of Ohrid, at the Grigor Prlicev Cultural Center in Ohrid, the Mountain Rescue Service of the Ohrid Red Cross was awarded the highest municipal recognition “Charter of St. Clement of Ohrid – Patron of the City ”, for the successful implementation of the cross-border project and promotion of Ohrid and the region as a safe destination for adventure tourism.

The Charter was received by the Head of the Mountain Rescue Service Antonio Dodevski, who noted in his address that the volunteers are the main pillar of the Service and that this recognition belongs to them, and used the opportunity to thank the European Delegation for Financial Support, awarded through the IPA for cross-border cooperation with Albania.

We receive this recognition with great honor and responsibility to continue in the future with same pace in development and elevation of the Mountain Rescue to a higher level.

SIGNIFICANT ACKNOWLEDGMENT FOR THE SUCCESSFUL COOPERATION WITH THE MINISTRY OF DEFENSE

Yesterday, a delegation of the Ministry of Defense visited our operational center and presented us a gratitude plaque for effective cooperation so far. They expressed readiness to support and intensify cooperation in the future.

This recognition and the confidence we receive from the Ministry of Defense, as well as from other state institutions, are a guarantee that we are on the right track and an incentive to continue on the same course in our efforts to raise mountain rescue to a higher level according to international standards.

Thank you for your trust and we hope for more successful cooperation in the future.

A stormy week for the Mountain Rescue Service

The Ohrid Red Cross Mountain Rescue Service, from August 12th to August 18th, 2019, had extensive engagement, once again emphasizing the necessity of its existence. On August 12 and 13, a three-man field crew from MRS provided active support in extinguishing the forest fire in the area of ​​the village of Velmej, where in addition to its primary role in rescue in the event of an accident, it significantly assisted in transporting food and water to crews that were extinguishing the field, as well as touring and scouting with staff members to manage fire localization activities. In addition, on the weekend of August 17th and 18th, two teams from the MRS at two different locations secured mountain events with more than 650 participants. The first event, which was organized by the Brotherhood and Sisterhood of the Bigorski and Rajcica Monasteries, on the occasion of The St. Transfiguration took place at the peak of Krcin, altitude 2341 m . At this event there were about 600 participants from all over the state who attended a joint worship service at the top of Krcin. During the event, several smaller interventions and one more serious were recorded, in which a woman over fifty years old, due to weakness and heartburn, had to be evacuated from the mountain and transported to the nearest health facility in Rostuse, where she was referred for medical treatment. At this event, significant support for the Ohrid Red Cross Mountain Rescue Team were the Mountain Guides and the volunteers from the Red Cross First Aid team from Bitola, whose support was of great importance for effectively securing this truly massive mountain event. The second event took place on the mountain of Galicica on the night of August 17th, entitled “Full Moon Experience”, organized by Free Pass Ohrid, with about fifty participants who climbed the peak of Lako Signoj, altitude 1984 m, on a full moon. The event passed without registered intervention by the MRS. Below are photos of the mentioned activities.