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The voluntary rescue organisation Edelweiss has been incepted in 1996 and was formally registered in the Regional Voluntary Organisation Register in 1997 as a specialist in Civil Protection in the Calabrian region.

Edelweiss is made up of 40 members.

The scope of its work is to provide assistance in Civil Protection & Humanitarian Aid in Emergency situations.

The Areas of Specific Expertise of this organisation can be listed as follows:

  • Light USAR;
  • Rope Rescue;
  • Water Rescue;
  • Swift Water Rescue;
  • Rescue Diving;
  • Use of Electronic Equipment in SAR (e.g. thermal imagery; sonar sensors, amongst others).
  • This NGO particularly works in the region of Calabria in cases of humanitarian and catastrophic emergencies such as in the aftermath of earthquakes. Edelweiss offers its services to the Regional Civil Protection Department only in major natural disasters and in major emergencies.

    The members of this organisation are selected by means of an interview and when they are chosen they will then be given training by professionals. Moreover, Officials of the Calabria (region) Civil Protection Department issued reference letters for members of Edelweiss to vouch for their abilities. Edelweiss is a founding member of EVOLSAR.

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    The Emergency Fire & Rescue Unit (EFRU) is a non-profit voluntary organization based in Malta, founded in 2006. Its primary aim is to provide emergency rescue services as a backup to the Civil Protection Department in case of major emergencies such as structural collapse, floods, fires, industrial incidents and natural disasters such as earthquakes and severe weather. The EFRU is entirely run by volunteers, of various ages, through their dedication and desire to promote life and assistance to the community. The EFRU invests heavily in the training of its members to a professional standard, such that they are prepared to assist safely and efficiently when called upon. On the local level, the EFRU also endeavours to promote safety through its Community Assistance Programme, providing courses for the general public and holding awareness sessions in schools and in public events. In all of this, EFRU embraces its motto, ‘Taking Pride in Helping Others’.

    However, the EFRU did not want to limit its reach to the Maltese territory. From its inception, the organisation has sought to network with similar foreign volunteer rescue teams. Starting with neighbouring Italy through the volunteer rescue organisation Edelweiss, the EFRU participated in several joint training exercises involving more and more teams. The success of such networking sparked the idea of setting up a European Association of Civil Protection Volunteer Teams – EVOLSAR, founded on the 10th of May 2014, in Soverato, Italy. EVOLSAR, of which EFRU is a founder member, was thus established with the aim of harmonising training in various disciplines of Civil Protection, and to prepare the member teams, through regular rescue simulations, for joint deployment to real international disasters. The EFRU was entrusted with the Presidency and Administration of EVOLSAR for two consecutive terms encompassing a total of six years, due to its experience and knowledge in the administration of the various needs of voluntary rescue organisations.

    In 2015, in its endeavour to add further value to the rescue volunteering arena, the EFRU successfully obtained Erasmus+ funds to manage and lead a multinational project: Synergising European Volunteer Rescue Teams (SEVRT) in an effort to standardise and harmonise training within EVOLSAR. An important outcome of this project was the manual intended for the new rescue volunteer, which provides an overview of each of the various rescue disciplines that are tackled by EVOLSAR teams, as well as a Rescue Simulation followed by a conference, attended by 120 foreign rescuers, held in Malta. This eventually inspired a second Erasmus+ project - VIATICUM, this time with Edelweiss as the lead team, following up on the previous project.

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    Since 2004, PUI FRANCE FRA1 (Pompiers de l’Urgence Internationale/International Emergency Firefighters) is a French humanitarian association certified by the United Nations and INSARAG, and provides relief and assistance to countries affected by natural or humanitarian disasters. With 130 professional or voluntary firefighters, PUI FRA1 decided to voluntarily put his experience and expertise at the service of people in need. Through innovative methods such as simulator earthquakes, specialized training and participation in public events PUI FRANCE has developed a collaboration with various organisations. In 2010, PUI become the first French rescue team recognized and classified by INSARAG and has developed his cooperation with USAR teams through INSARAG network and international exercises and conferences through EU Civil Protection Mechanism and exchange of civil protection experts (Italy, Germany..).

    During an emergency deployment, PUI is :

  • a team of 40 rescuers in complete autonomy for 10 days,
  • an ability to activate the 1st UN coordination post on field mission,
  • USAR Operation and logistics specialists,
  • more than 5 tons of specific equipment,
  • 5 search dogs specialized in locating trapped victims,
  • experts in collapsed buildings,
  • teams of emergency doctors and nurses,
  • a structure for triage and care of the injured,
  • three drones to explore hard-to-reach areas and to map,
  • two drinking water production units.
  • Our skills include:

  • Emergency earthquake response with specialists in search and rescue, detecting and locating trapped victims by means of dog-handler teams and electronic devices
  • Medical and paramedical care of victims of natural disasters
  • Humanitarian and logistical support
  • Distribution of drinking water
  • Certification of trainers and intervening actors in the civil protection’s areas of expertise: first aid, search and rescue, disaster search dog-handling, technological risks and CBRN, fire prevention, operational forecasting, forest fires…
  • Full operational coordination capacity and professional expertise (decision support)
  • Formulation of specific projects consistent with the institutional procedures
  • Technical support to help national leaders manage the influx of international means
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    E.T.S.M.-GR or so called EPOMEA is a non-governmental association, whose purpose is to protect life, health and property of both citizens and nature, organizing sports, training activities and cultural activities and dealing with volunteering. In particular providing help to the citizens in the form of rescue and humanitarian missions in the Greek territory or outside, in situations like: - Emergency and national needs dealing with disasters or serious environmental risks such as earthquakes, exclusions (snow, floods), fires, missing persons investigations (particularly in mountainous or maritime zones). The team offers assistance in manpower and technical material which is available from the organization for everyone worldwide. - Natural Disasters (earthquakes, floods, avalanches, environmental disasters). - Human and technological disasters (fires, massive accidents). – Human crises (wars and their outcomes). - In any other exceptional situation comparable to natural or human disasters. - Initiatives, inducements, direct actions and activities to protect the environment. For all the above, they organise training events and information sessions. Issues related to youth, enhancing their initiatives, international knowledge and environmental protection and control.

    EPOMEA Greece is involved in all kinds of fires and fire protection every year. Our specialized teams cover the areas of Seich Sou forest of Thessaloniki, Serres, Kilkis, Egaleo and Athens mounts, groves like Baroutadiko which is the largest in Attica region. All the members are certified by the Hellenic Fire Academy and participate not only to firefighting situations but also in prevention. The team has its own fire truck taking part in the tragic fires in Mati – Marathonas Attica (July 2018) and Kineta and Agioi Theodoroi in Attica (July 2018). EPOMEA GR is taking part in all fires in the mountains of Hymmetus, Parnitha and Grammatiko. EPOMEA teams are responsible for training the staff of various Municipalities (Egaleo & Thessaloniki etc) and participate together in exercises and real events within the boundaries of their municipalities and regions.

  • Provision of emergency humanitarian aid, food aid, development, and promotion of issues of volunteerism and community services in cooperation with all agencies, organizations and bodies of the European Commission or international agencies and organizations through related programs.
  • Improvement of social, standard and other levels, the building of institutions for the protection of human rights, social care and welfare, education and training.
  • Equality between men and women and any other form of assistance, such as restructuring and rehabilitation in the local communities, populations, and initiatives in order to contribute to the economic and social development of these communities.
  • Enhancement of social sensitivity and volunteering spirit. Help offered without any racial, religious, political, financial or other discrimination. Providing quality to people with disabilities and vulnerable groups. Organise events and seminars to train Greek adults and stakeholders (Ministry staff, VET centres etc) in volunteering. It has to be mentioned that EPOMEA – Greece is a member of EVOLSAR: A European association of Civil Protection Volunteer Teams with 13 teams from around the world and 9 countries.

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    SARTEAM EPS - Civil Protection Volunteer Association recognized by ANEPC (National Emergency and Civil Protection) as OVPC (Civil Protection Volunteer Organization) with an emergency intervention team that aims to support. It has all the material necessary for the operations it undertakes in its mission.

    Founded 2011

    With the slogan "Strength and Honor"

    Areas of intervention / action:

  • WSAR - Aquatic search and rescue (whitewater, flood, flooding, canyoning, rafting)
  • MSAR - Mountain search and rescue (low, high, ice, cliff, caving)
  • USAR - Urban search and rescue (fire, collapsed structures, confined spaces, structures and height)
  • SA - Animal Rescue (Animal rescue from difficult to reach places)
  • HAZMAT-DECON - Intervention in RNBQ, (Decontamination and Intervention)
  • K9 - Technical search with binomials
  • FIRE (FOREST) ​​- Support and initial combat sapper, evacuations and support logistical management.
  • HEALTH and LOGISTICS- Health support in catastrophe, conflict situations (nursing, first aid, beds, etc.)
  • ACT. OF CIVIL PROTECTION - Organization of simulations, training society, seminars etc.
  • Obs.:All operators have differentiated training and according to international models NFPA and INSARAG
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    S.R.T. is non- government and non- profitable organization intended to react in emergency situations.

    S.R.T. has been appointed, by the Serbian government, as an organization of special importance, for emergency response and rescue.

    SRT was founded on March 23, 2012, with the slogan "one saved a life, gives meaning to our existence"

    As a rescue organization, we have participated in numerous of domestic and international exercises. We also participated in numerous of emergency rescue situations in the Republic of Serbia.

    Besides the possibility of organizing seminars, training, courses, we have the possibility of action in the following areas :

  • WSAR - water rescue and search (whitewater, flood, flooding, canyoning, rafting)
  • SAR - Search and rescue ( Mountain , low, high, ice, caving)
  • USAR - Urban search and rescue (fire, collapsed structures, confined spaces, structures and height)
  • FIREFIGHTERS - rescue and firefighting
  • FOREST FIRE - rescue and firefighting
  • RESCUE DIVER - underwater rescue up to 150 m
  • We have various domestic and international certificates for our rescuers.

    An active member of the association EVOLSAR.

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    UCRS MADRID is an NGO dedicated to the search for missing persons with rescue dogs.Since its foundation, it has experienced great growth. In addition to the canine unit, UCRS has a psychological team and an I&D team. The scope of action is Spain, being able to mobilize in the shortest time possible to provide support in search operations. Search dogs are specialized in large areas, also doing work on collapsed structures and collapses. Its great olfactory capacity allows access to complicated and distant areas where the victims could be located.

    The TAR (Tecnología Aplicada al Rescate) team is in charge of developing its own technology at the service of search operatives, such as thermal cameras or platforms to control searches. The technology allows to control the route that the dog makes, detect possible harmful gases and monitor the vital signs of the dogs, always looking for their safety. In addition, the cameras allow a better view of the guides in situations where the optimal light conditions decrease. The team of psychologists is made up of professional experts in emergencies who work with families in the difficult moments after the disappearance. The emotional impact of a disappearance is important in families. This is why the presence of professional psychologists benefits the handling and management of the situation, facilitating the adaptation and avoiding possible subsequent symptoms.

    Thus, it is possible to provide a comprehensive response to the requirements of the situation, and to improve and maximize the effectiveness of searches. The people who form UCRS MADRID are all volunteers, putting their knowledge and time at the service of those who need it.

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    Serve On is a humanitarian response charity whose dedicated volunteers help communities in their hour of need, at home or abroad.

    Serve On was set up to give new purpose to former military personnel, but Serve On is not just for veterans. Our selfless volunteers are from all walks of life and of all ages, from 14 to 65+, from emergency services responders to carpenters, nurses, students, office workers, electricians and many others.Our volunteers use their experience and skills not only to create highly trained rescue teams – like the International Response Team (IRT), Community Resilience Teams (CRTs), Rescue Rookies and Canine Rescue Team - but to mentor young, marginalised or disadvantaged members of their community.

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    OPVE is an officially registered nation-wide non-profit volunteer rescue, civil protection and educational association with main goals to ease the vulnerability of population in case of disasters within the framework of and in close cooperation with official disaster management and law enforcement forces of Hungary.

    Our association is one of the leading volunteer civil protection organizations in Hungary. Our association were established in 2004, and operating with more than 100 volunteers. We possess official certificates issued by Hungarian National Disaster Management General Directorate in flood defense, urban search and rescue, volunteer fire fighting, technical rescue, evacuation, field medical support, first aid, ABC defense, and deconatmination, command and control and logistics.

    Association is a nationally accredited adult educational organization and puts great emphasis on proper theoretical education and practical training of it’s members. OPVE also provides certified courses to other organizations. All courses undergo the scrutiny of official certifying bodies. Being one of the leading volunteer rescue organizations in Hungary, besides possessing valuable experience in dealing with volunteers and promoting volunteer causes, OPVE puts great emphasis on international relations, exchange of expertise in order to implement successful rescue and volunteer practices from abroad. OPVE is an affiliate member of the International Civil Defence Organization and is a full member of EVOLSAR and FEMERAID.

    OPVE possesses the following proven competences and experience:

  • general civil protection and humanitarian activities, including evacuation of population from hazardous zones, operating temporary shelters,
  • flood protection, including organizing and managing aides from the population, other smaller organizations,
  • first aid in large (10,000+) venues, festivals. Operation of mobile First Aid base, first responder technical rescue and firefighting mobile units
  • logistics which enables OPVE to put up a universal mobile tent base with independent duplex radio communication unit, suited for different activities ranging from the First Aid base to Command Centre, Base of Operations, shelters.
  • technical rescue in case of large natural disaster, including clearing up the debris from the roads.
  • Urban Search and Rescue operations, including rope rescue capabilities
  • team of well organized English-speaking instructors who are experienced in developing rescue courses for different level of expertise and are able to tailor such courses for individual needs. Key persons possess numerous certifications (Red Cross, ICDO, FEMA), regularly attend foreign training courses and exercises, have experience in teaching, speak English, have experience in organizing large-scale complex rescue exercises.
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