Lavina SPA & Ski Lodge - Bansko

Lavina SPA & Ski Lodge - Bansko

Panorama, Razlog

Panorama, Razlog


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Weather/BNB fixing 25.01.20

20° Sofia 21° Plovdiv
20° Burgas 17° Stara Zagora
21° Varna 20° Rousse
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Kiril Rusev: Unified helicopter rescue system needed

05.11.2009
The new director of the Mountain Rescue Service Mr Kiril Rusev tells FOCUS News Agency about the dangers in winter-time mountain areas and about the problems of the Rescue Service.

FOCUS: Mr Rusev, what is expected to happen at the first ever MRS annual meeting scheduled 7 November?
Kiril Rusev: This is an annual meeting of all MRS delegates from around the country. The meeting will be attended by all 32 MRS teams in the country. The meeting will adopt the report by the current management of the organization. Guidelines for the next 3-5 years will be adopted too in accordance with the proposal by the Management Board, and a new Chairperson and Vice-chairperson of the Board of Directors will be appointed. The meeting will include a session of all team leaders with regard to communicating new recommendations and reporting level of readiness for the new winter season. The meeting will be attended by the BD Chairperson, the Director General and some of the deputy-directors of the MRS.

FOCUS: You are the MRS Director, what will be the responsibility of the future BD Chair post?
Kiril Rusev: The BD Chair is more of a representative post. The BD Chair presides over BD meetings with the BD functioning as a working committee providing instructions and guidelines for the overall activity and development of MRS. The BD also approves the Directorate Report and presents it to the National Commission of the Bulgarian Red Cross. This is how the MRS is structured. The organization includes more than 550 volunteer rescuers. The full-time staff with the Directorate numbers 42 people with 15 to 20 additional seasonal rescuers recruited for the winter season. The structure provides for all separate rescue teams to hold their meetings and appoint their delegates and the Annual Meeting is presided over by the Republican Commission or the Board of Directors as per the official documents.

FOCUS: What is the concept for the future development of the MRS?
Kiril Rusev: Last April we addressed the Council of Ministers with a request for a government subsidy and adoption of a three-year program. The subsidy is required for improving the MRS fleet – we need special equipment for snow and for the summer as well.

FOCUS: The previous director of the Service stated that the Service needed a helicopter. Has this problem not been solved yet?
Kiril Rusev: No. We sent the program we’d developed to the Ministries of Finance, of Defence, of Public Health and of Interior proposing adoption of a unified helicopter rescue system as with the resources available neither the MRS nor even the Bulgarian Red Cross may afford its own helicopters, staff and maintenance. Rescue agencies anywhere do not have their own helicopters but are provided assistance with police, army or gendarmerie helicopters. Such organizational and structural systems have been established even on legislative level. Our request and initiative regards the setting up of a similar system that the MRS would be a part of when it comes to helping and rescuing people in the mountains.

FOCUS: Have you figured out what kind of resource such a system would require?
Kiril Rusev: Yes, we have the examples of foreign systems in a great number of countries, including Romania, Greece, Serbia, which are making progress while Bulgaria is lagging behind despite all of its resources available. We have addressed the authorities but measures have not been undertaken. We are capable of handling any above-ground incidents, on rocks or in severe weather conditions, but we have trouble reaching the spot of respective incident quickly and we can’t guarantee timely help to people who undergo accidents in the mountains as long as we have no access to a helicopter rescue system and we need the government to take care of this problem.

FOCUS: Still, what sort of financing would such a system require?
Kiril Rusev: A private company recently made an offer to the respective ministries to provide, maintain and staff two helicopters for a three-year period for about 12 million BGN.

FOCUS: Is the mountain dangerous in the winter season?
Kiril Rusev: Winter mountains are dangerous. The snow cover is not yet that thick to be talking about avalanches but the winter has arrived. It’s cold, there’d ice and snow. Paths are hidden under snow and are likely to cause accidents, days are short and people get caught in the dark, get lost and then need help. Lots of the people are not aware of how cold it gets and go out unsuitably dressed. Lightly dressed tourists, who go out in a fine morning in December might easily be caught in a sudden blizzard, in which they would not be able to make it. This is one of the common dangers in November and December. When the big snow falls, we will hold a special conference on the opening of the ski season regarding the big resorts. This will happen around 15 December.

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