Russian rescue service rated one of the best in the world

In the year 2005, which is drawing to its end, rescuers of the Russian Emergency Ministry saved over 90,000 people

The Russian ministry dealing with civil defense, emergency situations and the liquidation of consequences, caused by natural disasters celebrates its 15th anniversary today, on December 27, 2005. The history of the ministry started on December 27, 1990, when the Council of Ministers signed the decree about the establishment of a group of rescuers. Russian rescuers

Sergei Shoigu chaired the new department on 17 April 1991, and has been the head of the Russian Emergency Service ever since for 15 years already. The group of rescuers was transformed into the Ministry for Emergency Situations, EMERCOM, in January of 1994. The ministry became in charge of civil defense troops and the State Fire-Fighting Service.

According to the information from the press service of the Russian EMERCOM, the employees of the ministry took part in over 200,000 various rescuing operations during 15 years. Hundreds of thousands of human lives have been saved both in Russia and abroad as a result of those efforts. The ministry conducted over 11,500 special operations in 2005 alone, which saved the lives of some 90,000 people.

Russian rescuers participated in the international humanitarian campaign in January and February of 2005. The campaign was organized after the mammoth Asian tsunami of 2004. The mobile hospital organized by Russia's EMERCOM in Sri Lanka helped more than 3,500 tsunami victims.

In March of the current year the air force of the ministry delivered 1,235 tons of fuel to freezing settlements in Russia's Kamchatka region (the Far East). In April of the current year the rescuing teams of the ministry were helping those who suffered from a powerful quake in Indonesia.

In September of 2005 the airplanes of the Russian Emergency Ministry delivered humanitarian aid to the USA after the destructive Hurricane Katrina. Russian rescuers worked in Pakistan in October and November, where over 73,000 people were killed with a powerful earthquake. Medical aid was provided to 2,532 quake victims, 920 of them children. Russian specialists evacuated over 80 individuals from mountainous regions of Pakistan too. About 170 tons of humanitarian cargoes were urgently delivered to the disaster-stricken area. Finally, specialists of the Russian EMERCOM took an active part in the liquidation of the ecological catastrophe at the end of the closing year, when the explosion of a Chinese chemical plant polluted the Amur River.

Presently, the Russian Emergency Ministry (EMERCOM) is a multifunctional system of departments that work for people's safety. President Putin stated Monday that Russia's major rescue service must stay a highly-efficient structure capable of handling both current and potential threats. “The state is directly interested in providing Russian rescuers with all up-to-date technologies and equipment,” the president added.

The head of state said that Russia would continue to help the international community in overcoming the consequences of emergent situations, man-caused disasters and ecological crises. “Our country possesses substantial means to offer urgent assistance to people in need in any part of the globe. Russia's stance will remain unchanged at this point: There is no “somebody else's grief,” Putin said.

The head of the Russian EMERCOM, Sergei Shoigu, said that Russian emergency services participated in over 30 international operations during the 15 years of the ministry's history. According to foreign experts' estimates, Russians emergency services have been included in the top five of world's best rescue services. “This is a very serious accomplishment, which we are all proud of,” the minister emphasized. “Many countries of the world study Russian rescuers' experience,” Shoigu added.

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Author`s name Olga Savka