Internationally deployable rescue teams have to undergo regular training. This is why Switzerland was conducting an international disaster relief exercise (SimEX) for the second time since 2011.
On 13-15 March 2012, Swiss Rescue conducted training exercises near Geneva on the search and rescue of people trapped under collapsed buildings.
In receiving certification of compliance with UN standards, Switzerland has been recognized as fulfilling the international operational requirements for search and rescue teams. This video sows the certification exercise “Insieme” that took place from 17 to 21 November 2008.
Swiss Rescue is the mission element which can be immediately deployed abroad primarily following earthquakes for the purpose of locating and rescuing buried victims.
Rescue is made up of private and public, civilian and military partner organizations which fall under the management of Swiss humanitarian aid. It is specialized in locating and rescuing victims from
the rubble left behind by earthquakes abroad and for providing initial emergency medical care.
Swiss Rescue is composed of about 100 persons (generalists and additional specialists, dog handlers, rescuers and emergency doctors), 12 search dogs and 17 tons of material. Depending on the situation only single modules can be used.
Swiss Rescue can be ready for take-off within eight to twelve hours after a decision is made to deploy and can operate up to ten days autonomously. It works together with eight partner organizations as follows:
- Swiss Humanitarian Aid Unit SHA
The Delegate for Humanitarian Aid and SHA Head decides on the deployment of a mission, the financing of which is ensured by the SDC’s Department for Humanitarian Aid and SHA.
- Swiss Seismological Service SED
alerts the on-call service of the Department for Humanitarian Aid and SHA.
- Swiss Air Rescue REGA
supports the initial assessment immediately after the alarm and, if necessary, provides an airplane for the reconnaissance team.
- REDOG – Swiss Search and Rescue Dog Association
provides search and rescue dog teams.
- Swiss Army / Rescue Troops
provides rescue specialists and, if necessary, military air transportation.
- Swiss Red Cross (SRC)
delivers and distributes aid supplies.
- Swiss International Air Lines
supplies a wide-bodied jet.
- Airport Zurich AG
Provides logistical services at Zurich Airport.
Additional Information and Documents
- Twelve countries to practise rescue operations in Kriens
- Swiss Rescue practised emergency preparedness