Rescue project

A bilateral project that saves lives: working together on search and rescue

Croatian Mountain Rescue Service (HGSS) and Norske Redningshunder (Norwegian search and rescue dogs - NRH) worked on strengthening both countries capacity to respond to emergencies, related to both natural disasters and man-made events. The project has focused on dog training and equipment for K9 teams.

About the project 

“The sharing experiences between Croatia and Norway in Search and rescue in ruins” is a project funded under the Bilateral fund of the EEA and Norway Grants and implemented in Croatia during 2021. The idea for the project came after the earthquakes that hit the area of Zagreb and Banovina in 2020 and the extensive interventions of the Croatian Mountain Rescue Service in ruins.  

Norway has one of the most advanced mountain rescue services in the world, and NRH have particularly valuable experience in searching with K9 search teams from the rubble. They participated in the searchings after the earthquake in Turkey (1998), the earthquake in Iran (2003), the earthquake in Nepal (2014), the earthquake in Albania (2019) and the landslide in Gjerdrum, Norway (2020).  

Thanks to the project, the NRH and HGSS exchanged experiences and best practices between the two countries in search and rescue teams in dealing with scenarios that involve ruins. The sharing of knowledge and expertise in rescuing people trapped in collapsed buildings, mines, or other similar structures was also a topic during encounters.  

The cooperation between Croatia and Norway in the field of civil protection and emergency management was enhanced and the friendship and understanding between the two countries strengthened thanks to this project. In addition to good bilateral cooperation between the two countries, the project positively impacted the wider international community by sharing the knowledge and best practices gained during the implementation. It served as a model for other countries to follow in improving their search and rescue capabilities and contribute to global efforts in reducing the impact of disasters on humans.  

Although compared to some other projects this might seem modest in size and funding, its impact tells a different story. This project is an excellent example of how by working together we can – literally - save lives. 

Rescue dog