The project is aimed at teaching young rescuers to work in a multi-national platoons to learn how to act in an international team of first responders. The training consists of search and rescue operations using basic rescue technology including extrication, first aid, rope rescue transportation of victims, rescuing from confined spaces and rescuing at height and from depths. They also learn leadership and team working skills during the event along with language and cultural activities. Training will take place at the largest rescue training centre in Europe.

Young Lifesavers from Devon, Somerset, Guernsey and Sussex are representing RLSS UK at this 10 day event while volunteer leaders are from Somerset, Sussex, and Sheffield leaders.

Countries attending the event include Azerbaijan, Iceland, Germany, UK, Hungary, Kyrgyzstan, Siberia, Turkey, Serbia, Belarus and five other regions of Russia.

The event will end with a final exercise such as an earthquake which the teams of young people will attend and carry out search and rescue/ recovery operations.

Blog from RLSS UK participants of the Urban search & Rescue Youth Training in Russia.

Friday 31 July 2015

Today we had to get up very early and drive to Heathrow airport where we had to wait for 4 hours until we could board the flight. The flight lasted another 3 hours but luckily we had in-flight entertainment where most of the group had working TVs and watched action films – we had to tell Fergus the end of “Transformers” as we landed before he could finish his film – he was not happy.

We met USAR representatives and they took us to board a minibus and we drove for 3 hours through the traffic! Interesting driving techniques in Russia! George is passionate about Sark.

We got stuck in traffic but we finally arrived at our destination.  We are all safe and sound although extremely tired!

Saturday, 1 August

Today we woke up at 7.30 and did some morning exercise that can only be compared to some sort of Zumba. Breakfast was a bit of an adjustment with cheesy pasta being served. We did a parade to the Opening Ceremony and Maddie broke the GB flag. Language training was not the most exciting experience, being taught by a Russian the name of technical equipment was strange as we already speak English. Anton taught some of the Belarussians and Hungarians some English to do with the tools we will be using during our experience. There was a car in the middle of the room and we were all really confused as to how the car got there. In the evening there was entertainment that consisted of a group of singers and ballroom dancers. Everyone was stood around politely watching so we thought we’d shake it up a bit. Harry, Fergus, Izzy and Maddie (the dribble squad) danced into the centre of the square and then people started to join us. Soon everyone was dancing and having loads of fun, #trendsetters. It was late in the evening by the time we stopped dancing and did our presentations. Our ceilidh dancing was on point. We went to bed because we were so tired from all the dancing we did!!!

Sunday, 2 August 2015

Today whilst being greeted with the usual “unusual” food we started the first day of training. Today’s training included first aid with flood rescue. Life rings and an interesting Russian contraption that was used at the end of line throws (it’s safe to say Liz was very excited!). We had never heard of the rescue tool before so it took some time to get the hang of it, after the five minutes of translation.

The other half of training consisted of crossing a body of water via ropes attached to trees – two ropes were tied to trees as we climbed across snugly in a harness! Safe to say not all of us left dry! Unfortunately for the larger rescuers, instead of a swift ascent to the other side they were treated with a slow heave through the dirty depths of the “lake” (pond!)

After the training we had the usual supper and then went on to listen to a live brass Band followed by presentations by each country. They consisted of singing, dancing and pre-made travel advertisements. The largest wakeup call was that of a necklace of pretzels and chocolate wafers! Before they could say “time for bed” there was a stampede to the dorms!

Monday, 3 August 2015

Woke up at 7:30 again today after 7 hours sleep. We went to the morning exercises which were more vigorous than previous times. We then went to breakfast which was the best yet (not saying much) with a weird egg bread combination and a savoury cake thing. We got changed and headed for the morning training. Because we weren’t allow to walk on grass today (for some Russian reason) we had to walk for 5 extra minutes compared to earlier days. Our platoon went to simulated plane/train/helicopter crash sites. We were taught basic emergency first aid, practiced extracting casualties from the plane and the helicopter and practiced setting up a pressure system to put out a fire.

Lunch was unanimously voted the best meal yet by the group, possibly due to the presence of inspectors, the tuck shop opened and several people from the UK bought an enormous amount of food! We then went to the training ground to do a more advanced version of the morning. We used water to simulate firefighting which was like trying to wrestle a boa constrictor and juggle simultaneously. We used live casualties instead of dummies to understand casualty care and we think everyone walked away healthy and respected. We were finally discharged and we lounged with the group before heading out to the night’s entertainment. Harry got into a ‘dance off’ against a kid from Azerbaijan and won, it was a competition of competitions!