Emergencies Ministry to deploy new Arctic mine rescue teams
In 2022, the Russian Ministry for Civil Defense, Emergencies and Natural Disasters Relief will launch an ambitious project to set up new Arctic mine rescue teams.
“Next year, we will start establishing a multi-role Arctic rescue center in Pevek, and there are plans to set up new paramilitary mine rescue teams in the Arctic zone under a large-scale project,” said Acting Emergencies Minister Alexander Chupriyan.
According to Chupriyan, the Emergencies Ministry prioritizes efforts to maintain Arctic safety and security in view of the expanding economic projects, the development of the Northern Sea Route and the thriving local tourism industry.
“The nature of risks is changing, and fires now break out even in Far North areas, too. This year, we witnessed a rare Arctic wildfire with the tundra burning while the temperature was minus 15 degrees Celsius. Increased human presence in the Arctic zone creates additional risks of emergency situations,” he explained.
Chupriyan recalled that, in September 2021, the Ministry had conducted a large-scale Arctic exercise for the first time. It involved 6,000 specialists from 28 ministries and agencies. “During the exercise, we tested over 40 new types of equipment and accomplished more than 50 research and development tasks,” he said.
According to Chupriyan, the Ministry is planning to invite the developers of fire-fighting and rescue technology and equipment to attend the most significant exercises, so that they can test their inventions in real-life conditions.
“Moreover, we suggest conducting comparative tests during exercises, illustrating the relative capabilities of several types of technology, equipment or gear with similar functions, but manufactured by different companies,” he said.
On the whole, the exercise showed that Russia can independently tackle the entire range of natural and anthropogenic threats in this region.
“It would be quite hard to develop the Arctic without the Emergencies Ministry,” he said in conclusion.