If we’ve learned anything from the last 12 months, it’s that you never know what’s just around the corner. Unpredictable pandemics and earthquakes have sent shock waves through our society and psyches. Another thing we’ve learned is that, in such unsettled times, it’s sometimes essential to lean on the shoulders of others, to ask for help.
That’s what HGSS – the Croatian Mountain Rescue Service do. They help others in times of need, at times when they may never have suspected they would need help. Within the last 48 hours, harsh weather conditions have visited some areas of Croatia leaving terrain difficult and dangerous to pass. Yesterday saw the identification of bodies belonging to two Croatian men tragically killed in the mountains by such harsh conditions. When people get lost or trapped in such terrain and conditions, HGSS are usually among the first to be dispatched. Each of its members are volunteers. They leave their homes, their families, their workplaces to venture out into unknown situations to help complete strangers. It’s a shame such actions are not always reciprocated.
HGSS Nova Gradisak pictured at work recently in the earthquake-affected area of Petrinja © HGSS
Nova Gradiska vandals thought little of any consequences when, sometime over the last 36 hours, they attacked a veteran HGSS vehicle parked up in their town. The relatively minor damage caused by the Nova Gradiska vandals nevertheless rendered the vehicle inoperable. It was later towed away and ineligible for emergency calls. With their mindless, petty actions, the Nova Gradiska vandals have placed lives – perhaps some within their own community, even their family – at risk.
The vehicle attacked by Nova Gradiska vandals belonged to the HGSS team of Slavonski Brod. It was between shifts of service in the earthquake-affected area of Sisak-Moslavina. Nova Gradiska vandals ripped off the vehicle’s rearview mirror, its windscreen wipers and both of its number plates, front and back.
Both license plates – front and back – plus the rearview mirror and the windscreen wipers were torn off in the senseless and dangerous attack © HGSS
Luckily, Slavonski Brod’s HGSS team has four vehicles in their fleet and they were able to continue their efforts in Sisak-Moslavina. However, the senseless actions of the Nova Gradiska vandals mean there is now one less vehicle at hand to cover the very area in which they themselves live. Here’s hoping they, their families, friends and neighbours don’t unexpectedly need to lean on the shoulders of HGSS over forthcoming days.