Happy 65th Birthday to True Croatian Heroes

Total Croatia News

Croatian Mountain Rescue Service saved 12 000 lives in more than 6 000 rescue operations 

One of the most renowned Mountain Rescue Services in the world, Croatian HGSS celebrates its 65th anniversary on February 18, 2016. Formed as the internal service of the Croatian Mountaineering Association back in the 1950s, it has grown into a service with more than 6000 rescue operations during which they have saved 12 000 lives. Their amazing work over the last six and a half decades was well documented and you can see it in a special photo exhibition at the Split Photoclub.

Croatian Mountain Rescue Service specialises is rescue operations from rugged terrains and in difficult weather conditions, that is in any situation requiring special rescuing skills and equipment. This includes accidents in mountain regions, rocks, caves, steep and other rugged terrains, as well as accidents that occur in particularly bad weather conditions.

Croatian Mountain Rescue Service gathers the fittest Croatian rock climbers, speleologists, mountaineers and skiers, specially trained in administering first aid and in all mountain rescue techniques, including helicopter-aided rescuing and search parties in rugged terrain involving the use of rescue dogs. Croatian Mountain Rescue Service has around 1000 members in 25 stations across Croatia, including 25 medical doctors and 12 instructors and they all watch over us 24/7.

Croatian Radio Television caught up with the trainers and members during their annual winter rescue techniques training on Platak and congratulated them on their birthday.

So what skills do you need to have to become a member of HGSS? You have to know both winter and summer rescuing techniques, speleology, meteorology, first aid and basic medical procedures….we have to know all this like a song, says Jelena Mijić from HGSS Zadar.

Over the years, we never spared any time or effort to use and even invent new rescue methods. We have figured out how to provide optimal help with limited resources and with things that fit into one backpack – says Vinko Prizmić the head of Croatian Mountain Rescue service.

Not only did they figure out how to do it, but their methods are so renowned Mountain Rescue Service members from across Europe now come to Croatia for training. Training session currently taking place in Platak was organised for the Mountain Rescue Service of Wales: „The course is fantastic. Your team is helping us grasp all the necessary techniques. We have learned so many new skills during our stay since your team is just superb at what it does and we hope we will be able to use them all this once we return home – said Dani Hinton from the Wales Mountain Rescue Service.

And while the team from Wales is full of praise for their Croatian colleague, even many Croatians don’t know that our Mountain Rescue Service is responsible for the implementation of the 112 rescue system as well as the  implementation of helicopter and speleo-diving search and rescue operations.

All we can say is – we are proud to call them our own!


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