Many communities have good capabilities for local emergency response and have organized volunteers with local knowledge and valuable competence from various professions. There is a need to identify best practices of utilizing the voluntary and industry resources in the best possible way and to their optimal capacity. Perhaps there is also a need to identify the relevant stakeholders: who they are and where, what capabilities and knowledge do they have, what challenges are they facing at the monent, and how to increase cooperation and training together? The increase in tourism has led to some increase in workload for rescue teams, therefore keeping the motivation high and building trust within the voluntary groups is important.
There could be chances on developing capabilities for example with purchasing equipment that are suitable for local communities, training key people from the community to train other volunteers, and developing new technology that would help with coordination, communication and evacuations. One innovative approach is found in Lapland, where the authorities, voluntary organizations and tourism operators have established a course for local experienced tour guides to take part in SAR operations, called the Arctic Rescue Guide course. Motivating tour operators to cooperate with authorities and voluntary organizations and utilizing all assets in the most efficient way possible would enhance local response.
If there are any other good ideas, perhaps there would be possibilities for new project ideas together with voluntary organizations. How to start developing cooperation, training and local response further?
Picture by: Finnish Red Cross/Finnish Border Guard