Bosnia and Herzegovina come first in Search and Rescue Competition

Tue, 28 May 2024 11:42 GMT
Bosnia and Herzegovina came first in the Balkan Countries Interuniversity Search and Rescue Competition.
Bosnia and Herzegovina come first in Search and Rescue Competition

Bosnia and Herzegovina International Sarajevo University came first in the "Balkan Countries Interuniversity Search and Rescue Competition" held in Edirne.

In the competition hosted by the Edirne Platform for Cooperation of Balkan Cities of the Governorship of Edirne, 168 students from Greece, Bulgaria, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Moldova, North Macedonia, Romania and Trakya, Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart, Tekirdağ Namık Kemal, Kırklareli and Bandırma Onyedi Eylül universities were trained by AFAD teams for 3 days.

After completing theoretical and practical trainings, the teams participated in competitions in the stages of entering the wreckage, working in the wreckage, artificial climbing, tent building and search and rescue in nature.

After the competitions, an award ceremony was held at Trakya University Karaağaç Campus.

Edirne Governor Yunus Sezer, in his speech at the ceremony, said that disasters shake humanity and consciences radically.

Stating that people rush to each other's aid beyond borders in disasters, Sezer reminded that they had seen a good example of cooperation in the earthquakes centred in Kahramanmaraş.

Stating that teams from AFAD, municipalities and universities took part in rescue operations in the earthquake, Sezer said, "But beyond that, search and rescue units from more than 100 countries have been in the region since the first moment of the disaster and participated in search and rescue activities there. The first of these was our search and rescue troops from the Balkans."

Stating that the borders of the Balkan countries are close to each other and they are facing the same problems, Sezer said:

"It is very important that Edirne, as a centre, establishes search and rescue units to include the whole Balkans, and that it addresses all Balkan countries, and even takes part in the response to disasters all over the world, and that an initiative is launched in this sense. This was one of the most important activities of the Balkan Cities Cooperation Edirne Platform."

Sezer thanked AFAD President Okay Memiş and his team for their support to the teams participating in the competition.

Stating that there are more than 1 million volunteers in Turkey, Sezer noted that when a disaster strikes, volunteers leave their professions and stand by the disaster victims.

Stating that 250 people participated in the competition together with volunteers, Sezer said that the number will increase next year and the activities will continue.

Rector of Trakya University Prof. Dr. Erhan Tabakoğlu said that the studies started with the support of the Balkan Universities Union.

Stating that they contacted the member universities of the Union about the competition and that students from the most beautiful universities of the most important countries of the Balkans participated in the competition, Tabakoğlu said, "We were in Elbistan after the 6 February earthquakes. We had participated in the Gölcük earthquake before, we had experience. But we thought that we would be happy if we could gain this knowledge and experience by involving our young people, especially our university-age young people and volunteers in this work. We have 15 teams ready. They will be able to come with a single phone call in case of any disaster."

Deputy Mayor of Edirne Municipality Ertuğrul Tanrıkulu stated that training activities are very important for disaster preparedness and that Edirne has an important experience in this field.

AFAD Provincial Director Elvan Kaya stated that the competition was organised to increase cooperation in disasters and thanked the institutions that supported the organisation.

After the speeches, the winning teams were announced.

International University of Sarajevo from Bosnia and Herzegovina came first, University Ukshin Hoti Prizren from Kosovo came second and Bandırma Onyedi Eylül University came third.

While the Çorlu Municipality team came first in the competitions of setting up tents and searching for missing persons in the field among accredited non-governmental organisations, the Kırklareli team came first in the competitions of setting up tents and searching for missing persons in the field among volunteer AFAD teams.

Trophies, certificates of participation and gifts were given to the ranking teams.

The Bosnia and Herzegovina team, which won the first prize, unfurled the Turkish and Bosnia and Herzegovina flags and the Palestinian flag on the dais.

Then the first team carried out an intervention drill to a collapsed building in the training area.

The ceremony was also attended by the directors of the institutions, AFAD Search and Rescue Department Head Recep Şalcı, Greek Consul Aristidis Radiopoulos.

Source: AA

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