Gorska služba spasavanja Srbije

MRS of Serbia engagement during floods in Serbia

Engagement begins: 15 May 2014
Engagement ends: 22 May 2014
Engagement duration: 8 days

Total number of MRS of Serbia staff members engaged: 140 MRS members
Number of engagement cases: 300 cases
Number of paramedic procedures: 63 cases
Number of evacuations: 1288 evacuees

Engagement locations:

  • Čačak
  • Lešnica (Loznica)
  • Obrež (Varvarin)
  • Obrenovac
  • Prnjavor (Šabac)
  • Požarevac
  • Požega
  • Rakovica
  • Resnik
  • Stalać
  • Topola (Žabare)
  • Veliko Polje (Obrenovac)

Engagement description:
Thursday, May 15th
Upon receiving the emegency call for assitance from the relevant government authority, the MRS of Serbia formed the crisis HQ and immeditely mobilised its members. Teams were dispatched into critical locations immediately.

  • Two teams from the MRS – Belgrade squad were dispatched on a mission to the Čačak region to evaluate the situation and engage in search and rescue operations where necessary.
  • One team from MRS – Kruševac squad was dispatched to Topola region, Jasenica river, on a search and rescue mission for a member of the local firefighting brigade reported missing in flash flood.
  • One team from MRS - Požega was dispatched to help evacuation of trapped and endangered people in Požega area and villages.
  • One team from MRS – Belgrade was dispatched to assess the situation and help evacuation of trapped and endangered in the Lešnica region.
  • One team from MRS – Belgrade was dispatched to help evacuation of trapped and vulnerable in the flash flood affected areas of Rakovica and Resnik.
  • One team from MRS – Belgrade was dispatched to help evacuation of the trapped and vulnerable in the flash flood affected areas of Veliko Polje near Obrenovac.

Friday, May 16th
During the day the circumstances in and around Obrenovac deteriorate dramatically and this drives deployment of teams and resources. The situation worsens further during the day and into the night.

  • Seven MRS teams are deployed in Obrenovac in search and rescue/evacuation missions for the most vulnerable and exposed people.
  • One MRS team deployed on evacuation missions in the regions of Lešnica and Prnjavor.
  • One MRS team deployed in Topola continues the search and rescue mission in river Jasenica. They finally recover the body of the firefighter at around 3pm.

During the day MRS rescuers are constantly running the missions and shifts in search and rescue/evacuation using any and all floating devices at their disposal. More and more people, many of them vulnerable, are on the rooftops with flash floods now covering 2 story buildings. Communication methods become increasingly important and scarce. Radio Amateurs activate the emergency channels and put it to MRS’s disposal. Radio communication becomes predominant.
Full alert is issued to MRS squads in Boljevac, Kruševac, Požarevac , Niš and Vladičin Han.

Saturday, May 17th
During Saturday the deployment of MRS of Serbia was as follows:

  • One team from MRS - Kruševac squad is on a search and evacuate missions in the regions of Obrež (Varvarin) and vulnerable at risk around Stalać.
  • Ten MRS teams formed from squads from Belgrade, Sjenica, Požega, Čačak and Vladičin Han) continue with evacuation effort in Obrenovac where the situation is most critical.

Overall control is maintained from the crisis HQ, but due to the deployment balance MRS formed a local control centre in Obrenovac to coordinate missions and shifts in Obrenovac engagement.

Sunday, May 18th
On Sunday authorities formed the local emergency HQ and information centre in Obrenovac. MRS’s control centre was tagged to this one, so control setup is one overall and a local coordination unit in Obrenovac. Overall situation in Obrenovac has improved and many more teams are helping in evacuation.

  • Five MRS teams continue with evacuation effort in Obrenovac as well as dispatching the critical items such as drinking water and urgent drugs for the most vulnerable.

Monday, May 19th
After the authorities commanded the immediate and urgent total evacuation of all Obrenovac inhabitants, the MRS continues to be engaged in the evacuation by being deployed to the most hard to reach spots. The MRS is operating around the clock.

  • Seven MRS teams is operating in shifts around the clock and, using all kinds of floating devices and lorries/tractors, we’re approaching to the most vulnerable at the hardest to reach spots and evacuating them to safety.

From the beginning of emergency situation the Primary control centre is situated at the Obrenovac HQ together with the Emergency HQ in Belgrade established by the authorities.

Tuesday, May 20th
With the situation in Obrenovac mostly under control, the MRS deployment is as follows:

  • SOne team from MRS squads from Belgrade and Požarevac is on a search and rescue mission in Požarevac.
  • Five MRS teams continue with evacuation effort in Obrenovac as well as dispatching the critical items such as drinking water and urgent drugs for the most vulnerable.

Wednesday, May 21st
MRS engagement has been reduced to ‘on call’ teams deployed in both the Belgrade HQ and the local Obrenovac HQ. Deployment as follows:

  • Two teams from MRS Belgrade squad ‘on call’.

Thursday, May 22nd
The engagement is winding down. There is one MRS team ‘on call’ deployed within the HQ.