Despite the cold, misty conditions, the snowy peak of Trebević Mountain was the venue for specialist, emergency training on Wednesday 6 February for the Gorska Služba Spašavanja (GSS – Mountain Rescue Service) Trebević, and the Multi National Battalion (MNBN) from EUFOR in Bosnia and Herzegovina (EUFOR BiH) on Wednesday 6 February.
Led by qualified mountaineering instructor, Lieutenant Colonel Oliver Pilles, the 20-strong MNBN team of Austrian, Turkish and Hungarian soldiers led training sessions on emergency rescue techniques from the cable car gondolas, first aid and Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), and map reading/navigation.
Thirty members of the GSS Trebević took part in the training in order to enhance their ability to deal with a variety of emergencies and accident scenarios; although experienced in their field of emergency rescue, the unique environment of the cable car poses particular of issues for the team.
The Sarajevska žičara (Sarajevo cable car) originally opened in 1959, and closed due to maintenance issues in 1989; during the 1992-95 Bosnian war it was completely destroyed; it was reconstructed between 2017 and 2018, and officially reopened on 6 April 2018
Observing the training, Esad Tanović from J P Sarajevo (Public Company Sarajevo), which runs the Sarajevska žičara, said: “Our annual emergency training plan involves national and cantonal emergency services. We would like to thank EUFOR for their efforts today, and we look forward to more co-operation and training with them in the future”.
The GSS Trebević is a voluntary, non-profit, public service, which specializes in search and rescue from inaccessible terrain and difficult weather conditions.
When asked about today’s event, the GSS Trebević team leader, Faruk Kadić said: “The mountain rescue team is well-trained for emergencies in difficult conditions. Today’s training activities with EUFOR have given my team an opportunity to exchange knowledge on evacuations systems and the management of injured people in the cable car”.
At the end of the training exercise, the MNBN commander, Lieutenant Colonel Pilles said: “It is a real pleasure to see the soldiers from EUFOR’s multinational battalion training with teams from the Sarajevska žičara and the Gorska Služba Spašavanja Trebević. It has been a great opportunity for us all to learn from each other”.
The main objective for EUFOR BiH is to support the local authorities in providing a safe and secure environment for the population (in accordance with UNSCR 2443 (2018)); EUFOR soldiers regularly train with the Police, Armed Forces of BiH and other organisations to deliver the mission’s main objective.