Revised plan for activation and use of state aircraft for emergency tasks of protection, rescue and assistance
Today, on Thursday, 6 October 2022, the ministers of defence, the interior, health and infrastructure signed an updated plan for activation and use of state aircraft for emergency tasks of protection, rescue and assistance.
The increasing need for the use of helicopters and aeroplanes in various tasks of protection and rescue demanded a revision of the plan for activation and use of state aircraft for emergency tasks of protection, rescue and assistance in the event of natural and other disasters, emergency medical assistance, and search and rescue of aircraft, which was adopted almost twelve years ago.
The Commander of Civil Protection, representatives of the Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Infrastructure, the Ministry of Health, the Administration of the Republic of Slovenia for Civil Protection and Disaster Relief, the Slovenian Armed Forces, the Police, the Civil Aviation Agency, and the Mountain Rescue Service participated in the update of the plan. The inter-ministerial coordination took place between the ministries of defence, health, the interior and infrastructure in several phases.
One of the most important changes refers to the establishment of medical dispatch centres. The plan for activating helicopters for helicopter emergency medical assistance to transport ill or injured people to healthcare service or between hospitals has been changed, as the powers to activate the helicopters are transferred from the Administration of the Republic of Slovenia for Civil Protection and Disaster Relief or the Emergency Notification Centre of the Republic of Slovenia to the medical dispatch service or dispatch centres in Ljubljana and Maribor. In this way, the time to activate aircraft will be shortened significantly and, as a result, the time of arrival of teams will be shorter, which means a significantly faster care of the injured or ill people.
The procedures of mutual informing between the notification centres, operational and communication centres of the Police, medical dispatch centres and the joint operational centre of the Slovenian Armed Forces are also defined more clearly. The Police regularly uses its helicopters to participate in mountain rescue missions. It was important for the Police that the presence of a police officer in the mountain rescue team during the peak season and off-season was defined, as this is assessed by the operational and communication centre.
The plan was also amended with content referring to transport between hospitals and transport of children in incubators. The composition of rescue teams was amended to observe various types of activities (rescue in the event of natural and other disasters with an emphasis on mountain rescue, helicopter emergency medical assistance, transport between hospitals, paediatric incubator transport, and search and rescue of aircraft) and the types of available helicopter.
The revised plan also defines the primary competence of helicopter teams. Helicopter emergency medical assistance and rescue in the event of natural and other types of disasters will be primarily implemented by the Slovenian Armed Forces, while the Police Aviation Unit will carry out the search of aircraft. In the case of additional needs for helicopter emergency medical assistance or when helicopters of the Slovenian Armed Forces are not available, these transports will be implemented by the helicopters of the Police Aviation Unit if available.
The procedures of search and rescue of aircraft were harmonised with the aviation regulations (particularly the Decree on the provision of search and rescue services of aircrafts). For the needs of protection, rescue and assistance, aircraft from abroad may also be used.
Finally, the plan was supplemented with the data on the additional base of the helicopter emergency medical assistance in Maribor.