Route M1 from Moscow to Saint Petersburg is monitored by a Ministry of Emergency Situations helicopter. Today we have a chance to watch a test rescue flight of a Ka-32А11BC. It’s the Tver Region, -24.7C and we are boarding the helicopter.
The helicopter’s cockpit.
“Ministry of Emergency Situations of the Russian Federation”.
This system allows reporters to videotape with the helicopter door open.
The Ka-32А11BC is a helicopter designed for Ministry of Emergency Situations. It can participate in search-and-rescue and patrolling operations, transport shipments and people and carry out construction works.
BC in the name of the helicopter means it has been certified in British Columbia, Canada (later in South Korea, China, Europe, Brazil).
The helicopter we are in is a multipurpose helicopter which can carry out search-and-rescue operations, detect fires, evacuate injured people and transport loads.
Inside the Ка-32А11ВС.
The helicopter is new. It was made in 2011. Along with Russian equipment, it features an American Garmin 530 navigation system, German radio direction finders, etc.
The helicopter is allowed to land right on the federal highway.
It was cold inside the helicopter at first.
The helicopter works in the Tver Region. Its crew includes a pilot, a navigator and a flight mechanic. The pilot’s monthly wage is about $1,000.
Many rescuers working for Ministry of Emergency Situations worked as special squad soldiers so wounds, blood and stressful situations are not new for them. Rescuers work in shifts (each working day is followed by three days-off) and make about $700 a month.
Medics and rescuers boarding the helicopter.
A Stretcher, scissors and cutting pliers are main tools rescuers work with. Gasoline blow torches are sometimes helpful too.
Rescuers are to release the victim and help the medical doctors to load him/her onto the helicopter.
Rescuers have to upgrade their professional skills from time to time to receive new qualification – first-class rescuer, second-class rescuers, third-class rescuer and international-class rescuer.
This profession is highly respected by society because people understand how important and dangerous this work is.
Arsen Grigoryan is the head of the rescue service in the Tver Region. He says 1,669 members of the staff serve about 500,000 people living in the region.
There are several volunteer fire teams in the region and the number is continuously increasing. They plan to have 12,000 volunteers by the end of 2012.
In May, 2011 a law on voluntary fire prevention came into effect which triggered growth in the number of people volunteering for fire protection. Currently, there are over 300 fire-fighting teams in Russia.
In 2011, volunteers from the Tver Region participated in 112 fire-fighting operations. There are 52 fire-fighting teams (2,686 people) registered in the Tver Region right now. 25 of them have been functioning since the Soviet time when they were formed!