Cyprus’ civil defence force received a positive response from the European Commission on Monday, following its request to enrol and include the Search and Rescue Team in the European Civil Protection Pool (ECPP), the interior ministry said.
The European Union established the ECPP to promote European cooperation in civil protection. Its goal is to enable a faster, better coordinated and more effective European response to both man-made and natural disasters.
The ECPP gathers resources and units from 25 member and participating states, ready to respond promptly to countries affected by disasters seeking assistance.
Resources and units can include rescue and medical teams, experts, specialised equipment or transportation units.
According to a statement from the interior ministry, for a search and rescue team to be included in the unit pool, it must obtain certification based on international standards from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, responsible for coordinating humanitarian affairs.
“Following this process, the certification of the country’s adequacy and professionalism was completed, allowing the Republic of Cyprus, through its civil defence, to respond to search and rescue incidents following natural disasters, both domestically and internationally,” the statement concluded.