Up Ooops - but not this time

Accidents happen every day and the lives of the people involved in them depend very much on the skill of the rescuers. Their knowledge how to react in the given situation and the well coordinated teamwork are of the vital importance when the minutes count and when every saved minute can mean a saved life. To achieve and hone this skills, and to get acknowledged with the newest tools, rescue technics, and dangers in the ever changing world, besides the everyday drilling, the dry exercises, representing as much as possible the real situations, are staged every so often, usually yearly. One such exercise has taken place at the end of September at Kamnik, small Slovenian town beneath the Alps and some 20 km from the capital Ljubljana. A railway branch line ends here, with the short tunnel conveniently placed just before the tracks end. Several examples of the various accidents were simulated here: the train crash in the tunnel, the car and the bus accidents, where both slipped off the road and ended on the steep slopes - car stopped by the trees, and bus that ended in railway line cut leading to the tunnel, the car and the train crash on the road crossing, and the derailment of the tank car carrying the poisonous liquid. On the second day the terrorist attack on the train, and the SWAT police action rescuing the hostages, was also staged Alas, on that day I had to be elsewhere. Participating in this exercise were many firemen brigades, professional and voluntary, medicine rescue teams with the doctors, Alpine rescuers, and the police. Here, like almost elsewhere in the world, the fireman is the highest respected profession of them all, and Slovenia has countless voluntary firemen - almost every bigger village, not counting the towns, has its own voluntary fire brigade. Fortunately, this time it was just a dry run and the only “victims” were the volunteers and the dummies. Nevertheless, it was also an excellent exercise for me too. Some of the photos taken there are presented in this album