The State Central Airmobile Rescue Team of the Russian Ministry for Emergency Situations was established on 13 March 1992. The team is one of the Ministry’s advanced divisions: mobile, high-performance team with latest equipment capable of carrying out the most difficult emergency and SAR operations in any part of the world.
In 2017 alone, specialists of the team were deployed to perform relief and SAR operations some 2.5 times. Most of those were related to road accidents, fires and accidents on waterways. They rescued over 1.5 thousand people, while the total number of rescued during the whole time of the team’s activity is more than 50 thousand worldwide.
Over 26 years, Tsentrospas remains one of the best rescue teams not only in Russia, but in the world. In 2016, the team once again confirmed its international INSARAG certification as a heavy team. There some 20 such teams in the world. This is why not only young specialists are trained in the team in accordance with international standards, but experienced rescuers, including those employed by foreign emergency agencies, also take advance training here.
Each member of the team has several specializations: an engineer, signaler, medic, gas welder, diver, alpinist, fireman, SAR dog handler, driver, speleologist and others.
Specialists of Tsentrospas have developed and efficiently use an airmobile hospital, which so far has no analogs anywhere in the world. In 2016, the hospital was included in top three of the Global EMT Registry made by the World Health Organization (WHO). The team’s rescuers are entitled to provide qualified medical aid in disaster areas in any part of the planet. In December of the same year, the airmobile hospital with doctors of Tsentrospas worked in Syria with Russian specialists providing high-tech medical aid to 1,500 residents affected by bombardments of terrorists. When the humanitarian was finished, the Russian Emergency Ministry presented Syrian doctors with the airmobile hospital.
Another unique technology used by specialists of Tsentrospas is Global Radius. The point of Global Radius is a light MBB Bo-105 helicopter being transported in an Emergency Ministry Ilyushin Il-76 plane to a disaster area, where it is then used to fly around an affected region to assess the scale of the disaster, damage and find out if its residents need humanitarian assistance. Global Radius is ready to take off in three hours. The speed of its use suggest simplified procedures of issuing flight permissions and visas in the affected country. The Russian Emergency Ministry can deploy the technology in disaster-stricken areas if requested by the United Nations.
Today, there are 600 people in the team. They are high-level specialists, including 30 rescuers of international class, 19 honored rescuers of the Russian Federation. In addition, 9 employees of the team are Honored Workers of the Russian Federation.
Over the years the team exists, its specialists have responded to more than 600 largest international, federal and regional emergency situations: earthquakes in Neftegorsk, Turkey, Sri Lanka, China, Haiti and Japan. They took part in relief operations after roof collapses in Transvaal Park and Basmanny market in Moscow, the accident at Sayano-Shushenskaya Hydro Power Plant, and in the rescue operation in Beslan. Another unique operation was dismantling an unsafe cableway over the Dniester River in Moldavia, where specialists had to work 18-25 meters high above the river and residential buildings.