​As the supplier of the TETRA infrastructure that underpins the Finnish (Virve) and Swedish (Rakel) nationwide public safety networks, Airbus’s technology was used during the Barents Rescue event that took place at the end of September in Kiruna, Sweden.

During the event, public safety services, including fire, police, and health end-users from Finland, Sweden and Norway practiced their responses to emergency situations, and among other tasks worked to develop robust communication between TETRA users within the Barents region and worked to maintain a common operational picture. First responders from all three countries were able to easily communicate with other as their countries’ TETRA networks have been linked together and Dan Eliasson, director general of MSB, the operator of the Swedish Rakel TETRA network said that this exercise is the first time that they have been working hard to communicate over this new set-up.

Live exercises included responses to a ‘gas explosion’ in a hotel at Lousavaara, ‘a fire engine crash caused by a landslide’ and a ‘serious collision between a tourist bus and a minibus’, which required about 10 ‘injured’ people to be recovered from the water. It also held one of the world’s largest Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) exercises.

Barents Rescue is a civil international crisis management exercise which was initiated and conducted in Sweden for the first time in 2001. It aims to improve emergency prevention and the ability to extend cooperation to neighbouring countries, such as to facilitate the provision of mutual assistance between public safety organisations during disasters or other emergency situations. While it has traditionally taken place once every two years, it will now take place once every three years and Norway will host the next exercise in 2022.

Airbus has participated in all three Finland-Sweden-Norway TETRA Inter-System Operability (ISI) events involving the corresponding Nordic TETRA operators: ERVE for Finland, MSB for Sweden, and DSB for Norway (which has Motorola Solutions as its TETRA infrastructure supplier). In addition to this, the tri-network TETRA Inter-System Operability (roaming) functions have been verified between the Airbus TETRA networks.

“It was important for us to take part in such a vital and remarkable training and collaboration exercise between three countries” said Robert Westin, head of the Swedish branch of Airbus DS Secure Land Communications. “This experience-gathering event between partners in the region is vital and will help save lives if a disaster hits and reinforcement or help from a neighbouring country is promptly needed. The network infrastructure provided by Airbus allows the smooth running of such critical communications between public safety actors from different countries, using different material.” Westin adds.

A video showing highlights of the event can be seen below:


Author: Sam Fenwick