Russia’s EMERCOM assisting the US after Sandy

EMERCOM - The Russian Emergency Situations Ministry

Russia’s EMERCOM assisting the US after Sandy

12 November 2012, 19:13  

A true unsung hero of the modern world is the Russian Federation’s Emergency Situations Ministry or EMERCOM. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week they are ready to respond to any emergency, anywhere on the planet. Selflessly and tirelessly fulfilling their mission and asking nothing in return. The thousands of professionals at EMERCOM save a life every 12 minutes, something that is truly an admirable feat.

The Emergency Situations Ministry of the Russian Federation, or EMERCOM (derived from "Emergency Control Ministry”) as it is known internationally, has dispatched 2 huge Ilyushin-76 (IL-76) cargo aircraft loaded with humanitarian aid to the United States for victims of Hurricane Sandy.

The aircraft lifted off from the Ramenskoye Airfield near Moscow which has ideally long runways to help facilitate the taking offs and landings of the huge aircraft. The two planes were loaded down with more than 50 tons of emergency supplies on board for those hardest hit by the hurricane in the United States.

This is not the first time that EMERCOM has assisted with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Immediately after the hurricane hit Cuba EMERCOM was there delivering building materials and emergency supplies to the Cuban people at the request of the government of the Republic of Cuba.

During that operation EMERCOM delivered over 32 tons of building materials to assist in the rebuilding of the 1,000s of homes that Hurricane Sandy destroyed.

The Ministry does not seek publicity or glory or play politics with its assistance, as is evidenced by its web site and the short, even terse, news releases that it distributes regarding its operations. It is in the business of assisting those in need and takes that mission very seriously indeed.

According EMERCOM Minister Vladimir Puchkov, speaking at a forum in early October, EMERCOM had carried out 40 humanitarian operations overseas since the beginning of the year. That was before Sandy and several other disasters worldwide.

Not only is the ministry assisting people in need internationally, according to Vladimir Puchkov: EMERCOM rescue teams save a person’s life every 12 minutes, EMERCOM firefighters put out 300-400 fires a day, EMERCOM emergency response teams and helicopter rescue teams respond to a seemingly endless stream of road accidents and EMERCOM bomb disposal experts defuse from 100 to 200 explosive devices every 24 hours.

Almost every week EMERCOM evacuates Russian citizens in distress from around the globe. Recently parachutist Irina Sinitsyna who was critically injured in California while attempting to break a world parachuting record was airlifted by EMERCOM from California back to Moscow on an aircraft equipped with an aerial emergency room staffed by five doctors, the plane flew non-stop from California and safely delivered Irina to Moscow but unfortunately despite the efforts of all involved she died tragically on October 2nd at Burdenko Neurological Clinic.

Apart from California, Cuba, and New York EMERCOM has been to more locations in the last year than most of us make it to in a lifetime. So far this year this includes most of Europe, Thailand, the Caribbean, Cyprus, India, Sri Lanka, all over the territory of the former Soviet Union, the Middle East and more.

In 2011 70 international search and rescue operations were carried out by the Ministry in such places as Austria, Italy, Serbia, Turkey, Tunisia, Libya, Kyrgyzstan and Japan.

The current operation to assist the US is not the first for EMERCOM, after the US was hit by Hurricane Katrina the Russian Emergency Situations Ministry was there to assist in September 2005. Three EMERCOM planes delivered more than 60 tons of humanitarian aid, including medical supplies, rations, tents and blankets.

The birth date of the Ministry, for some is a point of argument; officially the Ministry of Emergency Situations was founded on January 10, 1994 by an order from then President Boris Yeltsin. However some consider the real date of birth as being December 27, 1990, when the Russian Rescue Corps was founded and assigned a similar mission.

Currently the Head of Ministry is Vladimir Puchkov, who was appointed by President Vladimir Putin on May 17, 2012, and who replaced the first head of the ministry, Sergey Shoigu, who was at the helm for 16 years.

Currently EMERCOM is working with countries worldwide, including the US, to assist in responding more effectively to disasters anywhere they might occur.

For EMERCOM rescuers and professionals their mission is a serious one and their only reward is in a job well done. They do not seek publicity or fanfare, and most of the staff will tell you, when they save a life, that is enough.

So while some countries are engaged in wars, killing, regime changing and using promises of assistance to further geopolitical goals, all over the world Russia is quietly saving lives and assisting those in need, and asking nothing in return. 

The opinions and views expressed here are the writer’s own. He can be reached at 

Russia’s humanitarian aid arrives in New York

Russian humanitarian aid has arrived in New York, which has recently suffered from the destructive super-storm Sandy. Almost 50 tons of blankets, foodstuffs, medicaments and relief goods have been flown in by two Emergencies Ministry aircraft.

The cargo is due to be distributed among residents of New York and New Jersey who have suffered from the elements.

Sandy hit the US northeastern coast in late October, claiming more than 100 human lives and inflicting damage to the tune of over 50 billion dollars.

Earlier, the Russian Emergencies Ministry sent several planes with foodstuffs, medicaments and tents to Cuba, which had also been battered by Sandy.

Russia sends humanitarian aid to New York

Russia’s Emergency Ministry has sent a plane with humanitarian aid to New York for the people who suffered from the Sandy storm.

Two Il-76 planes with 40 tons of cargo including blankets and articles of daily necessities have taken off from the airport in Ramenskoye in the Moscow region, the ministry's official said Tuesday. 

Sandy-pummeled NYC to receive Russian aid

After delays caused by paperwork, two Russian flights will leave for New York on Tuesday carrying 27 tons of blankets and other household items to people who lost their homes to Hurricane Sandy.

Sandy is known to have claimed over 100 American lives, including more than 40 in the Big Apple.

UN to learn lessons from poor preparations for hurricane Sandy

The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has said that the United Nations will learn lessons from what errors it made while preparing for hurricane Sandy, which paralyzed the operation of the international organization’s headquarters in New York.

According to him, the UN building basement was the worst damaged by floods, which caused the cooling system to develop malfunction, with the subsequent faulty operation of communications systems.

This proved of special concern to the delegations of the UN member-states, since many of these failed to get timely information about the operation of the UN headquarters.

According to Ban Ki-moon, this was due to the fact that the UN Secretariat had old and no longer valid email addresses of permanent missions.

The United Nations was nonoperational for six days due to the hurricane that hit New York last week.

US ambassador thanks Russia for Sandy relief aid 

US Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul has thanked Moscow for the relief aid it sent to storm-hit New York.

“Thank you for help, Russia,” he tweeted on Monday.

Russia’s emergency agency has dispatched two IL-76 aircraft loaded with humanitarian aid to New York, devastated by hurricane Sandy. The two Il-76 cargo-jets will each carry 27 tones of blankets and other essentials.

Voice of Russia, Interfax, TASS


Last Update: 11/19/2023 20:00 -0000


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