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Ministry for Extraordinary Situations [EMERCOM]

The Ministry of Russian Federation for Civil Defence, Emergencies and Elimination of Consequences of Natural Disasters (EMERCOM of Russia -- also called the Ministry for Extraordinary Situations or MCHS) was established on January 10, 1994, according to the President of Russiaís Ordnance, although EMERCOM of Russia used to celebrate its birthday on December 27, as it was the exact day in the year of 1990, when the Russian Corps of Rescuers had been created, with the purpose to provide swift and effective response in case of emergency situations occurrence.

When the Soviet Union broke apart, the complete Civil Defense apparatus was transferred to EMERCOM except for the underground bunker system of command and control, which the Ministry of Defense kept for its own use. EMERCOM's missions correspond closely to the missions of the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and many of the disaster relief/assistance missions of the US National Guard.

EMERCOM is located on the Ring Road in Moscow between Detski Mir (Children's World) and the Bolshoi Theater. EMERCOM is subdivided into several departments. These include the Department for Protection of the Population and Territories; the Department for Disaster Prevention; the Department of Forces; the Department for International Cooperation; the Department for the Elimination of Consequences of Radiological and other Disasters; the Department for Science and Technology; and the Management Department.

Civil protection troops, numbering about 23,000 personnel as of 1999, represent the backbone of the Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations. These troops are composed of rescue brigades, mechanized civil protection regiments and battalions, special protection companies and detached helicopters squadrons. They are armed with specialised equipment, such as engineering, medical, radiation, chemical and biological protection. In peacetime the civil protection troops function within the framework of the Unified Emergency Situations Prevention and Responce State System. As for wartime, they are under control of the Civil Protection system.

EMERCOMís Crisis Management Center (CMC) is the main body for the day-to-day management of a Unified Emergency Prevention and Response State System (UEPRSS) and, as such, is tasked with provision of firm and continuos management of the forces and assets allocated for emergency prevention and response, provision of necessary information for the system as a whole and for EMERCOM of Russia and coordination of all UEPRSS segments activities. CMC principal services are on stand-by duty round the clock. Apart of communications and hardware experts, duty service comprises chief duty officer and duty shift officers. Chief duty officer is to organize an immediate initial response on an emergency situation until eventual deployment of the emergency response temporary HQs.

The All-Russian Research and Scientific Institute for Civil Protection and Emergency Situations Problems is playing a leading role in scientific support and provision for EMERCOM of Russiaís activities. It was established in 1976.

Sources and Resources

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