The Rescue Board handed out a total of 71 medals for saving lives in the past year, and for people who made great contributions to the field of rescue work.
A total of 18 rescue officials received a medal for saving lives. Medals were also awarded to Defense Force members, a rescue call center staff member and a voluntary rescue chief.
Four civilians also received an award for saving lives.
One such operation to save a life took place in June in Ida-Viru County where a woman, walking alone, fell down a cliff. She was seriously injured, but was still able to call emergency services. Police, rescue workers and an ambulance were dispatched, but the woman could not pinpoint her location.
“She explained to me where she was walking, and roughly the place where she fell. In cooperation with rescue workers and other call center staff we were closing in on the location. I asked the injured woman many questions. As she could not move, I asked what she sees, what she hears, what is around her, to pin-point the place where she is,” said Tiina Johkem, who was awarded for her part in the rescue operation.
Besides finding out the woman's location, Johkem had to keep her awake, as people with such injuries might not wake again, once asleep. “I think it is primary not just to listen, but to really understand what I am being told, and that I am able to guide them to say what we want to hear with my own questions. To find out the reason why help is needed, and the where help is needed,” she said.
Three rescue workers also received awards for that operation, including Erkki Põld, who winched the woman to safety.
Editor: J.M. Laats