About The Mountain Safety Council of Sweden
Mountains safety covers all work that aims to prevent accidents in the mountains.
In Sweden the national Environmental Protection Agency (Naturvårdsverket) is responsible for mountain safety issues.
Our primary mission with mountain safety is to:
- facilitate coordination of the various activities included in the work with mountain safety
- promote information and training in mountain safety
- monitor and support research and development work in mountain safety
The police are responsible for mountain rescue. That is the activities that are launched when you know, or fear that an accident has occurred.
The Mountain Safety Council of Sweden
To assist in the process of mountain safety, the Environmental Protection Agency has a council consisting of representatives from agencies and organizations with a large accumulated knowledge and experience of the mountains and mountain safety.
At present the Mountain Safety Council has 18 members and among them we can just mention the Swedish mountain rescues(CIFRO), the Police, the Mountain Guides association (UIAGM/SBO), the meteorological agency (SMHI) the skiliftowners association, the Swedish reindeer herders association (SSR), the national touring association (STF) the national snowmobile association (SNOFED) and many more.
It all began in 1976-1977 after several serious accident in the mountainside. A national debate began to grow and the main issue was about if someone could take the responsibility of accident prevention. The police was already responsible for mountain rescue services but no one was responsible for accident prevention.
In 1979 the government decided that there should be an mountain safety council who in cooperation with national authorities and organisations should take a widened responsibility for accident prevention.
At present time the Mountain Safety Council also has an important stratecical role in the future tourism issues, especially in quality assurance of mountain guides (at the national level)
How does the Mountain Safety Council Work ?
The Mountain Safety Council is a council with a tremendous and unique knowledge and when the whole council decides to aim at the same direction in an issue, great results can be reached.
The main goal for the work is to reach and inform different target groups about what every visitor should be aware of, for an example how to dress right, always leave a recording message, tell others were you are going and when you are coming back, avalanche awareness, always be prepared for fast weather changes etc. All this kind of efforts increases the possibilities of fewer and less serious accidents happens and that has an direct impact at the mountain rescue service and the risk.
That the organization's corporate competence and that all community resources are coordinated gives the best possible success and impact. We believe in messages on the recipient's condition, where the receiver can identify him/her with.But we can only say that the risks are there and can occur and that the visitor must be well prepared before he or she goes into the mountainwilderness.
The mountain terrain can be enticing to visit, but visitors often come with poor equipment and contributes to accidents. False availability, the mountains may seem easier to visit than they actually are, especially when the weather changes
We are constantly monitor common trends in outdoor activities, nature and adventure tourism. New target groups require different types of information. We all want more visitors to the mountains, but not more, unnecessary accidents.
What makes the Swedish mountain safety agency unique and how do we create success?
The nonprestige cooperation, a unique diversity among government agencies, municipalities, commercial and non-profit organizations and other creates success. Faster decisions is possible, if necessary, by an organization in which many are decision makers. A "direct" great transparency in various activities creates a good overview. A strong organization with its wide social skills
We all want to get more visitors to experience our nature, but on nature's terms. But the number of new visitors should not automatically mean more accidents involving the operation of mountain rescue
Our work implies that we must also try to ensure the quality of guides which will in future take care of new and often inexperienced visitors
The mountains can provide wonderful experiences, but they offer even more if you come well prepared.