Twelve countries to practise rescue operations in Kriens

Bern, Press release, 26.02.2013

Internationally deployable rescue teams have to undergo regular training. This is why Switzerland is conducting an international disaster relief exercise (SimEX) for the second time since 2011, which is being held in Kriens, Canton of Lucerne, from 4 to 8 March 2013. Rescue teams from twelve countries will be participating.

The international disaster relief exercise is being conducted by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) in close cooperation with the Swiss Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sport (DDPS). It includes a combination of virtual planning exercises and operational elements. The exercise is based on the simulation of a major earthquake in the greater Basel area with thousands of dead and injured, coupled with devastating damage to housing and industry.

Teams from twelve countries plus the exercise management made up of international specialists will be practising search and rescue methods and coordination with the local population and the cantonal and national authorities. The rescue teams come from Australia, Austria, Colombia, Costa Rica, Germany, Great Britain, Japan, Jordan, Sweden, Tunisia, the USA and Switzerland. In addition, the management processes necessitated by a major international deployment will form part of the exercise, from the initial alert through to demobilisation.

With SimEX, Switzerland is complying with the Guidelines of the UN INSARAG (United Nations International Search and Rescue Advisory Group), which require that international rescue teams undergo regular training to ensure that they are equipped and trained to meet the high demands that arise during deployment to deal with earthquakes and other major disasters.

Note to the editors

Interested media representatives have the opportunity to visit the exercise during a visitor event on Wednesday, 6 March 2013.

To register and obtain further details on this, please contact FDFA Information (, Tel. 031 322 31 53).

Further information:

Swiss Rescue

Address for enquiries:

Information FDFA
Bundeshaus West
CH-3003 Bern
Tel.: +41 58 462 31 53
Fax: +41 58 464 90 47


Federal Department of Foreign Affairs