Mountain rescue

Started years ago as a voluntary spontaneous activity of certain groups of mountaineers, today PSS is an essential part of the structure of the Bulgarian Red Cross. The main task of the PSS is to help in disasters in the mountains. Mountain rescuers work entirely on a voluntary basis. They are on duty in the key points of the great Bulgarian mountains. When there is an accident, they conduct complex and severe rescue operations, evacuating the victims to a medical facility. The PSS is also working hard to prevent accidents in the mountains. Updated information on the state of the various mountain resorts is provided daily, and there is constant contact with local and national media. Children and adolescents in school are provided with basic knowledge on how to prepare for the meeting with the mountain.

The Mountain Rescue Service was established in November 1933 by members of the Bulgarian Alpine Club (BAC), the Bulgarian Tourist Union (BTS), the Youth Tourist Union (UTS) and the Sofia Ski Club. In 1938 the first "RULES OF PSS" was published, and in 1943 the first official sign of PSS was made - a green cross with edelweiss.
After the war, the first rescue teams were established in the province - in Samokov in 1948 and in Plovdiv in 1949. In 1951, by decision of the BTS, BRC, BSFS and PSS Mountain Rescue Service passed to the Bulgarian Red Cross.
In 1971, the PSS applied for and was accepted as a member of the International Mountain Rescue Organization (ICAR).
In the period 1971-1980 in the PSS there was a modernization and modernization of the rescue work. The beginning of the training of rescue dogs to search for avalanche victims (1974), the beginning of airborne assistance by helicopter (1975).

The activity
PSS has 32 rescue teams and over 540 volunteer mountain rescuers. In order to create a common organization and management of the rescue activity, to maintain the material and technical base, for daily work in the national sports and tourist complexes, to maintain the round-the-clock rescue posts, 46 paid mountain rescuers work in the PSS. These people are selected from the ranks of volunteer rescuers, meet the general requirements and criteria and participate daily in the operational work.
More than 40 doctors, volunteer mountain rescuers, also participate in the total staff of the PSS. Their role is extremely important in providing specialized medical care to victims high in the mountains, in hard-to-reach places or during transport to the hospital. They also take an active part in the medical training of rescuers.
Mountain rescuers undergo a two-year period of basic training and acquire complex knowledge and skills for providing pre-medical care, techniques and tactics of mountain rescue, ski and alpine equipment, topography and orientation, general mountaineering training, communication equipment, transport equipment and other specialized knowledge. .
Periodically, mountain rescuers go through qualification courses for work in difficult mountain terrains, rock rescue, avalanche work, air rescue, training of rescue dogs.
Republican technical inspections are conducted annually to check the operational readiness and condition of the units.

Mountain insurance
Mountain rescue is expensive. The costs for the training and subsequent qualification of the rescuers are high, for maintaining the constant readiness of the detachments, posts and facilities, for the material and technical base, for the protective equipment and facilities, for the medical, technical and energy consumables. The PSS is not supported by the budget, but is supported as much as possible by the state through the Bulgarian Red Cross, due to which the funds are extremely limited and insufficient.
Mountain rescuers give their work for free in mountain rescue operations, but every action, every rescue operation has its costs and the victim who causes these actions should bear the costs.
Since 2000, the Bulgarian Red Cross has introduced a "List of the types of assistance provided by the Bulgarian Red Cross to Bulgarian citizens and their respective price". The proceeds from the assistance cover part of the costs incurred in the rescue operations.
Since the beginning of December 2000, mountain health insurance has been offered on the Bulgarian insurance market. This is a good alternative to direct payment and we believe that it is within the capabilities of anyone who practices mountain sports and tourism - insurance worth about BGN 25 per year, covers costs up to BGN 1,000.
You can take out insurance in the branches of the following insurance companies throughout the country: ZK Unika AD, QBE international, HDI Insurance, DZI-General Insurance AD, Bulstrad, Municipal Insurance Company, Generali.


Mailing address:
Sofia, 76 James Boucher Blvd.

De duty phones
in case of an accident
Single European emergency number - 112
1470 (for all mobile operators)
02 963 2000 - Central one-night stand of the PSS

for inquiries or advice

For more information visit PS website