The field of protection and rescue in Montenegro is regulated with the Strategy for Disaster Risk Reduction, Law on Protection and Rescue, Law on Local Governance and plans for protection and rescue against different types of natural and man-made hazards.
The Ministry of the Interior, Rescue and Protection Directorate, is in charge of rescue and risk management, disaster protection and emergency remediation management. This enables unified prevention, preparedness and response to natural, technical, technological, and other disasters.
According to the Law on Protection and Rescue, 3 levels of management and coordination of protection and rescue are established, national, local and entrepreneurial. In addition to the resources of the operational units at the 3 levels, the protection and rescue system in Montenegro relies on the human and material resources of state administration bodies, local self-government units, companies, and other legal entities and individuals, who are obliged to deploy their resources in the events of disasters and major accidents. Resources of the Armed Forces of Montenegro and the Police Directorate also have developed certain capacitates for assistance in case of disasters.
The protection and rescue operations are carried out based on the Protection and Rescue Plans by government bodies, local government units, companies, private businesses and other legal and natural persons. The Ministry of the Interior proposes the national plans to be adopted by the government. The municipal plans and entrepreneurial plans, and plans made by other legal entities and entrepreneurs, are subject of the approval of the Ministry of the Interior. The protection and rescue plans are based on risk assessment studies.
According to the new legislation, the national plans for protection and rescue from earthquake, fires, floods, landslides, technical and technological accidents and chemical and biological risks were adopted. In addition, there are municipal plans for protection and rescue from floods, municipal plans for protection and rescue from fires, municipal plans for protection and rescue from earthquake, and entrepreneurial plans for protection and rescue from fires.
The Strategy for Disaster Risk Reduction with Dynamic Plan of Activities for implementation of the Strategy for the period 2018-2023 identified the following hazards:
- Geological hazards (earthquakes, erosions, landslides, etc.)
- Hydro meteorological hazards (floods, flash floods, meteorological storm, thunderstorm, hailstorm disasters/storm, vortex atmospheric phenomena, snow, blizzards, snowdrifts, frost, heat, tropical waves, cold waves, stormy, devastating winds, cyclones and anti-clones, fog, droughts, wildfires and forest fires)
- Biological hazards and natural phenomena and hazards at sea
TECHNICAL-TECHNOLOGICAL AND OTHER ACCIDENTS
- Industrial accidents and accidents in the road transport of hazardous substances
- Railway accidents and accidents at sea
- Accidents in air traffic
- Nuclear and radiological accidents
- Fires in public-purpose and energy facilities and installations
- Air and chemical pollution
Risk management planning
The Law on Protection and Rescue (Official Gazette of Montenegro, 13/07, 32/11 and 54/16) consists of provisions related to conducting preventive, operational and recovery activities as well as measures to mitigate and reduce risks of hazards. Plans for protection and rescue against different types of natural and man-made hazards at 3 levels (national, local, and company level) include preventive, operational and recovery measures which have to be carried out by protection and rescue actors.
Risk communication and awareness raising
The Rescue and Protection Directorate, through the Operational Communication Center (OCC 112), receives information on the occurrence of a hazard and using standard operating procedures, informs the competent authorities and other participants in protection and rescue.
The municipality is responsible for informing the public. OCC 112 collects data from municipal services and bodies involved in protection and rescue activities. The Rescue and Protection Directorate or the Operational Protection and Rescue Headquarter give official statements on the state of emergency.
Through projects supported by the EU, UN and other international organisations, the Rescue and Protection Directorate carried out campaigns for raising awareness of citizens. Target population were children, students at schools, people with disabilities and citizens in risk prone areas. The Directorate organises visits of the 112 Centre and presentations at schools to raise awareness.
Training and exercises
The members of all operational units for protection and rescue in Montenegro (civil protection units; units for protection and rescue of municipalities such as firefighting units, units for providing assistance to vulnerable and affected population and other protection and rescue units specialized protection and rescue units; voluntary protection and rescue units; units for protection and rescue of business organizations, other legal persons, and entrepreneurs) are all obliged to follow basic and advanced levels of training (according to the Law on Protection and Rescue, Official Gazette of Montenegro, 13/07, 32/11 and 54/16, article 17).
These trainings are conducted by the ‘Rulebook for basic and specialist training of members of civil protection units; specialized protection and rescue units and voluntary protection and rescue unit’. Each level is divided in theoretical and practical part.
The qualification standard for fire fighter-rescuers is adopted and the occupational standard is in the adoption phase.
Due to the lack of a national training centre, many training sessions were conducted through various types of projects with the support of the EU and other international organisations. Trainings and exercises for protection and rescue actors organised under EU-funded projects include: IPA CP I, IPA CP II, IPA FLOODS, NEIFLEX, DIRECT, SVAROG 2017, ADRIATIC 2018, IPA DRAM, and under the IPA CBC programme with Serbia, Albania, and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Early warning systems
The department for weather forecast within the Institute for Hydrometeorology and Seismology (IHMS) provides daily operational weather forecasts, based on the official prediction materials of the European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF Reading-London).
In case of extreme weather, warnings are issued within EUMETNET (The Network of Europen Meteorological Services) in the Meteoalarm (Alert Europe for extreme weather) system (http://www.meteoalarm.eu). The Meteoalarm system is an integrated system, which consists of the national weather services, that warns of extreme weather situation. Within the system, online alerts for extreme weather are issued based on forecasts.
For managing and coordinating protection and rescue activities, Montenegro formed the Coordination Team for Protection and Rescue for the territory of Montenegro and the Municipal Protection and Rescue Teams for the municipalities. The Coordination Team for Protection and Rescue includes all the relevant ministers/municipal bodies for protection and rescue and non-governmental organisations (NGOs). The team is headed by the prime minister at the national level, and by the president of the municipality at the municipality levels. Through those teams, coordination and response is more efficient.
Companies, other legal entities and entrepreneurs performing meteorological and hydrological measurements and observations have the obligation to supply available data and relevant information.
A centralised collection of information and data on all types of risks is done in the Operational Communication Center 112, which is obliged to inform the relevant stakeholders and citizens to undertake preventive and operational measures.
Cross-border, European and international cooperation
Montenegro has bilateral agreements on cooperation in civil protection with Albania, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Greece, Slovakia, Ukraine, Slovenia, Serbia, Turkey, North Macedonia, Croatia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Memorandums of cooperation were signed between Ministry of Internal Affairs of Montenegro and competent institutions from Italy, Russia, and Armenia.
Montenegro is NATO Alliance member, a Participating State in the Union Civil Protection Mechanism, and member of the regional initiative DDPI SEE. The Rescue and Protection Directorate and Ministry of Foreign Affairs are responsible for Host Nation Support. Customs are responsible for implementing border-crossing procedures together with Cross Border Police. The Red Cross is responsible for receiving and delivering humanitarian aid.
Facts & figures
Operational Communication Center 112 – OCC 112
Rescue and Protection Directorate
Ministry of the Interior
Phone: 112 ; +382 20 481 831
Mobile: +382 67 112 112
Last updated: 24/08/2021