Meet the Amazing Croatian Mountain Rescue - HGSS
There are four letters nobody wants to need on holiday in Croatia. And yet if you happen to be in a tough situation, those four letters will materialize themselves in the form of the friendliest faces you have ever seen. They represent your relief, they are HGSS (Hrvatska gorska služba spašavanja - Croatian Mountain Rescue). For more than half a century they’ve been here. Available 24/7. And just awesome, even though you never want to meet them.
What is HGSS?
The name (Croatian Mountain Rescue) implies that when you’re in trouble out in the mountains, they are the ones to call. Still, they offer their assistance not only there, but also on locations difficult to reach and depending on a situation. It’s a non-profit organization with humanitarian character, it’s about helping those in need no matter what. And not only that, they are the ones to consult about any doubts or worries you might have before heading to the mountains. Simply because they know their sh…, erm, onions.
Who are the members?
Round 500 is the number of mountain rescuers, and they are all volunteers. However, this doesn’t mean they are people with too much time on their hands, who like adrenaline. Quite the contrary, these are the nicest people there are - not only will they momentarily leave anything behind to come to rescue, but they are also willing to sacrifice their spare time for practice and continuous training. They are mountaineers, skiers, speleologists and rock climbers, they know how to find you when you get lost and give first aid. They are just the best there are.
Where can you find them?
HGSS operates on the national level and they have 24 branches all over the country. When there is a call for help, all of them are notified. The first to respond is, naturally, the closest one, but units from other branches may also be employed if estimated necessary. When in Zadar, pay them a visit in Andrije Hebranga 11a street, particularly before you head to Paklenica National Park or to explore the countryside, beautiful nature on the mainland or the islands. They have plenty of good-to-knows and are more than willing to share.
Helpful Generous Sound Suggestions …
… is what anyone needs to hear before setting off to nature. Particularly, if you’re just a fan of nature who wants to explore the natural wonders but has zero experience. Among other things, HGSS will advise you to pick a trail that you’re fit enough to master in a given time. Let someone know where you’re going or, even better, go in a bunch. Check the weather forecast and wear appropriate footwear no matter how hot it is outside. Stick to marked trails and don’t wander off. Nature may be beautiful, but it can turn into a deceitful Ms Danger, if you’re inexperienced and not careful. And should something unfortunate happen, just try to stay calm and remember that you already know the number of the coolest rescuers, you never wanted to meet.
Letters and numbers
Yes, these are the people you never want to meet, no matter how great they are (and they are, indeed!). Simply because it means you’re in trouble. But it’s comforting to know they’ll come to you no matter what, and they’ll do it for free. So, remember those four letters H-G-S-S and those three digits, 112. Cause if you end up meeting them, there won’t be anyone else you’d rather see at that moment.
Image source: www.vecernji.hr, www.gss.hr