Raul Aarma

Title: ‘Developments in Estonian Inland Volunteer Rescue: Suggestions for Lesson-Drawing’

Supervisor: Leno Saarniit, MA

Opponent: Reelika Leetma, MA

Defense: 7 June 2012

Abstract: The aim of the current master thesis is to give suggestions for lesson-drawing in order to improve inland volunteer rescue activities as within past few years it has become a vital part of the hole rescue organization in Estonia. From the theoretical framework lesson drawing is chosen for research and suggestions are made using the ten steps model proposed by Richard Rose. In the course of the investigation the leaders of local volunteer rescue brigades were questioned first and interviewed further on and a list of obstacles to smooth development is created. In order to find currently working solutions that could be brought over three foreign expert-interviews were conducted. Additionally desk review was done at current legal framework regulating volunteer rescue activities in Estonia. All the obstacles presented by the contacted local leaders of volunteer rescue are classified under three categories by solution - social, managerial and legislative. The first group requires changes in values and attitudes, the second in administrative procedures or simply using the full potential of existing ones and finally the third is the subject to possible amendments in legislation. Current master’s thesis suggest three areas what are topical to volunteers - improving the skills of the volunteers, giving legal backing for volunteers if they have to leave their work-place in case of emergency and creating deeper linkage between local volunteer rescue units and local governments. All these issues need changes in Estonian legal framework and can be done with the help of foreign experience via lesson-learning.

Keywords: volunteer rescue, policy transfer, national security.