The Norwegian Civil Defence is the State’s reinforcement for the emergency and rescue departments in the event of major accidents and special incidents.
The department has an operative force of approximately 8 000 persons with the duty to serve on assignments connected to major or special incidents. Each year the Civil Defence is called out to participate in around 300 assignments including efforts connected to fires, natural catastrophes, oil protection, searches, evacuation, material supply and suchlike.
The tasks of the Civil Defence
The manner in which Norway utilizes the Civil Defence during peacetime gives reasonable assurance that personnel and material requirements meet the task at hand when other resources prove insufficient. In addition, the Civil Defence provides other societal tasks.
The Civil Defence
- has competencies, and is organized and equipped to render operative support to the emergency and rescue departments
- provides training in the areas of response and rescue for own personnel and other parties within the Norwegian rescue services
- provides support to international humanitarian rescue operations
- constitutes a part of the nuclear emergency response organization and plays an important part in the national measurement network
- operates countrywide public warning service in the event of immediate danger
- attends to important tasks in case of war
Conscription for men and women
All men and women within the ages of 18 and 65 years may be called to duty under the legal authority of the Civil Defence Act. The conscripts are provided with training in basic skills related to the fire and rescue service, first aid, communication and order, map and compass reading, GPS, etc. The personnel are placed in local units which exercise regularly and are called out on assignments as required – often in cooperation with the Police Department, the Fire Service, the Health Authority and voluntary organizations.
The Civil Defence is subordinate to the Norwegian Directorate for Civil Protection and Emergency Planning (DSB).
International Humanitarian Operations
Through the Civil Defence department the Directorate has developed a scheme to provide support in connection with humanitarian catastrophes in other countries.
The Norwegian Support Team establishes and runs total tent camps for aid workers in catastrophe areas. Norwegian UNDAC Support provides communication and ICT support. The assistance is financed by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs as part of the official Norwegian emergency aid programme. DSB may also assist countries that request material support in the event of catastrophes through the Civil Defence department.
The Norwegian Support Team has completed assignments for the United Nations in Albania, Guinea, Tadjikistan, Iran, Indonesia, Pakistan, Somalia and Haiti. Since the end of the 1990s the Norwegian UNDAC Support has rendered support in Eritrea, Algeria, Haiti, Guatemala, Thailand, Pakistan, Honduras, Caribbean and Namibia. The Civil Defence has also provided resources during the flood in Georgia and the forest fires in Macedonia.
Inquiries may be directed to:
The Directorate for Civil Protection and Emergency Planning, Norway
Phone: +47 33 41 25 00
Telefax: +47 33 31 06 60