A five-day Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) training course was conducted at Central Fire Station in Honiara recently.

The course was attended by 18 participants from the National Disaster Management Office (NDMO), Airport Fire, and Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF)’s Fire Rescue.

The Course was facilitated by a representative from Fire Rescue New South Wales, Station Officer Michael Jordan, together with RSIPF Fire Rescue Instructors, Inspector Phillip Qaloboe and Sergeant Mark Arimana.

The Royal Solomon Island Police Force (RSIPF) and Australian Federal Police (AFP) Policing Partnership Program (RAPPP) Fire Advisor, Gary Power, assisted with the training and co-ordination of the course.

The training was designed to develop the response capacity of Emergency services in the Solomon Islands when dealing with emergencies such as earthquakes, tsunamis, building collapse and landslides.

Assistant Commissioner (AC), National Operation Evelyn Thugea, and RAPPP Executive Advisor, Superintendent Clinton Smith, were on scene to observe the training which included a practical scenario – a simulation of a structure collapse in an earthquake. During the exercise, RSIPF firefighters displayed their new skills which included a line hail search, stretcher passing over difficult terrain and a ladder slide incorporating life rescue line work from a height.

AC Thugea said it was a wonderful opportunity to have all government approach to Disaster response.

She praised the efforts of the Fire Instructors saying it is wonderful to know that the RSIPF Fire service is capable of delivering this type of training.

Acting Commissioner Thugea highlighted that such training programs are important for Solomon Islands’ overall preparedness for disaster response adding it also ensure RSIPF Fire and Rescue are continuing their preparations and training for the 2023 Pacific Games in November.

Co-ordinator of the training, Mr. Power, said it was critical to address capability shortfalls in Emergency Response to Disasters. He added, “The development of both Fire instructors and members of the NDMO and Airport Fire was a major step to achieving this.”

Superintendent of Fire Rescue, Stephen Dekyi commended the level of commitment by all who participated in the training.

AC Thugea and Executive Advisor Smith also attended the course closure, presenting certificates to participants.

During the presentation Superintendent Smith stated, “I had the pleasure of watching the final simulation exercise and it demonstrated the participants were ready to respond to emergencies such as a collapsed building and the Fire Service and NDMO would have the capacity to coordinate the rescue operation.”

Commissioner Thugea said she is hopeful that further training of this type would be ongoing into the future.

Source: RSIPF Media