Gilgit - Baltistan

FOCUS trains Search and Rescue Team of District Govt. in Karachi

by: Sultan Ahmed

Karachi, August 31: Focus Humanitarian Assistance Pakistan FOCUS Pakistan) held an urban search and rescue orientation programme for the newly formed City District Government Karachi Team, under the government’s National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) strategy.

With over a decades experience, FOCUS Pakistan’s own search and rescue team (SART) is trained by teams of technical specialists from the United Kingdom, France and Switzerland. The FOCUS SART has responded to numerous local and national emergencies including the Kashmir earthquake in 2005. The team has also conducted training programmes for other emergency organizations.

Mr. Mohammad Naeem Yousuf, Deputy Chief Fire Officer, briefed the audience about the
Week long training and the impact it has created in the capacity development of the CDGK rescue team. The training included specialist modules on equipment handling, search and rescue strategies and techniques, base camp procedures, technical rope and safety management, casualty handling, food preparation, safety in dealing with structural collapse, risk assessments, victim evacuation, basic first aid and CPR.

A simulation exercise was undertaken by the participants at the end of the course which was attended by senior officials from the district government, army, civil defence, the Edhi Foundation as well as police and community representatives. Certificates were distributed to all the trainees for successfully completing the course.

FOCUS Pakistan.s Executive Officer Mr. Ghulam Panjwani commended the initiative of City District Government Karachi in starting search and rescue team. Given the frequency of natural and manmade disasters in Pakistan, this is a much needed capacity. He further stated that currently except for FOCUS, there is no other agency having such capacity in the region. FOCUS Pakistan has also recently conducted basic search and rescue training for Afghanistan and Tajikistan.

Congratulating the participants, Chairman, FOCUS Pakistan, Amyn Dossa spoke of FOCUS’s core value of community capacity building and the benefit of such training in urban areas, in particular, promoting disaster preparedness in Karachi.

The chief guest, Mr. Masood Alam, EDO Municipal Services Karachi, acknowledged the newly acquired skills of trainees and the benefit of such skilled personnel within the city. He also appreciated the continuing contribution of FOCUS towards disaster preparedness in Pakistan over the last decade.

Mr. Ahtasham-Ud-Din, Chief Fire Officer, Col. Saleem, members of the Governance and Management of Focus Humanitarian Assistance, representatives of the media and Leap Frog Solutions were also present at the event.

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