On 1 August 2019, the INSARAG Secretariat participated in the 2nd annual meeting of the Board of Directors of the Organization of American Firefighters (OBA in Spanish: https://www.bomberosamericanos.org) to discuss the next steps in the implementation of the letter of understanding signed between the OBA and the INSARAG Secretariat in February 2019. The strategic partnership between INSARAG and OBA will focus on promoting the implementation of the INSARAG methodology across countries in the Americas region and in particular with OBA member institutions. Both parties agreed to draft a work plan with concrete activities focusing on sharing relevant information with each other’s networks on upcoming key events such as the INSARAG Team Leaders meeting in Chile from 9-11 October, the specific support by the OBA to implement the INSARAG external support and recognition process (IERSP) of national USAR team accreditation processes (PAREI in Spanish), and a potential support to create distant learning online courses on the INSARAG methodology through the OBA sponsored platform. Both parties will discuss how to collaborate in carrying out face-to-face training events with the aim of increasing the capacity in the region of having more experts that can be called upon as resource persons to facilitate training events on USAR coordination and capacity strengthening.

Photo from left to right: Lucía Vilariño Fiore, OBA Executive director Directora Ejecutiva de OBA; Rafael Palomino, OBA Academic spokesperson; Marco España, OBA Secretary for international relations; Carlos Ferlise, OBA outgoing president; Carlos Alfonso, OBA Vice-president; Martín Cucalón de Ycaza, OBA President; Christophe Schmachtel, UNDAC & INSARAG Secretariat, OCHA; Raúl Bustos Zavala, OBA Spokesperson; Roberto Duque Mora, OBA General Secretary; Sebastián Mocarquer Grout, OBA focal point for INSARAG; Juan Carlos Subercaseaux, OBA Academic coordinator.

                                            II Consejo Directivo 2019 2