A joint coordination skills refresher course was held at the Fire & Emergency New Zealand National Training Centre in Rotorua in October 2017.  The course was facilitated by 2 NZL-1 UC Instructors that had completed the Training of Trainers in Singapore in 2016 and a member of the Training Working Group from AUS-2.

The 3-day workshop was originally designed as a skills refresher for a small group of team members who had been previously trained in coordination, but an opportunity arose to include the new INSARAG methodology that is currently being rolled out around the world.  This new coordination methodology will ensure that all international teams work under a common structure with identical systems of work.

The practical exercises included one scenario where the team responded to a disaster within New Zealand, and the second simulated the team being the first international response team to arrive in another country that was affected by a major earthquake.

After passing a series of practical and theory assessments, the students received certification from the United Nations to carry out coordination operations within the USAR Coordination Cell.

The NZL team plan to follow this up next year with a “full” USAR Coordination Course for team members who have not been previously exposed to this concept.  This course will be opened for registration from other teams outside of New Zealand.

The Asia-Pacific region is one of the most disaster-prone areas of the world, with frequently occurring natural disasters including earthquakes, tsunamis, tropical storms, cyclones, flooding, landslides and volcanic eruptions affecting millions of people each year.  This training directly builds the capacity of response teams to more effectively respond to major disasters when they occur within the region.

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