India: Search and Rescue Training
The India Search And Rescue Team (SART) held a refresher training for its members in September 2018. Prior to this training, the SART team had screened and trained nine new SART members in-house. The refresher training was conducted by the United Kingdom’s International Search and Rescue Team (UKISAR). The training ran for five days from September 26th to 30th at Gandhinagar in Gujarat.
Eteshan Daudani, a SART member, said, “I have been in AKAH India’s SART team since 2016. Every time we come for training, the faculty bring new experiences. This time, we learned a technique for water rescue which was much easier and more efficient using AKAH’s new inflatable boat.” Alnoor Gadiya, another SART member who participated in the training said “Until now I had not got the chance to use all the equipment, especially the power tools used for breaking buildings. The trainers this time gave us all the chance to practice using each tool and explained techniques such as the proper use of the pulley system.”
Eteshan, Alnoor and the other SART members were tested on their knowledge on the last day in a mock disaster rescue exercise conducted in a set of partially demolished buildings meant to simulate an earthquake situation. They practiced everything from conducting actual search and rescue to coordinating response systems to proper reporting processes. “The trainers were surprised and pleased by how well we coordinated the search and rescue activities,” said Alnoor.
Aga Khan Agency for Habitat India’s Search And Rescue Team is made up of volunteers. These young people put their lives on the line during disasters to provide expert assistance to affected communities and search and rescue agencies. They are trained to deal with disasters such as earthquakes, floods and fires. FOCUS funds their training and equipment, and ensures that they maintain the readiness to respond to disasters, should they occur.