The Government of Vanuatu and the Australian Capital Territory Emergency Service Agency (ACTESA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding today to support the mutual exchange of technical assistance in emergency management and strengthen the long-term resilience of the Pacific Island country.

This strategic collaboration has been facilitated in partnership with the Pacific Island Emergency Management Alliance (PIEMA) which is implemented by the Pacific Community (SPC) and funded by the European Union’s €19.37million ACP-EU Building Safety and Resilience in the Pacific Project.

PIEMA is dedicated to creating safer Pacific communities and connecting emergency responders that are working to the highest standards with Pacific Island emergency response agencies to promote the transfer of knowledge and long-term cooperation.

“Although our geography and hazards are different, our size and the strategic emergency management issues are very similar. Our Emergency Services Agency is currently implementing reforms to improve the coordination and inter-operability between the emergency services and the only way to provide the safety and resilience our communities expect, is to work together as one,” ACT Fire and Rescue Chief Officer, Mark Brown said at the official signing.

In addition to the signing at the Vanuatu Mobile Force Headquarters in Port Vila, ACTESA handed over two firefighting vehicles to the Vanuatu Government to strengthen emergency response efforts.

ACTESA also conducted a week-long induction on the driving, operation and maintenance of the new firefighting vehicles with Vanuatu’s fire and emergency service personnel prior to today’s ceremony as well as specialist training on the hydraulic “Jaws of Life” rescue equipment that is carried on the fire trucks.

“The Vanuatu government and Vanuatu Mobile Force proudly acknowledge the Australian Capital Territory Emergency Services Agency (ACTESA) not only for the generous donation of the two fire vehicles but also for being prepared to join with us for a long term partnership to share our learnings and knowledge and build our emergency management capacity and capability,” Vanuatu Mobile Force Acting Commander, Lt. Colonel, Terry Tulang said.

Lt. Colonel Tulang also thanked the European Union for providing crucial funds to facilitate the vehicles’ delivery to Vanuatu and commended joint efforts to develop a fire and emergency services legislation that aims to improve and expand Vanuatu’s response and community safety capabilities.

“The series of initiatives being delivered to Vanuatu is a perfect example of the how the SPC hosted PIEMA is supporting Pacific Island nations to achieve excellence in emergency management and build safer communities and we acknowledge the commitment of development partners like the European Union in supporting these important efforts,” SPC Regional Director, Melanesia, Mia Rimon said.

“We congratulate the government and people of Vanuatu for pursuing these strategic initiatives and proudly support their planning, implementation and delivery,” Ms Rimon said.

SPC, supported by the European Union, has also been involved in assisting the government of Vanuatu with the development of a Fire and Emergency Services Act. This new legislation, when adopted, will see significant reform and strengthening of existing fire services to expand their current roles to include additional services that can benefit the entire country.


Media contacts:
Anthony Blake, SPC PIEMA Officer, [email protected] or +679 802 5453
Mark Reid, PIEMA Consultant, [email protected] or +678 563 5292
Lauren Robinson, SPC Media Relations, [email protected] or +679 337 9250

About:
The Pacific Community (SPC) is the principal scientific and technical organisation in the Pacific region, supporting development since 1947.

PIEMA is funded by the ACP-EU Building Safety and Resilience in the Pacific Project (BSRP) implemented by the Pacific Community where its main office is based in Suva, Fiji.

The ACP-EU Building Safety and Resilience in the Pacific project (BSRP) is a €19.37million project funded by the European Union and implemented by the Pacific Community (SPC).  The objective of the project is to reduce the vulnerability, as well as the social, economic and environmental costs of disasters caused by natural hazards, thereby achieving regional and national sustainable development and poverty alleviation in ACP Pacific Island States.