Hon Tuilaepa Aiono Sailele Malielegaoi, Prime Minister of Samoa
The Prime Minister of Samoa, Hon Tuilaepa Aiono Sailele Malielegaoi officially opened a state-of-the-art Search and Rescue Facility on Friday, last week. The first of its kind in the Pacific. The facility will be used as a training base to improve and support emergency response in Samoa and to support regional trainings for response teams from the Pacific into the future.
This project is the result of a partnership between the Samoa Disaster Management Office, Samoa Fire & Emergency Service Authority and the Pacific Community (SPC). The WST 1,059,117 (Euro 365,000) was provided by the European Union and ACP Group of States.
Samoa is at risk of disaster which means ensuring its emergency services are prepared, trained and equipped to respond quickly is critical. Hon. Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Dr. Sailele Malielegaoi said “the facility is a significant milestone in the continuous development of the Government’s commitment to improve its search and rescue operations during disasters and emergencies”.
The Search and Rescue Facility consists of a training room, equipment rooms, two change rooms for men and women and store rooms for critical emergency equipment. Training can now be delivered for up to 40 participants in a range of emergency areas. Personal Protective Equipment (PCE) used for emergency response will also be safely housed in the facility ensuring equipment is in safe and suitable environments for emergency response teams.
Ms Jenny Brown, the EU Delegation for the Pacific Project Manager, while speaking at the opening said, ''Emergencies and disasters will increase in the future due to the changing climate and such a facility will ensure that first responders are better trained to save lives when the need arises. Preparedness is critical so that all response efforts are well planned. ”
The facility will be maintained and used by Fire fighters and other key stakeholders responsible for search and rescue.
The Pacific Community’s (SPC) Director of the Geoscience, Energy and Maritime (GEM) Division, Dr Andrew Jones commended Samoa for their foresight. “This facility is the first of its kind in the region and will ensure those on the frontline of disaster in Samoa are ready, supported and able to effectively respond to hazards into the future”.
BSRP is a €19.37million ACP-EU Building Safety and Resilience in the Pacific project (BSRP) funded by the EU and implemented by 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.
Noa Tokavou, Officer DRM| Email: [email protected] Phone: +679 7684747