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Samoa to strengthen emergency management capability with qualified fire investigators

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Strengthen emergency Management capability

23 Feb 2018 | Suva

Following an audit of the Samoa Fire & Emergency Services Authority this week, the Island nation will take steps to increase its emergency management capability with the introduction of qualified fire investigators. The representative selected to become Samoa’s first detailed investigator will travel to Melbourne in April 2018 to train with the highly skilled Melbourne Fire Brigade’s (MFB) Fire Investigation & Analysis (FIA) team. The investigator will return to Samoa by June 2018 to support Samoa’s Fire and Emergency Services Authority (SFESA) efforts of increasing the investigation skills of colleagues in Samoa. Up to four Fire and Emergency Services personnel are expected to receive training, creating the first qualified fire investigation team in Samoa.

Samoa Fire and Emergency Services (F.E.S.A) Commissioner, Lelevaga Faafouina Mupo said “the country is focused on maintaining a strong emergency services culture which has again been tested after the impact of Tropical Cyclone Gita last week.  This audit and the work we are doing here continues our commitment to increasing our emergency services capabilities to ensure we are best equipped into the future.”

The audit was carried out by the MFB in partnership with the Pacific Community (SPC) and (SFESA) under the Pacific Islands Emergency Management Alliance (PIEMA), and assessed the country’s capacity to investigate the root cause of fires as well as using fire incident data to increase investigation skills in the country. In addition to qualified fire investigators, the audit also made recommendations on improving fire response, fire safety and community messaging.

“Supporting and strengthening emergency management in the Pacific is critical to ensure countries in the region are better prepared before disasters strike and when an emergency response is required.  This audit work will help bolster the Samoa Fire and Emergency Services Authority and the Pacific Community is privileged to play a key role in helping our partners increase emergency services capacity across the Pacific,” said Dr Andrew Jones, Pacific Community’s Director of the Geoscience, Energy and Maritime Division (GEM).

Melbourne Fire Brigade’s Assistant Chief Fire Officer, Barry Gray, said the completion of this week’s audit will support the long-term capacity of the country to carry out fire investigation and support the implementation of the recently endorsed Fire Reduction Strategy.

“This week’s training has provided FESA with the skills required to better train their operational fire fighters in scene perseveration working towards supporting the elements of the National fire Reduction Strategy and ultimately better community outcomes.  This will now be supported by the training of one of the FESA team in the coming months with our team,” he said.

The partnership is possible through the Pacific Community’s Building Safety and Resilience in the Pacific Project funded by the European Union and ACP Group of States and implemented in Samoa by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment through its Disaster Management Office. The project will cover the transport and travel costs of the MFB investigators.  The MFB technical team’s training and time is provided in-kind as part of the ongoing partnership between Samoa Government, and the Pacific Islands Emergency Management Alliance.


Contact Details:

Anthony Blake, PIEMA Officer (SPC). This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it phone: +679 7751401

Molly Nielsen, Disaster Management Office (Principal DM Officer), This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it phone: +685 7784 143


Last Updated on Monday, 12 March 2018 12:40  

Newsflash

The EU EDF 9 B Envelope Project is really making some great strides as we demonstrate in this issue. The Federated States of Micronesia will have Emergency Operations Centres at state level and Chuuk is the first state to complete construction. In addition to this we are continuing with our training programme with the leadership and support of The Asia Foundation/USAID Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance and also continuing support for the developing of Joint DRM and CCA National Action Plans.

During April we have also been undertaking preparations for the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction which is being held in Geneva from 8th – 13th May. A delegation of about 30 people are representing the Pacific with SOPAC contributing 4 including the SOPAC Division Director, Dr. Russell Howorth. We have worked closely with the UNISDR Sub Regional Office and colleagues from Pacific island countries to prepare for the Platform and will provide insights from those who attended in our May issue.

For the moment though I hope you enjoy reading this issue.

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Mosese Sikivou
Deputy Director
Disaster Reduction Programme