United States supports disaster response training in Lesotho

Graduation ceremony
Graduation ceremony

'An excellent model of USAID's trilateral assistance to Southern Africa'

For Immediate Release

Friday, April 26, 2013
Public Affairs Section, US Embassy, Maseru

Rescue South Africa, with support from USAID’s Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) Southern Africa Regional Capacity Building Program, conducted training for members of Lesotho’s National Development of Emergency Services Responders.

This first group of graduates has been equipped to respond to emergency disasters in the most effective life-saving ways. This ground-breaking grassroots pilot project begins the USAID-sponsored roll-out that is envisaged to cover eight Southern African countries to vastly reduce the time taken to respond to crises and rescue victims.  This first phase involved 30 emergency services personnel, drawn from the Lesotho Fire and Police Services and covered the following:

• First Aid
• Swift Water Awareness
• Hazardous Chemical Awareness
• Introduction to Incident Command
• INSARAG (International Search and Rescue Advisory Group) First Responder

The second phase will commence May 9 and will cover:

• High Angle 1 (Teaching rope rescue systems, lifting and lowering patients in basket stretcher)
• Confined Space Rescue
• Light Motor Vehicle Extrication

A commemoration ceremony for the first Basotho graduates will take place at the Lesotho Sun on Friday, April 26, at 11:30. Successful candidates will receive achievement certificates and medals. 

USAID’s Regional General Development Director, Blake Chrystal, describes the achievement as “an excellent model of USAID's trilateral assistance to Southern Africa”.  The effort equips South Africa to develop the capacity and technical expertise to respond locally to needs that occur in the sub-continent, including health risks, food security, climate threats and natural disasters.

Rescue South Africa received USAID-supported search and rescue training in 2006 and has since assisted at emergencies throughout the world.

For further information, please contact the Public Affairs section of the U.S. Embassy at 22-312-666 – Ext 4317 or email TsiameST@state.gov or infomaseru@state.gov.

Last updated: July 28, 2016

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