By Jam Sajjad Hussain
The world’s renowned boxer Muhammad Ali Clay once said, “I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion”. Correctly said. This passion is like backbone in each field of life. Let me quote an example from the profession of firefighting. Because, when a firefighter is in the battlefield then he does not remember very much, he does not think, rather he reacts by instinct, which lies truly in training. If the firefighter is trained on modern lines considering in mind to fight in battlefield so that they may react exactly in the same manner what they did in training.
‘Training plays a key role in emergency preparedness planning, as a synergistic activity along with the communications and supply elements tied together tightly with teamwork. To achieve the objective of minimizing the loss, which is the most important objective, a number of elements must be in place at the same time and lacking any one of such elements can undo all the others. These elements can be labelled as planning, preparedness, training and outcomes.
The fire & rescue department always needs right person for the right job and then a comprehensive training mechanism to mold them into professional for the battlefield. In order to ensure sustainable human resource development in this long neglected field of emergency management, Emergency Services Academy has been established in accordance with section 14 of the Punjab Emergency Service Act 2006 at the distance of 5 kilometre, Service Lane, Motorways, from the main chowk of Thokar Niaz Baig, Lahore. This Academy was started with extremely limited resources in 2006 at a deserted Omni Bus Depot in Ichra, Main Ferozepur Road, Lahore in 2004 till the construction of its purpose built campus with simulators for training in life saving skills in the centre of the country at Thokar Niaz Baig where the Highway coming from south of Pakistan meets the Motorway going towards north of Pakistan.
Credit goes to Dr. Rizwan Naseer, the Founder of Modern Emergency Services commonly known as Rescue 1122 inPakistan. He conceptualized the idea & materialized his brainchild into reality within limited resources. A state-of-the-art Emergency Services Academy, Pakistan with three modern campuses – Administration Block, Academic Block and Cadets Dormitory – has been established, which is a Model for SAARC Region.
The academy is equipped with a Ten-Story Fire Tower, Chemical Spillover Simulator along with SCBA Lab, Burn House, FireFitnessTower, Swimming Pool, Lake for Flood Rescue Training and Urban Search & Rescue Rubble Pad, Cadets Training Area and other facilities in order to enhance professional knowledge and expertise of the cadets. The successful candidates after their selection go through a six months long rigorous training based on “Train Hard – Work Easy” pertaining to emergency management, leadership skills, first aid, fire-fighting, fire investigation, flood rescue, height rescue, deep well rescue, calls handling & calls monitoring, specialized rescue operations, complex emergencies and other disasters.
This Academy also provides technical assistance and training to the rescue cadets of other provinces including Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Azad Jammu & Kashmir, Gilgit Baltistan, Sindh and other localities. So far, this academy has trained over 17,634 emergency professionals including 10,000 rescuers of the Punjab Emergency Service (Rescue 1122), KPK and GB etc. The academy has also trained rescuers/ staff of other organizations/ departments including Pakistan Army, Punjab Police, Aman Foundation, Lahore High Court, Services/ Mayo Hospitals, Suparco Company, LUMS, Civil Secretariat, Punjab Forensic Science Agency and many more. Truly speaking, this training institute has become a National Centre of Excellence in SAARC Region which is producing trained human resource in the field of disaster management, which is a unique phenomena in Pakistan and developing countries including India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bhutan and others.
It may be pertinent to mention here that the instructors deputed at this EmergencyServicesAcademy have been trained through the Enhancement of Emergency Response (PEER) program of USAID to conduct Medical First Responder (MFR), Collapsed Structure Search & Rescue (CSSR) courses, Training for Instructors (TFI) and Community Action for Disaster Response (CADRE) courses.
Recently, as a result of the special efforts of Chief Minister Punjab Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif to improve the Health Care System in Punjab, 2nd Batch of 20 Emergency Officers and Instructors left for training in historic city of Turkey, Izmir. The Director General, Punjab Emergency Services Dr. Rizwan Naseer briefed the participants about objectives & target areas of training prior to their departure. He asked them to seek maximum training of emergency & disaster management, emergency medical services system, training, monitoring and other related mechanisms. Dr. Rizwan Naseer further thanked to the Chief Minister Punjab Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif and Turkish Government for continuous support and interest in improving emergency health care system in Punjab.
After seeking training, these officers & instructors will help in training the staff recruited for the Motorbike Ambulance Service and also train the rest of the rescuers when they arrive in Pakistan. Dr. Rizwan Naseer said that Rescue 1122 has been contributing towards health care system by providing timely emergency care to the helpless victims of emergencies in Punjab since its inception in 2004. In recent past, due to sincere efforts of the Chief Minister Punjab Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif, Turkish President Recep Tayyib Erdogan agreed to extend his all-out support to improve Health Care System in Pakistan. Consequently, different departments of our brother country – Turkey – are providing their technical support and training to the departments of Punjab especially Health Care System is being improved on war-footing basis. The Chief Minister Punjab is committed to strengthen the emergency services and health system in collaboration with the Turkish Government.
-Published on pages#34-35-36 June-2017 edition of MOBILE WORLD Magazine