The past week saw the return of Paul McQueen who was in Vanuatu last year as a part of the Rotary Funded VTT program.

This time around Paul, his wife Jenni and their friends from Australian Emergency Services, Greg Cormack, Brett Johnson, Matt Kirby and Sam Cantwell self-funded their trip to conduct training to all Emergency Services here in Vanuatu. The team were hosted by ProRescue who invited all the Vanuatu Emergency Services to participate in Inter-Agency training.

The training kicked off on Saturday with chainsaw training for ProRescue in preparation for cyclone season.

Sunday and Monday was Leadership & Instructor Training with attendees from ARFFS Bauerfield Airport, Municipality Wardens, ProMedical and ProRescue. Tuesday was working at heights with ProRescue.

The focus of Wednesday was water rescue. ProRescue has an arrangement with Big Blue where there is always a boat available and gear stored in the event of a Banana boat full of tourists getting into trouble on a Cruise Ship day.

This would be a major event with the possibility of a large number of non-swimmers being in the water. The Municipality Wardens joined ProRescue and Big Blue on some skills on how to rescue from land and how to get tired or unresponsive people out of the water and into a boat. The training then moved to Shark Bay in the afternoon where ProRescue and the Wardens practiced getting people out of flood waters.

The Police College played host on Thursday for Urban Search and Rescue (USAR)training for all the agencies, ARFFS, Municipality Wardens, Police, ProMedical, ProRescue and the VMF Fire Service. USAR is training for large events caused by cyclones, earthquake’s or tsunamis. It began with basic skills in the morning, followed by USAR specific training Thursday and Friday afternoon.

This Multi-Agency Event culminated with a major exercise involving 57 participants playing the casualties. The casualties were played by the Vanuatu Police Recruits and both male and female cricketers from Vanuatu Cricket.

William Thomas from Vanuatu Police did an amazing job as Incident Controller as all the Agencies pulled together to search and rescue the 57 persons who were spread through the Police College. These exercises are crucial to test planning and response to major events. This type of training allows cooperation of the agencies and an opportunity to work together.

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