US experts train local fire fighters

The U.S. Forest Service through the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID’s) Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) launched a one-week Incident Command System training to the Windhoek Fire Department and representatives of relevant ministries earlier this week.
The event was attended by Windhoek Mayor, Muesee Kazapua, who thanked the United States government for its continued support to Namibia in the field of disaster management.
On behalf of U.S. Ambassador to Namibia Thomas Daughton, Regional Security Officer Jason Meixner highlighted the importance of a standardized, coordinated and professional approach in tackling disasters such as veld fires and floods, which occur regularly in Namibia.
“This training, the Incident Command System or ICS, will help save more Namibian lives through enhanced communications, planning and organizational management,” Meixner said.
He further emphasized that the likelihood of natural disasters is expected to increase with the effects of climate change in the region.
The Incident Command System was developed in the 1970s and has proven effective and economical to ‘bring order to chaos’ during disaster and emergency response operations such as the recent wildfires around Cape Town and the September 11 terrorist attacks of 2001.
Currently the U.S. government supports this capacity-building programme for southern Africa with N$22 million over a period of two years.

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