Disaster Response Training was held in Sorta
16 April 2022

In a sign of increased interagency and international cooperation, the Danish Emergency Management Agency (DEMA) facilitated a week-long disaster response training event with participation of Georgia’s Emergency Management Service and National Guard reservists. The training focused on developing Georgia’s response capabilities to natural and manmade disasters. The event is one of many activities occurring under the Substantial NATO-Georgia Package (SNGP) Crisis Management Initiative, led by Denmark. 
 
From 11-14 April, in the Senaki District of West Georgia, members of the National Guard were led through situational exercises by Emergency Management Services and National Guard trainers overseen by a senior instructor from DEMA. Trainings reinforced the National Guard’s support role in civil protection and Georgia’s national emergency system, which was codified in a memorandum of cooperation signed by the Commander of the National Guard and the Head of the Emergency Management Services in 2021. “The simulated environment allowed participants to develop an improved understanding of each organization’s capabilities and identify potential hurdles while working towards a common objective,” said DEMA’s senior instructor, First Lieutenant David John Dicker.
  
Participants were led through firefighting, rescue, and evacuation exercises. They received first-hand experience in building up water barriers and reservoirs with sandbags, establishing helicopter landing zones, running water supply lines, and establishing fire prevention lines to help control wildfires. In-kind donations of firefighting equipment and protective gear by the Government of Denmark will follow this training. First Deputy Head of Georgia’s Emergency Management Services, Mr. Levan Ghirsiashvili and Deputy Head of the National Guard, Commander Colonel Levan Gugenishvili jointly commented that “Today’s actions and the expectation for additional rescue equipment are an essential step towards the goal of preventing human loss of life.”

“The challenges before us are many, but the way forward is through interagency and international cooperation. In only a year’s time, Georgia’s National Guard and Emergency Management Services have made big strides towards seamless crisis response operations. Only through building trust and deepening cooperation will we be able to meet the coming challenges successfully,” the Danish Leader for SNGP’s Crisis Management Initiative, Colonel Susanne Kristensen said. SNGP’s Crisis Management Initiative was launched in 2016, at the Warsaw Summit. It aims to strengthen Georgia’s national civil crisis management system at the strategic, operational, and tactical levels. The Initiative is based on and in accordance with NATO’s resilience baseline requirements (e.g. continuity of government, energy, population movement, food and water resources, mass casualties, civil communications and transport systems).

 

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