PEER Swift Water Rescue Course for South Asia taking shape

Apr 10, 2017

In view of enhancing national and local emergency response capacity, a Draft 5-Day course on Swift Water Rescue (SWR) has been developed for South Asia region that comprises river crossing, search and rescue techniques, pre-hospital treatment, immobilization and transportation of victims, and a scenario-based day/night simulation exercises. Regional Course Development Workshop held in Kurintar, Chitwan District, Nepal during April 10-12, 2017 worked out to bring out this draft version of the training curriculum. 

National Society for Earthquake Technology-Nepal (NSET) organized the workshop, through core funding from the United States Agency for International Development/Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA).

The Draft SWR Course is a new specialized training to be introduced under the Program for Enhancement of Emergency Response (PEER) Stage 4 (2014-2019). PEER is a regional program funded by the USAID/OFDA and implemented by NSET since 2003. 

The SWR curriculum development workshop was a major step in designing the course structure that will best fit the South Asian context. Selected water rescue experts and national disaster risk management stakeholders from different countries, namely, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal and Pakistan, participated in the workshop. A senior expert from Rescue 3 International, USA, a world-renowned organization in water rescue training, was invited for providing expert’s input to the PEER SWR course curricula. NSET is partnering with Initiative Outdoor, a Nepal-based organization led by Rescue 3 International-certified SWR experts, for the overall development of the SWR training curriculum under PEER Stage 4.

During the closing program of the Regional Workshop, Dr. Amod Mani Dixit, Executive Director, NSET and Chief of Party, PEER, underscored the need for strengthening SWR capabilities in South Asia to address various water-related emergencies in the region.

Lt. Col Khuda Bakhsh, Director (Response), National Disaster Management Authority, Pakistan gave a short impression on the workshop on behalf of participants. He highlighted the importance of SWR course in South Asia and mentioned that the workshop produced very good framework of course for the region. 

Dr. Michael Ernst, USAID/OFDA’s Regional Advisor for South Asia, stressed on the importance of program ownership by the countries and continuation of the very good efforts that has been already started. 

Similarly, Mr. Indra Bahadur KC, Executive Director of Nepal Red Cross Society, emphasized the importance of water rescue skills in our region and made commitments on behalf of his organization for supporting the program. 

SSP Narayan Dutta Poudel, Armed Police Force Headquarters, appreciated the work done under PEER and congratulated the team for drafting SWR course curricula in the context of our region. Col. Baburam Shrestha, Disaster Management Directorate, Nepalese Army, also mentioned the need of skills for addressing water emergencies and appreciated the efforts made for developing the course curricula for the South Asian region. The closing program ended with the distribution of certificate of appreciation to all participants. 

The draft of PEER SWR course has mainly referred to the training curricula of Rescue 3 International in technical aspects and designed as per the standard and system of other PEER courses implemented since 1998. 

A regional level SWR Pilot Course, using this curricula, is planned to take place during this program stage.

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