The team who deployed to Nepal to deliver lifesaving search and rescue training returned to the UK safe, sound and with a successful mission complete. Here's some more about what happened and why Serve On were asked to return and deliver the training.
Dan and Mark, both members of our International Response Team, attended a multi agency disaster management course in Kathmandu back in December 2014, followed by our team's deployment to the area last year for earthquake response. On both occassions the team were helped enormously by Charlie Jones who is attached to the British Gurkhas Nepal as an Operations Officer with, amongst other responsibilities, crisis and preparation planning. Without his help we would have struggled to achieve objectives on our deployment.
Following work with Charlie we were invited back to assist with plans to develop the British Gurkhas Nepal Search and Rescue Team and to review a number of plans. Fortunately the Commander of British Gurkhas Nepal was taking part in the course as well as the Head of Security for the FCO and the British Embassy. Twenty men and women from across military and civilian backgrounds took part in the course, all of whom will form some part of the response when Nepal suffers a predicted future large scale earthquake. A large amount of research has gone into predicting the next occurance of earthquakes in the area and sadly there is a real chance that the country will largely be cut off from International help. Community Resilience indigenous actions will have to stand alone for an extended period. In short, if you survive, you are a responder.
This is a difficult subject to confront for those facing this situation and there is an understandable sense of denial in some areas but feedback suggests that our Serve On team made a number of breakthroughs in shifting how those in Nepal can approach resilience.
As usual our team had to be highly dynamicand adapt to the students and locations available from classrooms to basketball courts, ceremonial gardens and local demolition sites - all in very high temperatures and early monsoon rains!
The team covered specific planning, training and deploying light rescue and Dan's post-training feedback is that the team wer fantastic, delivering beyond expectations. There was also some excellent support from the team back home in the Ops Room who were able to provide information to support resources in the field and materials to deliver the training.
On the back of the team's excellent work we now have a number of opportunities to help on an annual basis and across other areas of work. In addition there is some interest in Community Resilience Team options in Nepal, as well as support for our own deployment potential. Thank you to the British Gurkhas Nepal for inviting us to deliver training and we look forward to a continued relationship in the future.