Rescue 1122 observes national disaster awareness day UN certification of rescue team made country proud, says Sarwar

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The Emergency Services Academy observed the National Disaster Awareness Day to pay homage to those who lost their lives, sustained injuries and displaced due to devastating 2005 earthquake in Pakistan.
In this connection a ceremony of National Disaster Awareness Day was held at the Governor’s House to express solidarity with earthquake victims and their families. One minute’s silence was also observed and prayers were offered for the victims of the earthquake. Governor Chaudhary Muhammad Sarwar, who was the chief guest, addressed the ceremony. He expressed sorrow and grief over the demises of thousands of people and loss of property in the earthquake.
He said that 8th Oct was a national disaster as we were helpless in searching people trapped under the collapsed structure. There was no system of search and rescue, the communication system collapsed, and experts from other countries took a few days to reach and assist the country. As a result of our lack of expertise, precious lives and property were lost.
He said that every disaster was an opportunity for development and smart nations learn from disasters. The way DG Rescue Dr Rizwan Naseer accepted this challenge after the earthquake to become the first United Nations INSARAG Certified Team in South Asia was commendable and he was proud to associate with this organization since its inception, he added.
Governor Sarwar recalled that Rescue Service was still in its infancy when the quake struck and he was requested to get the officers trained from UK Fire Service. He accepted the challenge and contributed to establishing the modern fire service system in the country.
Speaking on the occasion, Minister for Disaster Management Mian Khalid Mehmood appreciated the services being provided by the Rescue 1122. He said the credit of establishment of a global standard Emergency Service goes to Punjab Assembly Speaker Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi, Governor Sarwar and Dr Rizwan Naseer.
He said that one of his friends told him that Pakistan’s Rescue Service was of international standard. He said that once he called 1122 for help in a snake emergency, and within a few minutes a team reached his home and caught the snake.
Mian Khalid congratulated Pakistan Rescue Team on becoming the United Nations Certified Team in South Asia.
Earlier, in the welcome address Pakistan Rescue Team commander Dr Rizwan Naseer said that after witnessing the helplessness of the people in Pakistan during earthquake, we accepted this challenge like the Ambulance & Fire Service challenges and established the first Disaster Response Team in October 2006.
Then to achieve International standard started efforts were made for capacity building of Rescue Team as per UN International Search & Rescue Advisory Group. Finally after getting registration in 2015 and subsequent efforts of several years it is a great honor for Pakistan that the Pakistan Rescue Team of Emergency Services Academy became the first United Nations INSARAG certified Team in South Asia.
He said now we can send our rescuers to other countries who need emergency help. Moreover, we are training officials of our neighboring countries.