SEEBA passes UN-Test
Thumbs up for THW’s Rapid Deployment Unit for Salvage Operations Abroad (SEEBA): it fulfils the United Nations’ (UN) framework for humanitarian emergency relief operations after earthquakes. This was confirmed by the auditors of INSARAG after a 36-hour large-scale exercise in Wesel. Thus, SEEBA will continue to be represented in the assignment catalogue of INSARAG as a so-called “Heavy Team”.
“SEEBA mastered all the different challenging operational situations with flying colours”, said THW-President, Mr Albrecht Broemme with satisfaction. “SEEBA earned its reclassification in an impressive way”. Before the eyes of the auditors and observers, the team, consisting of 66 volunteers and six rescue dogs, simulated an operation abroad after an earthquake. The experts had to cope with typical scenarios and features of the respective country.
One of the tasks was, for example, the search for trapped people with the help of search dogs, the securing, bracing and shoring of buildings in danger of collapse and also the moving of loads. Another important component of the exercise was to gain safe access to injured people. To this end, THW-volunteers had to create technically sophisticated openings through different materials such as concrete, steel or wood.
Furthermore, the INSARAG auditors assessed the entry into the disaster area, the cooperation of SEEBA with local authorities, UN representatives and other rescue organisations and also the management and coordination of their own response staff and the logistical processing of the operation.
In 2007 the UN certified SEEBA for the first time. The reclassification regularly takes place every five years. This year, the auditors came from Switzerland, the Netherlands, Poland, Norway and the USA. INSARAG (International Search and Rescue Advisory Group) is a committee within the United Nations, which consists of disaster management experts from more than 80 countries. Its main task is to define international quality standards for so-called urban search and rescue units (USAR). USAR units are mainly assigned to densely populated regions after a disaster.
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