Ghana — A U.S-based non-governmental organization is training volunteers in emergency disaster management for the Afigya-Kwabre District in the Ashanti Region.
It is the first time the US based group is providing training in Africa.
The NGO, Global Mission Readiness, provides emergency services education and resources to developing countries.
About 100 volunteers are taking part in the two week exercise during which they will learn the rudiments of handling various emergency situations.
Wild fire also known as bushfire, as well as domestic and institutional fire is the most common disasters in the area.
District assembly officials say they intend to establish an emergency centre to assist especially motor accident victims on the accident-prone Kumasi-Tamale-Ouagadougou route.
Tim Barbknecht, leader of the four-man American team made up of veteran fire fighters and medical professionals told Nhyira News the district will benefit not only from expertise but also equipment donated by some medical supply companies in the U.S.
“Just to create a safer society being able to deal with emergencies. As it stands now, there is a car accident and it would take sometime to be able to take the victim to the nearest hospital facility but to be able to assess the patient and to take care of them to give them better chances of survival, so as long as people are aware and have a deal of these emergencies, they will eventually save lives.”
Mr. Barbknecht said though the Afigya-Kwabre district has a long way to go in providing emergency facilities, “it would soon reach there”.
He is optimistic the partnership between Afigya-Kwabre district and the Global Mission Readiness will address equipment and other resource challenges in disaster management.
“Our goal at GMRS is to provide the needed training and skills to those who are in need of them, we are trying to get a big corporate donor from whom we can always have money, as long as there is money, we can get equipment”, he said.
District Chief Executive, Kaakyire Oppong-Kyekyeku, is happy the relationship will result in professional handling of emergencies.
He said the emergency centre would provide first aid services pending transfer of serious cases to designated hospitals.
“All the equipment they (volunteers) would be using during this programme would be used as training materials.”
Mr. Oppong-Kyekyeku commended Global Mission Readiness for the training, adding that the partnership would propel the assembly to establish an emergency centre along the Kumasi-Tamale-Ouagadougou route, an accident prone road.
“The amount involved in acquiring these equipment to me is huge. For us to have gotten them is a plus for us.”
“After this programme, it is our vision that we set up an emergency centre along this route to be equipped with such tools so that whenever there is a disaster, we can manage it well,” he explained.