Professional Rescue, supported by International Life Saving (ILS) and International Fire Chiefs Association (IAFC), is organising another unique ‘Floodfighters Masterclass 2022’ this Summer in the USA at Muscatatuck Urban Training Center, Indiana from 17 to 23 July 2022. The facilitators and presenters are a list of who’s who in this field of disaster response operations, led by Chief Jeff Dulin (Emeritus Ret.) Strategic Advisor IAFC National and International Programs, Mr David Lane Managing Director of Professional Rescue and Mr Joe Sorrentino of Florida Task Force with 11 other outstandingly experienced colleagues to join them to present to you.
Threatening weather extremes of cyclones, hurricanes, tropical storms and floods bringing disaster everywhere continue, 2021 saw ‘unprecedented, but unfortunately foreseeable, loss of life everywhere – in developed and developing countries alike around the world. A European Environment Agency report on flooding in Europe said: ‘More rain will fall as the years pass because of climate change, contributing to about one-fifth of future flood damage. The majority of the cause will be from building on wetlands. Annual flood losses can be expected to increase fivefold by 2050 and up to 17‑fold by 2080, threatening lives around the world.’ Whilst authoring this article, it was reported that at least 443 people have died in floods that have devastated South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal province, according to an official, as rescuers searched for dozens of people still missing in that south-eastern coastal region.
Tactical and strategic responder representatives from around the globe in police/law enforcement, public service agencies, lifesavers, fire and rescue services, emergency medical services, emergency planning, public health, and hazardous materials response organisations are encouraged and invited to attend with the nomination of their agency.
Major flood events cause significant hazards, many have within them ‘normal business’ incidents, e.g. the fires that occurred during Hurricane Sandy when it hit New York. This class will explore the common tools to resolve these incidents, not just that of major flooding, with an all-hazards approach that responders will face in those circumstances.
There will be presentations on lessons learned during recent major weather events and their barriers to success, lessons in ‘Strategy & Tactics for diverse types of events’, and the harder questions of ‘Have we learned those lessons yet?’, all delivered by presenters of the highest level with real experience of dealing with and resolving major incidents, disasters and challenges.
The focus of the class are periods when delegates report to different simulated scenario sites ranging across HazMat Incident, Flood Incident, Building Collapse Incident and a Missing Person, and conduct assessments at these ‘props’ whilst receiving realistic input from experts. Muscatatuck Urban Training Center is an outstanding facility for these scenarios. Delegates will progress to ‘Incident Action Plan(s) Development’ for assigned scenarios, followed by critique feedback to enhance personal and professional development.
Delegates will experience a range of command and management matters under ‘exercise scenario’ conditions. The class includes sessions on how to prepare and perform a field assessment, negotiation skills and decision management.
Experts will present on the Tactical and Strategic issues of using GIS and UAS for Incident Intelligence and resolution of incidents.
The class includes the ‘Understanding the use of ‘SAR UAS’ (drones) for Incident Intelligence, reconnaissance and search’, to include ‘Documenting the use of UAS in disasters and resolution of events’; presented by expert Skyfire company staff.
This special ‘Floodfighters 2022 Masterclass’ aims not only to improve the individual capabilities of delegates but to enhance their ability to function within a wider framework. The class will major on the use of US NIMS Planning with the US FEMA SAR Deployment Tool, using both Geographic Information Systems and including ‘UAVs for Incident Intelligence’ to gather Incident Intelligence to improve the resolution of major flood and all hazards’ incidents. The outcomes from this course are for participants to be able to support Incident Management functions, understand the Incident Planning process and compile Incident Action Plans (IAP) to improve Tactical and Strategic liaison.
International ‘Floodfighters Masterclasses’ have over a decade and a half of history in improving international collaboration for gaining better understanding of tactics and techniques to improve response to major flood events, whilst working to have a ‘Memorandum of Understanding’ agreement signed between the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) and the International Life Saving Federation (ILS), to show the need to work closer together to achieve our vital goals of saving lives from drowning. As a record of this vital necessity a ‘Letter of Intent’ will be signed at this event.
This collaborative agreement is to support the aim of water rescue and drowning prevention globally. This agreement would allow sharing of good practice and position statements in keeping the world community safe near, on or in water. Drowning is the third biggest killer in the world. Factually, drowning is the third leading cause of unintentional injury death worldwide, accounting for 7% of all injury-related deaths. There are an estimated 236,000 annual drowning deaths worldwide. Global estimates may significantly underestimate the actual public health problem related to drowning. Children, males and individuals with increased access to water are most at risk of drowning.
Shockingly, 70% of drowning happens through disaster.*
Only through collaboration and sharing can lives be saved on a global level, and with two global bodies working side by side, the goal to achieve a reduction in drowning, particularly during flooding and disaster events around the world, becomes that much closer.
For more information, email David firstname.lastname@example.org
* World Health Organisation (WHO) Statistics. WHO is the United Nations agency that connects nations, partners and people to promote health, keep the world safe and serve the vulnerable.