30 ASEAN-ERAT new faces ready for action

|    James Kon    |

THIRTY participants of the 11th ASEAN Emergency Response and Assessment Team (ASEAN-ERAT) induction course, including eight from Brunei Darussalam, are ready to respond to any disasters in ASEAN.

Yesterday they received their certificates and ASEAN-ERAT jackets after completing the eight-day course.

The certificates and jackets were presented by Acting Permanent Secretary (Security, Welfare and Law) at the Ministry of Home Affairs Ajman bin Haji Meludin in an event held at the Games Village of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex.

Ajman, the event guest of honour, said of the course in his remarks, “The comprehensive scope of the programme has ensured that the participants have covered a lot of areas spanning theoretical, practical and technical areas such as coordination, logistics, information management and leadership, among others. There was also a module on dealing with the media, which I believe is very important in this age of digitalisation and social media.”

He continued, “The range of issues dealt with in the course ensures that participants have a solid foundation of skills and knowledge needed to succeed in fulfilling the objectives and targets of any future ASEAN-ERAT deployment.”

Deputy Executive Director of AHA Centre Arnel Capili helps a participant slip on the ASEAN- ERAT jacket
Acting Permanent Secretary (Security, Welfare and Law) at the Ministry of Home Affairs Ajman bin Haji Meludin in a group picture with the participants and officials. – PHOTOS: JAMES KON

Ajman added that he hopes the participants have managed to get a taste of what a potential emergency deployment might entail.

“[The participants] had to face a grueling 48-hour exercise where they were constantly bombarded with incidents and situations designed to test their will and endurance. Because in the real world, this is what the participants will be facing,” he said.

“When the participants graduate, they know that they will officially have taken on the duties and responsibilities only 274 other people (the total number of participants under ASEAN-ERAT, excluding the 30 who received completion certificates yesterday) in the Southeast Asian region have been given.”

The acting permanent secretary noted that “the road does not end here”, just because the induction course has been completed. “I am confident that this is the start of several beneficial and productive working relationships that advance the ASEAN Declaration on One ASEAN One Response,” he said.

The ASEAN-ERAT was established by the ASEAN Committee on Disaster Management and is comprised of heads of national disaster management organisations in each of the 10 ASEAN member countries. Its team consists of individuals who have experience in and are trained in handling disaster in the region.

The ASEAN-ERAT falls under the management of the ASEAN Humanitarian Assistance (AHA) Centre, which functions as a coordination hub to move resources to areas affected by disasters in the region.