ACS and ADRA participated in an innovative Emergency Management Training program from August 26-31. ADRA coordinated the effort, taking the lead in training sessions and managing the simulation exercise.
Five ACS DR Team members started the training with a three-day classroom session, and ended with a simulation that took place for another three days. The participants received expert knowledge in International response. Some of the topics included Communications, Protection, Cultural Parameters around the world, and United Nations assistance. In addition to the onsite classroom work, each person was required to take over 40 hours of online training prior to class attendance.
The second half of the training called for an exciting simulation exercise when ADRA staff whisked the participants away to an undisclosed location. The exercise entailed real life team deployment, hostages by actors from the community, and objectives and deadlines that had to be met in a way that ultimately served the public best. A part of the exercise involved the Team members being awakened at 3 am by local community participants screaming about a flooding that had destroyed a village next door. Though all this was simulated activity, the realism of the participants raised heart rates throughout the camp.
Even though both ACS and ADRA work with partners outside of the church like the Red Cross, Salvation Army, and even Governmental authorities; however, up until this time we had not the opportunity to work together in such an endeavor. W. Derrick Lea, NAD ACS DR Director, said “While we both respond to similar disasters, typically the need within the NAD and outside of this area are different. Understanding the rules and environment each of us operates under requires expanding our knowledge, skills and abilities”. Expressing his excitement, Lea continued “I am truly proud of the dedication, enthusiasm and proficiency of our ACS DR team. I also believe a foundation has been laid for more collaborative efforts with ADRA”.