Damian Eaton of the Australian Civil-Military Centre (ACMC) travelled to Lautoka to support the establishment of Fiji’s inaugural National Emergency Response Team (NERT). Throughout the seven-day intensive training event Damian presented on how to incorporate and coordinate civil, military and police responders, both domestic and international, into an effective national emergency response. Fiji is only the second country in the region to establish a deployable NERT (after the Solomon Islands).
NERT members were taught all aspects of emergency response which included Disaster and Emergency Management arrangements, Team Development and post-event Assessment and Analysis. Thirty-five representatives from nineteen Fiji Government agencies tested their ability to respond to a variety of emergency scenarios. A twenty-four-hour simulation exercise was conducted in the final days with Fiji’s Minister for Disaster Management Hon. Sakiasi R Ditoka being briefed on the outcomes by the National Emergency Response Team.
The highlight for participants, officials and international facilitators was the presence of Fiji’s Prime Minister the Hon. Sitiveni Ligamamada Rabuka who presided over the NERT graduation ceremony. Prime Minister Rabuka presented ACMC’s Damion Eaton with a Commemorative Plaque thanking the Australian Government for their valued contribution to the event.
The Chief of Joint Capabilities, LTGEN Frewen was delighted to see ACMC continuing to share valuable knowledge and build strong relationships with our Pacific neighbours, stating that ‘In-country capacity to respond quickly to national disasters in this region is essential.’