SA develops international disaster training program

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The Salvation Army, through The Salvation Army World Service Office (SAWSO) and International Headquarters’ Emergency Disaster Service Office, is in the process of developing a standardized international disaster-management training program called P.R.E.P.A.R.E. (Prepare to Respond to Emergencies—Planning and Readiness Education).

As part of its development phase, the program conducted two intensive training seminars to test its curriculum. The first “pilot” seminar was conducted this spring in Geneva, Switzerland, and the second was held in September in Midlothian, Texas.

The North American International Emergency Services Seminar, conducted in cooperation with the University of Wisconsin’s Disaster Management Program, was a 12-day intensive course that brought together 16 delegates from the four U.S. territories, in addition to Salvation Army personnel representing SAWSO, IHQ International, IHQ Emergency Services, India NHQ, Canada, Central India, Congo/Angola, Indonesia, Latin America North, and Russia.

The curriculum included an overview of international emergency services, as well as instruction on the nature of hazards and disasters, disasters and development programs, disaster preparedness, disaster response, disaster mitigation, the news media, international security, field operations, and pastoral care. In addition, The Sphere Project’s Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response were introduced. The participants received accredited certificates of completion in Disaster Management and Pastoral Care.

The Western Territory was represented by: Major Becky Sparks, corps officer, Albuquerque, New Mex.; Captain Rich Pease, corps officer, Bozeman, Mont.; Shaun Jones, service extension & EDS director, Cascade DHQ; and John Berglund, territorial disaster training coordinator, Western THQ.

The program is funded in-part through a grant from the Lilly Endowment.

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