Joint Field Exercise on Collapsed Structure Search & Rescue (CSSR) Techniques conducted in SAADMEx- 2015

On the initiative of the Government of India, first “South Asian Annual Disaster Management Exercise (SAADMEx)” -2015 is being organized in New Delhi and NCR region from November 23-26, 2015. National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) is playing the lead role in conducing SAADMEx- 2015 with the support of National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM), Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and Union Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).

Today, in continuation of the SAADMEx-2015, Joint Field Training Exercise on Collapsed Structure Search & Rescue (CSSR) techniques was conducted by NDRF at NTH Complex, Kamla Nehru Nagar, Ghaziabad (Uttar Pradesh) with active participation of all eight member nations of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), – Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

For the purpose of giving actual feel of disaster (Exercise), a Custom Check Post, Reception & Departure Centre (RDC), Multi-Nation Coordination Centre, On-Site Operation Coordination Centre (OSOCC), Command Post, Communication Centre, Emergency Operation Centre (EOC), Community Centre, Base Medical Station, Rehabilitation Centre & Living Tent were properly established by NDRF as per the International Search & Rescue Advisory Group (INSARAG) guidelines for familiarization & exercise purpose at the venue. Firstly, functioning & response mechanism of above mentioned Centres including International Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) mechanism & USAR Coordination Structure were discussed with all delegates & participating teams of SAARC nations by NDRF officials.

As per the scenario painted, it is presumed that thousands of buildings collapsed after an impact of earthquake (magnitude on Richter Scale 6.8) in National Capital Region (NCR) and Northern part of the country. The Epicenter assumed at Roorkee (Uttarakhand) about 180 km North-East of Delhi. About 2,000 people reported to have died, 4,000 are injured and over 8,000 are missing. Large numbers of people are expected to be trapped under debris of the collapsed structure. Retrieval of injured from collapsed house is a mammoth task for responders and State Government. Considering the huge impact of the disaster, help of South Asian countries was decided to be asked by the Government of India.

Rescue Teams of all SAARC nations promptly responded as per the painted scenario & demonstrated quick response and their CSSR skills / professional capabilities with the help of hi-tech equipment to extricate trapped victims from debris of the collapsed building. Trained sniffer dogs were also placed on service to trace the trapped victims.

Joint Field Training Exercise was conducted under overall supervision of Shri O P Singh, Director General, NDRF and witnessed by representatives from Senior Officers of NDMA, NIDM, MHA, MEA, Army, NDRF, State representatives & other senior dignitaries. Shri O P Singh, Director General, NDRF expressed his immense pleasure on successful conduct of today’s Joint Field Exercise of SAADMEx-2015 based on CSSR with attainment of its objectives. He further said that we successfully painted the real disaster like scenario and hoped that the exercise was quite fruitful to Rescue Team of each SAARC nation to understand their CSSR capabilities & also to have exposure of International standard of response mechanism as envisaged by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA).

In the series of this Exercise, a Joint Field Training Exercise on Chemical Emergency will be conducted at LG Ltd., Greater Noida (U.P.) tomorrow on the basis of painted scenario. Further, on November 26, 2015 After Action Review (AAR) and debriefing session will be organized.