Search and Rescue Facility Opens at Tuanaimato

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Lau Susuga i le Ta’ita’i o le Sauniga,
Members of Cabinet and Parliamentarians,
Members of the Diplomatic Corps,
Development Partners,
Representatives of Government Organization and NGO’s,
Members of the Press,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am delighted to join you all today at the opening ceremony of the URBAN SEARCH and RESCUE TRANING FACILITY. 

First and foremost, I would like to extend my warmest congratulations to the European Union and SPC and to those who have contributed to the successful completion of this important facility.

The building was designed by Kramer Ausenco Samoa Ltd, construction by Westerlund Construction, with financial assistance from ACP EU BSRP for the amount of $1.06 million tala.

Today marks the realisation of an idea that began about 5 years ago and is a significant milestone in our Government’s commitment, to develop and strengthen the search and rescue capabilities of our national disaster management and response agencies. We are constantly reminded of our vulnerability to the forces of nature, when we think of the devastation of the 2009 Tsunami and other lost at sea incidents that have impacted our families and communities.

Through these trying experiences we have developed forward thinking initiatives to ensure we are able to prevent the loss of lives during disaster. Some of these initiatives have been the upgrading of skills and services by the Fire and Emergency Services Authority, through diversified training programs within and outside of its compound, but never on a paper facility as you see today.

The facility will house equipment and tools for training rescuers, the first responders to properly respond to different situations.

The current settings of the facility include a storage room for life saving equipment, showers and bathrooms, an interactive classroom with computers, live fire platform and rooms for officers. There is also a multipurpose room for indoor exhibitions and theme-based seminars. As you can also see, this facility is well protected and is well lit at night by solar powered exterior lighting.

The opening of this new facility will offer a diverse training experience to new rescuers as well current.

The Vision of the Search and Rescue Training Facility is “for staff to achieve their fullest potential and become responsible and respectable members of the Fire and Emergency Services Authority”, which is in line with the Authority’s Mission “to ensure we nurture and elevate current and future staff in responsible and well-equipped personnel’.

I share in the excitement and exhilaration of everyone involved over the grand opening of the Training Facility today. I am confident that building on its strengths and foundations, FESA would fully utilize the enhanced facilities, and the increased resources from the Government and EU to further promote staff development. With the concerted efforts of all the stakeholders, I trust that FESA will continue to fulfil its mission of developing staff as confident, innovative and resourceful individuals with one goal and that is, to save lives.

Before I close, I would like to again thank Ms Jenny Brown of the EU, le Afioga Audrie Aumua of SPC, MNRE and FESA, for this important project.

I wish the Authority every success in the years ahead and all of you a safe and peaceful weekend

Faafetai.