Photo provided by the Department for Emergency Situations, Romanian Ministry of Internal Affairs
In the light of the recent events over the past years (from natural hazards to emergency situations, from a pandemic to man-made conflicts), it is vital to address the importance of the initial response provided by the members of the community. This is why tasks such as mapping the vulnerabilities of a community, identifying their needs, and planning steps in the disaster response process (i.e prevention, preparedness, response) should be done in collaboration with the community. This will, as a consequence, increase the community awareness by making the population understand what the risks are and how they should behave if a disaster or crisis were to occur.
Therefore, it is important for every citizen and civil society organisation to understand that they compose the front lines until “help” arrives. This is a valuable step in enhancing societal resilience and supporting authorities during the intervention phase. In addition, the authorities and all stakeholders involved in civil security have an important role in preparing information and training campaigns in rural and urban areas so as to promote a culture of behaviour change, to avoid tragedies, and better manage emergency situations.
Disasters can happen anywhere and at any time, but acquiring relevant information in advance about the roles and responsibilities could have a transformative power by making every citizen a new rescuer. In this regard, in order to face each challenge and to build a resilient society, the Romanian Department for Emergency Situations is involved in a large-scale national public information campaign, which includes tailor-made training programmes (based on the region, the typology of the most frequent risks, the level of local development or the resources available at the community level), with the ultimate goal to be closer to the citizens and to prepare them to better face the occurrence of an emergency situation.
Thus, the Mobile Center for Training the Population for Response to Emergency Situations has started its training activities in primary and secondary schools, and is not only stationed in several cities in the country but is also extending it’s training programme to the general population. The Mobile Center is a new initiative, an additional training instrument for the Romanian Department for Emergency Situations, that is complimentary with the Be Ready caravan. Equipped with the state-of-the-art emergency simulation technology and built in a semi-trailer configuration, the fully autonomous the Mobile Center uses “digital flames”, fire prevention and extinguishing scenarios, voltage fluctuation simulation due to extreme weather, realistic earthquake simulations, hazard recognition technologies and multimedia effects.
Participants in the training sessions will experience safe but highly realistic emergency scenarios that can vary in intensity and outcome. The Mobile Center is designed to provide an in-depth learning experience by moving to various places in the country, thus increasing the accessibility of the entire population to this type of learning, enabling the community to prepare for such a disaster, and enhancing the level of societal resilience.
Written by: Department for Emergency Situations, Romanian Ministry of Internal Affairs