Press release June, 2011

Top disaster management experts from the United States will join a team of South Africa’s most experienced emergency service managers in September to run two courses on the planning and logistics of managing a natural disaster.

The high-level training forms part of the on-going professional development of the country’s emergency services and will hone in on the mechanics of the Incident Command System (ICS).

Under the system, a chain of command is created, delegating authority to an appointed Incident Commander, (IC) who is given the power to co-ordinate all available resources and equipment to deal —  from a single point of focus —  with the declared disaster. The system works to draw experts, from fire fighters to ambulance personal and other agencies  that do not routinely work together, and equipment into a single co-ordinated, and highly efficient response to the disaster.

The September training is being hosted by Working on Fire, at the FFA training Academy in Nelspruit.

The FFA Group of Companies is Southern Africa’s leading supplier of integrated fire management services (IFMS).  It's key objective is to make a range of resources, from highly trained people to specialist equipment — including sophisticated aircraft — available to landowners, fire protection associations (FPAs), conservation agencies, government departments, parastatals and the agricultural and private sector to implement integrated fire management services (IFMS) and manage, prevent, and suppress unwanted wildfire.

ICS training is part of an established training and exchange programme between WoF and the US Forest Service and the Northern Rockies Coordinating Group — federal, state and local government agencies in Idaho, Montana and North Dakota.

Fred Favard, the FFA’s Integrated Fire Services National Training Manager, said the courses would take ICS training to a more advanced level.

The “Planning” course would focus on tracking resources as well as an unfolding situation. The “Logistics” course would look at the service and supply chain, how to keep teams fed and rested, ensure equipment was available and emergency personnel safe.

The US trainers are Mike Kopitzke and Ted Giesey from the Montana Department of Natural Resources, Tim Murphy of the Northern Rockies Coordinating Group and Jane Ingebretson from the US Forest Service.

"These are people who are at the top of their profession and it is a privilege to have them in South Africa running these training courses," said Favard.

Favard and Reinhard Geldenhuys, Overberg Disaster Manager, are members of the local training team which will also include several of South Africa’s top emergency services managers.

The five day courses will take place from 19 to 23 September 2011 in Nelspruit. There are 30 places available on each course. Those who complete the course will obtain an International Incident Management Qualification.

For course details, please contact

Fred Favard, Phone 013 744 9689 | Cell 082 457 1867

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Issued by HWB Communications Pty Ltd.

On Behalf of Working on Fire

For more information please contact:

Evelyn Holtzhausen

HWB Communications

082 658 6007

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