Executive Summary & SAR Training

 

As Global Peace Partners (GPP) continues to evolve, one of our initiatives is to create and support a Search and Rescue (SAR) resource for the international community. With this goal in mind, GPP has taken the initial steps to move this agenda forward.  As disasters know no geopolitical, religious, or economic boundaries, the need for timely response is critical.  As a faith-based organization without political constraints, GPP is dedicated and committed to see resources arrive when they are needed most…within 24 hours of an incident anywhere in the world.

GPP has envisioned a multi-faceted approach to our Search and Rescue mission.  First of all, within the United States alone, there are thousands of emergency services workers trained in all elements of SAR.  Paid professionals and/or volunteers, these individuals stand ready to respond and serve.  All that’s needed is a mechanism to insert these individuals into this environment.  Through the United States Department of State via USAID, there are only 2 international Urban Search and Rescue (US&R) teams in the United States that deploy to global incidents.  The Los Angeles County Fire Department (CA-TF2) and Fairfax County, VA. Fire & Rescue Department (VA-TF1) are the ambassadors of the United States during international disasters.  However, countless others remain back in the U.S. unable to lend their knowledge, skills, and abilities to the cause.  These individuals are fully trained, credentialed, and willing to work.  However, there is no mechanism in place to facilitate these response-ready resources.  GPP believes that we can assist in this endeavor.  As financial resources enable GPP to build and maintain a fleet of aircraft that are ready to deploy, our vision is to create teams of these individuals that can be placed into service at a moment’s notice.  These teams would function under the current US&R structure and augment the international response by “Promoting Peace, Inspiring Hope, and Delivering Healing”.

We realize this is a significant undertaking.  However, at this point, countless individuals want to provide their specialized training and experience and assist when and where they are needed most.  GPP believes we have the platform to accomplish this through our “wheels-up” approach.

In addition, with the return of our nation’s veterans from the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan, GPP is committed to building a bridge to transition these individuals from military life to a life of service in another capacity.  GPP believes that our returning veterans are well suited to work in the austere environments associated with disasters.  Thus, in addition to the skilled individuals listed above, GPP believes in creating a training program that mentors veterans and trains them to work in emergency services with a specific emphasis in paramedicine and US&R.  GPP, in partnership with other entities, envisions a process that places these veterans on the front lines once again but, in a different capacity with a mission of peace.

In an effort to address another need, GPP has worked with the Native American community to identify a specific unmet need that exists in “Indian Country”.  Emergency services and capabilities are limited throughout “Indian Country” and GPP believes we can help.  In an effort to facilitate tribal sovereignty and self-governance, GPP wants to support the creation of All-Hazards Tribal Incident Management Teams that are operated by Tribes for use in times of a disaster.  These teams would be comprised of tribal-based individuals that posses significant experience in emergency management.  The concept would include the development of a training curriculum with succession planning that would provide for long-term sustainability.  In addition, the goal for the teams would be to maintain a “team-depth” capability that would allow for deployment at any given time based on an expressed need from tribal leadership.

Specifically, GPP believes that Native veterans are well suited to participate in these Tribal Incident Management Teams.  Based on experience and a willingness to undergo training in emergency management principles, GPP would also like to support this process and create a mechanism that specifically caters to these Native veterans and equips them with the tools necessary to succeed and serve their tribal communities in a manner that is consistent with their service to the United States.

However, to transition this concept from vision to reality, GPP is looking for additional partners and ways to generate funding that would support this mission.

As stated earlier, GPP is dedicated to seeing veterans succeed in their transition back to civilian life.  Careers in emergency services seem to present the perfect opportunity for these individuals.  Based on their unique and tested ability to perform under fire, veterans are the ideal candidate to serve in these roles.  The dynamic environment of disasters presents unique challenges that veterans are well equipped for.  Creating an outlet that embraces these talents and finds innovative ways to utilize their knowledge, skills, and abilities is a guiding principle for GPP. 

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