IAEM Scholarship

Today I received the wonderful news that I have been awarded the 2018 Graduate Student Scholarship by the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM). Not only will this be a much appreciated help with this semester's fees for the Master of Emergency Management degree that I am working towards, but I also consider it to be a great honour that I have been chosen to be the receipent of this award.

Thank you, IAEM!

Paul

CERT training in Guatemala

I spent from the 11th to the 20th of August with Iris Relief in Guatemala where I held a three-day CERT Train-the-Trainer course for six CERT volunteers from Belize and Guatemala. I then supervised these instructors as they held a Basic CERT course in Spanish for 48 volunteers from the Casa de Dios church. Once again, it was a great experience to see CERT training being received and applied by the enthusiastic volunteers, many of whom had responded to the recent volcanic eruption in that nation.

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CERT training in Belize

From the 28th of  July to the 11th of August I visited Punta Gorda, Belize where I was able to teach a Basic CERT course and Tools for Leadership Success module, with the assistance of some of the graduates from the Iris Relief Leaders School. It was a great opportunity to train around 50 participants, including members of the National Emergency Management Organisation (NEMO), the Belize Defence Force and representatives from Non-Governmental Organisations.

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Iris Relief Leaders School in Puerto Rico

From the 9th of June through to the 28th of July I helped with the Iris Relief Leaders School in Dourado, Puerto Rico. During this time I taught the CERT Basic course, Leadership module and Train-the-Trainer course, along with some other teaching that I had prepared on subjects such as disaster spiritual care, international humanitarian relief, and most of my Wake Up The Warriors ministry training seminar.

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I thought it could be helpful to record some short videos showing some of the adaptions and modifications that we made to the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training course here in Brazil. Unfortunately the quality of the videos isn't that great, however I hope that could be of use to those who are adapting the standard CERT course for use in different cross-cultural applications.

These videos are on my Youtube channel, however here some links and brief explanations as well.

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CERT disaster simulation in Petrópolis

On the 17th of December I organized a CERT simulated disaster exercise with the help of two members of our Teen CERT group for the three CERT teams that I had previously trained in the city of Petrópolis - RJ. This project was undertaken in  partnernship with the "Fortalecendo a Resiliência" (Strengthening Resilience) Project of the Instituto Fontes, with backing from the C & A Foundation and Save The Children and took place in the suburb of Morin.

Here are a few photos from the course.

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First aid classes for city school teachers and teachers' aids

Last week I taught two more basic first aid courses to city school teachers and teachers' aids. There were in addition to the two other courses that I taught to school directors and teachers before travelling overseas, and all of these classes, which I gave on a volunteer basis, were very well received.

Here are some photos from the last two courses.

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First aid course for city school directors

Today I had the opportunity to give a short first aid lesson to a group of around 50 school directors representing the 18,000 primary school children in the city's public school network. Fortunately it went very well, and I should have some further courses coming up within the schools within the near future.

Here are some photos of the course, and of Bob the Rescue Manikin (who proved to be the star of the show and the subject of a number of selfie requests at the end of it!).

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I took the 5:13 train to Manhattan this morning, and after somewhat of an adventure arrived at the Brooklyn Sports Club, where I completed a day-long Red Cross Wilderness First Aid course.

I got a little lost on my way back to the subway station and asked a couple of cops for direction - it was quite funny to hear them tell me to be careful as that particular suburb was "the worst suburb in New York city" and the block where we were was, according to them, the "worst block". I've just arrived back in Greenwich, without any further adventures.

Civil Defence Simulated Evacuation Exercise Granja Spinelli

Yesterday our Crisis Response Unit, together with some of the teenagers that we trained in the Teen CERT program, participated in a city-wide Civil Defence evacuation simulation. Our team of ten responders, with the help of another eleven local Teen-CERT members, helped in the suburb of Granja Spinelli where the siren was activated and the local school was opened as a temporary evacuation point.

It was great to see how our teams worked so well together with the local authorities and other responders from the Red Cross and military.

Here are some photos from yesterday's exercise.

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Teen CERT Course - Municipal School Professor Alberto Meyer

This week I finished another Teen CERT course at a municipal school in the suburb of Granja Spinelli, here in Nova Friburgo - RJ, which was badly impacted by the landslides back in January 2011 and, sadly, still shows the scars of that devastation.

21 young teens completed the course, which was very encouraging to see, and I am planning to ran another course for another group starting tomorrow.

As we do not receive any funding to provides these courses, please consider helping by promoting my fundraising page at www.gofundme.com/TeenCERTRJ

Here are some photos from the week.

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Teen CERT Course at E.M. Dante Magliano

Howdy,

Last week we ran another Teen CERT course, this time for a dozen teenagers who study at the Escola Municipal Dante Magliano here Nova Friburgo. The course went very well, and it was good to see how the young people learned the basic of emergency preparedness and response during the 20 hour course.

These courses, which are running free-of-charge, have been very well received, and is good to see that we can help prepare our city, which was impacted by  Brazil's worst natural disaster back in 2011. Unfortunately, the recently released Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction Plan shows that over 18,000 residents in our city continue to live in houses which have a high to very-high risk of collapse in the event of heavy rainfall.

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Teen CERT course, Cordoeira - Nova Friburgo

This past week we have just finished teaching another Teen CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) course in the suburb of Cordoeira, Nova Friburgo - RJ. As you can see from the photos, there is still a lot of damage around from the landslides that happened in January 2011, and as we are soon to be coming into the rainy season once again, it is good to be focussing once again on community preparedness.

It was a great time, albeit very busy, and you can see how we have been able to obtain and prepare the necessary equipment so as offer the course free of charge to the young people of this at-risk suburb. I am also hoping to be able to continue running these courses in city schools, and would appreciate your help in promoting our funding page http://www.gofundme.com/TeenCERTR as we are in need of further donations in order to be able to continue this project.

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Teen CERT courses - Nova Friburgo

Hi,

I have just finished a very busy but profitable week, running the Teen CERT disaster response course for two groups of teenagers at a local school. In all, we had 24 students who completed the training.

One of the highlights of the week, for me, was hearing from a young man who had completed the Teen CERT training last year, and told me how that he had used his new found first-aids skills three times since then, including at two traffic accidents.

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Civil Defense display, 7th April 2013

Hi,

On Sunday, the 7th of April, members of our Crisis Response Unit participated in a public exhibition, in the main square of the city of Nova Friburgo, put on by the city Civil Defense Department and called "Civil Defense close to you".

We mounted our small tent and, as well showing some of our equipment, we ran some basic first aid lessons for kids from city schools.

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USA Trip, February 2013

Hi,

From the 2nd to the 26th of February I visited the United States once again, primarily to take part in two training courses at the Federal Emergency Management Agency's National Emergency Training Center in Emmitsburg - MD. I also had the chance to spend some more time at the CRI Base Camp in Lindenhurst - Long Island - NY, which was winding up after three months working with survivors of Superstorm Sandy. During my stay, I also ministered at a church in New York, and had the chance to complete several courses with the American Red Cross, and successfully took an exam at the headquarters of the International Assocation of Emergency Managers (IAEM).

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Israel trip - October 2012

Hi,

From the 13th to the 26th of October I was in Israel, where I participated in advanced disaster response training with Crisis Response International and the Israeli Emergency Volunteers Project (EVP). As well as participating in valuable training with search and rescue professionals, the ambulance service and the fire service, I also had opportunity to visit some of the historic and Biblical locations within the land.

Here are some photos from the trip.

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CERT training for Civil Defense Volunteers, Nova Friburgo, 26-28 May

Hi,

Over the weekend over the 25th to the 28th of May, our >Crisis Response Unit ran a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) course, in partnership with CARE Brazil, to train Civil Defense volunteers in the suburb of Duas Pedras, Nova Friburgo.

The course went very well, and we even featured in an article in the local TV news on the Saturday evening. We finished the training on the Sunday afternoon with a full-scale simulation which was held inside a bus station.

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Training volunteers in disaster response in Teresópolis, 9-11 March 2012

Gidday,

Over this past weekend, two volunteers from our Crisis Response Unit and myself taught the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) course to nearly three-dozen volunteers in two at-risk communities in the neighbouring city of Teresópolis. The training was in partnership with CARE Brazil, with support from the European Commission, Brazilian charity Abrinq, and Save The Children Fund. CARE funded the expenses of the course, including Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for the participants, and team equipment, although we donated our time to teach the 20 hour course.

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It was exactly one year ago today that a message began to circulate through email and Christian websites claiming that a team of American missionaries had resurrected 16 victims of the floods and landslides that had devastated the mountainous region of Rio de Janeiro state, resulting in at least a thousand deaths.

Due to factual inconsistencies in the story, compared to my understanding of events as I had experienced them in the aftermath of the disaster, it immediately raised my suspicions - suspicions which were further confirmed when the supposed newspaper front page that accompanied the story was quickly shown to be a fake. Sadly, my many attempts to make contact with the team and with those propagating the story, met with responses ranging from silence to some quite aggressive replies! Eventually, the newspaper front page was admitted to be fake, but the principal parties promoting the story, the Healing Herald site and Bethel church in Redding - CA, maintained that the story was true.

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Remembering the tragedy of 12 January 2011

Today, the 12th of January 2012, is exactly one year since the devastating flooding landslides that hit the mountainous region of Rio de Janeiro state, and especially the city of Nova Friburgo, resulting in an official death toll of nearly 1,000 and a probable total of around 3,000 fatalities. Our Crisis Response Unit participated in a public meeting in the town square, where a community emergency plan, in which we participated, was also presented. Here are some photos of that event.

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Crisis Response Unit simulation - 29th December 2011

On the 29th of December, our Crisis Response Unit held a simulated search and rescue exercise in the suburb of Cordoeira, Nova Friburgo - RJ. Despite the rain, which added a certain realism to the exercise, the simulation went very well, and both our team members and ""victims"" performed heroically.

Here are some photos from the exercise.

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Nova Friburgo Crisis Response Unit Training Course

Howdy,

This weekend (the 3rd and 4th of December), I prepared and taught a short (20 hour) training course for the members of the Nova Friburgo CRI Crisis Response Unit. Subjects covered included HOPE (House of Prayer and Encounter), introduction to CERT, CISM-7, basic First Aid, Light Search and Rescue, Triage, and basic Fire Suppression. And we a neat time of worship on the Sunday morning, when the Holy Spirit showed up.

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Friburgo CRI Crisis Response Unit participate in Civil Defence exercise

Hi,

It's been a while since I updated my blog, and I'll try to put update some of my recent activities when I can. However, after a quick trip to New Zealand for my brother Nate's wedding, I'm now back in Nova Friburgo, where I have beenworking to set up a volunteer Christian Crisis Response Unit, affilliated with Crisis Response International. This seems to be especially important at the moment as we are coming into the rainy season again at the moment, and there is a very real risk of further landslides (just this weekend, Friburgo was in a situation of alert due to the heavy rainfall).

 

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CRI Training, Big Bear Lake, CA - USA

Howdy,

I spent from the 13th to the 20th of August at Bear Lake, in Southern California, at an altitude of some 8,000 feet, where I helped train some 250 Christian volunteers for disaster response with Crisis Response International. I was a unit leader, responsible for four teams of trainees and co-leader of the Yellow Unit, and although it was a very intense time (as trained responders we slept in tents and even had a bear visit our campsite overnight), it was also wonderful to see both the practical training and the wonderful times that we had in the presence of the Holy Spirit, especially during our worship and prayer meetings.

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Crisis Response training in Kansas City

I spent this week, from Monday to Saturday, in Kansas City - MO where I participated in an intensive responder training course with Crisis Response International. Although it was very intense (16 hour days), and snowed on the first day, it was a great time with both pratical training and wonderful moments in the presence of the Holy Spirt. I really loved the focus on bringing the presence and power of Jesus into crisis situations while ministering in pratical ways.

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