Department of Emergency Medical Care presented with Japanese award for 2011 earthquake support

Mr. Hiroo Kikuchi, Mayor of Iwanuma City in Japan, recently visited the Department of Emergency Medical Care and Rescue South Africa at the University of Johannesburg (UJ), to present crews with a special ‘certificate of appreciation’ for their 2011 earthquake and tsunami response.

The certificate was awarded on Wednesday, 22 January 2020 at the Simulation Laboratory, on the Doornfontein Campus, recognising the humanitarian and technical rescue assistance that UJ’s Emergency Medical Care team and Rescue South Africa provided after the March 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami. This cooperation was multifaceted, and included the Government, South African business, regional authorities, and community groups.

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The Mayor of Iwanuma said: “I would like to sincerely thank you for your warm support of our city during those hard times. Not only one kind of a skill can assist in such disasters but various skills were needed to make everything work to overcome the catastrophe,” said the Mayor. “This compassion has brought South Africa close to my heart”.

UJ’s Rescue Training Centre will be a new purpose-built ground-breaking facility designed to specialise in emergency response services, training and management solutions in all types of industries, for employers that understand the importance of having a trained, competent and prepared emergency response capability in time of adversity using artificial intelligence tracking system for reducing disaster vulnerability. The Centre is expected to get underway in the second quarter of 2020.

Mr Connor Hartnady, UJ lecturer form the Department of Emergency Medical Care said: “We were delighted to welcome Mr. Hiroo Kikuchi, the Mayor of Japan to our facilities and are very grateful for the recognition received. Since our involvement in 2011, the Department of Emergency Medical Care and Rescue South Africa have had an ongoing relationship with the people of Japan through their Embassy here in South Africa. Much of this relationship is around the capacitation of SADC with technical rescue training through our short-learning programmes offered through Rescue SA.”

“The mayor took a keen interest in learning about the work we do and was given an in-depth look at our clinical scenarios created through the state of the art technology using artificial setting to allow practice in a controlled environment. This environment and scenario mimics the real clinical setting and the lecturer can control the mannequin’s response and the patient simulator responds to the interventions given by the student.”

​’‘UJ will be enhancing its medical and rescue services with a brand new Rescue Training Centre – the first in Africa- to be launched later in 2020.”

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