A lecturer in Emergency Medical Care at the University of Johannesburg’s (UJ) Faculty of Health Sciences, Mr Connor Hartnady, was awarded an accolade by the government of Japan, as a token of commendation and appreciation for the operations conducted by Rescue South African following the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami of 11th March 2011.
The ceremony took place in April at the Japanese Embassy in Pretoria and was in commemoration of the fifth anniversary of the disaster.
“I have been following the reconstruction of the areas that we assisted in Japan. It has been amazing to see the resilience of the Japanese people over the past five years as they continue to rebuild the affected areas,” says Hartnady.
“The Japanese government requested assistance from Rescue South Africa to search for victims that had been buried amongst the rubble in Sendai and Natori City within the Miyagi Prefecture.”
“This was a search and recovery mission. Due to the nature of a tsunami, very few survivors were predicted to be found once the water had subsided. Most of the victims that survived the tsunami had already been rescued by the community or local rescue teams, added Hartnady.
“Visiting the Japanese Embassy again during the certificate ceremony reminded me of how truly humble the Japanese people are and their continued gratitude towards Rescue South Africa is sincerely appreciated. I hope one day to visit these affected areas of this truly remarkable country,” Hartnady concluded.
We would like to congratulate Mr Hartnady and Rescue South Africa for the courage they displayed.