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Mobile Communications, Coordination, and Incident Command Training for Indonesian Emergency Responders

Author: Hitoshi Igarashi, CEMIJ

Copyright: 9-1-1 Magazine, Feature Content

Date: 2014-04-10
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Indonesia is one of the most disaster prone nations within ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) member states. In 2004, the earthquake generated in the north-eastern side of Banda Ache triggered a huge tsunami which affected several Asian countries and the east coast of Africa. About 200,000 people are believed to have died from the tsunami.

The Community Emergency Management Institute Japan (CEMIJ) is based in Japan, with close ties to the California Fire Chiefs Association, Communications Section (9-1-1 Magazine editor Randall Larson and CFCA ICS instructor and public safety communications consultant Don Stabler are technical advisors to the CEMIJ).  The organization has been working with the Indonesian government, local CERT (“TAGANA” in local Bahasa language), and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Jakarta to enhance the command and communication capabilities of first-responder and search & rescue resources in that country and promote advanced disaster planning and emergency management before the next earthquake and tsunami. CEMIJ visited the California Mobile Command Center Rally in 2012 and gained valuable knowledge about alternatives to the fixed EOCs found in many Asian countries. During the Japanese earthquake and tsunami of March 2011 (3/11, as it is known in Japan), the majority of fixed EOCs in the affected areas became inoperable. CEMIJ introduced the concept of field mobile command and control centers along with the use of incident command system (ICS), enhanced by a  disaster training program held from March 24 to April 5, 2014, for the Indonesia CERT and NGOs. The advantage of utilizing a mobile command and control centers at the training program was disseminated successfully.   

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Among the overall goals of the CEMIJ is introducing the effective use of command and communication vehicles in disasters as one method to increase capability of gathering status information from devastated areas.  This objective enabled the CEMIJ to invite 9-1-1 Magazine editor Randall Larson (also a long-time field communications and mobile command center leader) to Japan last summer to provide training in CERT and mobile command post operations to the fire departments of Kobe, Tokyo, and Narita Airport that was very well received by these agencies.

CEMIJ plans to continue to provide training assistance and mobile command, coordination, and communication center consulting to public safety responders throughout the ASEAN.

Hitoshi Igarashi founded the Community Emergency Management Institute Japan.  Through the university research offices he associates with in Japan, Mr. Igarashi is attempting to introduce the effective use of command and communication vehicles in disasters as one method to increase capability of gathering status information from devastated areas. In addition, he is doing research to design a command and communication vehicle for government agencies with fewer resources in developing countries.   Mr. Igarashi will be teaching on lessons learned from the Japanese 3/11 disaster at the California Mobile Command Center Rally on May 7th in Sacramento, CA.

 - People, Places & Things/ (via CEMIJ, 4/10/14)



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