FinnRescue INSARAG External Classification
During 2009 Civilience was contacted by FinnRescue who wished to appoint a USAR mentor to guide them through their initial accreditation process within the INSARAG (International Search and Rescue Advisory Group) methodology. Subsequently we were contracted for three years by FinnRescue to be the mentor of their USAR team and to classify the FinnRescue team as an International Heavy Rescue team under the INSARAG Classification system. One of our trainers became the point of contact and project manager for the FinnRescue project, advising the team throughout the whole classification process and even now maintains an on-going commitment to support FinnRecue,
Following an initial needs assessment undertaken during their annual readiness exercise a development timeline was put in place to address the need for additional equipment and specific areas of training that would be required to ensure they were ready for the classification exercise scheduled for April 2012.
The needs assessment included both their management and documentation systems as well as their operational procedures and capability, assessed during an annual readiness exercise.
Following the needs assessment, the trainer wrote an evaluation report and a suggested timeline for remedial work towards 'Heavy Rescue' status and this was proposed as a solution to the client.
Once the report and timeline had been accepted by the client, work began to project manage the process of the team development. The trainer was involved in the development and production of the Portfolio of Evidence (POE) that FinnRescue had to present to the INSARAG Secretariat and the Classification Team and he was responsible for much of the liaison with the Secretariat in Geneva. This work involved numerous trips to Finland covering meetings with Finnish Government officials, attending and evaluating performances during exercises as well as the coordination of training and personal development. He was also resonsible for providing feedback and development presentations to the FinnRescue management cadre and to the executive members of the Crisis Management Centre (CMC) in Helsinki. Towards the end of the readiness process, Civilience was also involved in the development of the IEC Exercise venue and its subsequent approval by the Classification Team and the INSARAG Secretariat.
As the final part of the contract, the trainer supplied full support, as stipulated in the IEC/R Guidelines, to FinnRescue and the IEC Cadre during the final accreditation exercise. The exercise was a success and FinnRescue qualified as an INSARAG-rated Heavy Rescue team in April 2012.
Following the final classification exercise we provided the client with a "Final Outcomes" report and an on-going development plan for FinnRescue to consider when leading up to the future IEC/R evaluations. All in all, great work by Alan Pellowe, the trainer and mentor.