Disaster Management Fieldtrip

April 10, 2017

In March 2017 Syslab organised a fieldtrip for the “Introduction to Disaster Management” course. Students had the opportunity to attend a disaster response training workshop led by MAGOR NGO Association for Disaster Response. The two-day field trip gave the students a thorough insight into the core training principles utilised by MAGOR NGO and the Hungarian Red Cross as part of their training exercises.

Located outside Hajdúszoboszló, on a purpose based training facility, the students gained both a theoretical and practical understanding of disaster response methods and mechanisms. Initially the students were shown around the purposely built search and rescue village, which affords the would-be rescuers a realistic disaster zone in which to train. An overview of the tactics and considerations given in disaster scenarios was discussed, with a key focus on the safety of both the potential causalities and the search and rescue team.

MAGOR NGO specialises in the utilisation of drone technology in aiding the search for missing persons in disaster areas. A demonstration of the capabilities of both the active search (deploying the drone) and subsequent analysis was given, by a drone pilot and specialist. The Save Sarah platform developed by MAGOR NGO in partnership with the Bomberos de Chile (Chilean Firefighters) was presented to the students showing the potential of such technologies in various types of disasters including floods and storms.

Students then gained practical hands-on experience of tackling flood situations, through an exercise using sandbag wall construction techniques. The students quickly realised the need for coordinated teamwork and clear communication in such situations.

Finally, the students were introduced to the K9 (dog handling) section of the search and rescue team. Following a discussion of the use and training of the dogs in search and rescue circumstances, two willing students became unfortunately lost within the training village. The dogs were put to the test to find these missing students and we are pleased to report both students were found.

After a de-brief back in the field base, a presentation highlighting the disaster response system of the Hungarian Red Cross was given by Brigitta Safar (Head of Disaster Management). The students were able to reflect on the integration between the physical and technical aspects of disaster management and response.