The National Emergency Management Agency on Saturday organised a training for 64 newly recruited Grassroot Emergency Volunteer Corps to mitigate disasters in Lagos State.
Ibrahim Farinloye, Acting Zonal Coordinator, South West Zonal Office, (NEMA), said the trainees were being coopted into emergency management as a proactive preventive approach.
Farinloye said the training would be done in batches, noting that the current participants were recruited from Alimosho, Mushin and Victoria Island areas of the state.
According to him, more lives can be saved during incidents such as fire disaster, pipeline vandalism and flooding with the right protocol on disaster risk reduction in place.
He said NEMA, under the leadership of retired AVM Muhammadu Muhammed, worked with the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development to develop a bottom to top strategy on managing emergencies.
Farinloye said, “The Director General has stated that the maximum time for response should be 20 minutes.
”For us to get to the nooks and crannies of all parts of the country, it is not only the statutory agencies that can do it, and that is why we chose the disaster risk reduction strategy.
“That means starting from the bottom to the top level, and that is the reason we are starting this training from the grassroot.”
According to him, the participants will help to carry out disaster risk reduction activities and monitor the state of preparedness of their communities.
“Instead of us to wait for disasters to happen, the grassroot should identify the risk and come up with ways on how we can work together to manage such risks.
” We believe community members should be able to manage disasters before the arrival of statutory emergency agencies.
“So, it is your role as volunteers to assist your community and work with us in mitigating disasters and help to save the lives of others, ” he said.
One of the participants, Mary Ajanaku, thanked NEMA for organising the training and assured the agency that the volunteers would do their best as first emergency responders.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the participants were lectured on basic first aid training, defensive driving and safety compliance as well as fire prevention and response.
They were also trained on sensitisation and awareness creation on kidnapping and cultism, casualty handling and prevention and management of vandalism.