Rescuers, who had Received International Qualification were Awarded


On November 4, an award ceremony was held at the RA Ministry of Territorial Administration and Emergency Situations. The rescuers, who had successfully passed the international qualification were awarded. The RA TAES Minister Armen Yeritsyan awarded medals and certificates to 45 employees of the Ministry, for preparing and conducting a high-performance qualification test exercise of the UN International Search and Rescue Advisory Group (INSARAG).

By the RA TAES Minister’s order 6 members of INSARAG were awarded medal “Prevention, Assistance, Salvation”, 15 members -medal “Valiant Rescuer” and 26 employees were awarded medal “Best Fire-fighter Rescuer”. By Minister’s order, 5 members of Rescue Service staff were awarded Certificates of Honor. At the ceremony, a number of RS employees was also awarded the rank of lieutenant.

Minister A. Yeritsyan congratulated the rescuers on receiving ranks and joining INSARAG, stressing that every good work always deserved high appreciation:

-We are proud to have such a trained team. We have worked for four years and dreamed about joining INSARAG. At first we thought, that it would be impossible, as INSARAG’s members were powerful countries, but thanks to you, we overcame that difficult barrier. This surely testifies the fact, that we have a wonderful team. You managed to do the impossible over these 4 years. The foreign experts were pleasantly surprised.

Only some post-Soviet countries are members of this structure and only Turkey is a member from our neighboring countries. I think, that this success should not affect on our future activities. This is our first step, as we shall prove our merit to international experts in the future. Thank You, I’ll always be with you and will support in any matter. I wish you success.

In interview with reporters, Minister A. Yeritsyan noted, that he attaches great importance to the USAR teams, because it’s a great honor for Armenia.

- We are the 34th member of INSARAG. Only the most powerful countries are members of INSARAG: Japan, China, Russia, Britain, France, USA, etc. Many countries are seeking to become a member. Today, I encouraged our rescuers, because they really deserved it. Experts from 10 countries were surprised, that such a small country like ours, managed to overcome that difficult barrier. Our rescue team will be in the disaster zone through the UN channels in case of a major disaster, which is a great honor for Armenia.

Note, that on September 4, current year, Armenia became a member of the UN International Search and Rescue Advisory Group (INSARAG) after the Armenian Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) Team successfully underwent a 36-hour external classification exercise and was classified as a USAR Team. To receive such a classification in the UN is a great honor for Armenia, as many rescue teams of INSARAG member countries do not have sufficient training standards yet.

The INSARAG is a global network of more than 80 countries and organizations under the United Nations umbrella. It was the 1988 Armenian Spitak earthquake that highlighted the need for civil protection groups to have stronger preparedness and response capabilities in order to better coordinate and save more lives. Their vision is to save lives by promoting efficiency, enhanced quality, and coordination amongst national and international USAR teams. INSARAG was established in 1991, after the two devastating earthquakes: the Mexican earthquake of 1985 and Spitak earthquake of 1988, aiming to strengthen the effectiveness and coordination of international search and rescue assistance.

Since officially requesting to join INSARAG in 2011, the Armenian USAR Team has undergone an INSARAG External Classification Exercise, in line with the criteria established in the INSARAG Guidelines. Thereafter, receiving the relevant certificate, the Armenian team will have the right to participate in international search and rescue operations.

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