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EIT to Provide Civil Defence Training

Media Release for Immediate Use 19 June 2008


EIT to Provide Civil Defence Training

The Hawke’s Bay Civil Defence Emergency Management Group will be working closely with the Eastern Institute of Technology in Napier, in a move aimed at meeting the specific training needs for staff and volunteers working in a disaster.

Hawke’s Bay CDEM and EIT signed a memorandum of understanding last week to provide the new courses from early 2009.

“This is a great move and means civil defence emergency management personnel can gain a formal qualification that recognises their professionalism – and will reassure the community about the skills of the people who they are trusting to help get them through a disaster,” said Nigel Simpson, Hawke’s Bay CDEM Group Coordinator.

“Most of these personnel have a full time job, and switch to an emergency role only periodically. This means that regular training is essential to help them carry out their civil defence emergency management roles effectively. Having a more formal structure to that training will be a great benefit to these people.”

EIT already provides training to community, health and social services organisations that is compatible with civil defence needs. EIT is pleased to be able to support a regional organisation with its training and professional development needs.

“The connection with the Hawke’s Bay CDEM Group provides a valuable extension to our community education programmes, as well as key involvement in a vital service to our community,” said Paul Hursthouse, Business Relationship Manager at EIT.

Both organisations will work together to develop courses and qualifications to meet civil defence and emergency management education and training needs. These may be made up of NZQA unit standards, EIT modules or both, and will meet national standards while addressing local requirements.

“This will also reinforce and expand the skills of a wide range of staff and volunteers, so they can continue to operate at a high standard, and be sure of their ongoing professional development,” said Chris Nicoll, Assistant Fire Region Commander, who chairs the HB CDEM Training Advisory Group.

The Hawke’s Bay CDEM Group had completed a comprehensive strategy for training CDEM staff who are based in district, city and regional councils, plus emergency, health and welfare services. This identified the need for formal courses and qualifications.

A large number of volunteers throughout Hawke’s Bay will also benefit from standardised training, and the qualifications may encourage others to volunteer. The training will be available to the public and will be held at different sites throughout the region, to meet identified needs in each area.

“This training is somewhat unusual as it will bring training professionals from a number of organisations – such as fire, police, civil defence and social services - under one umbrella to share their skills and knowledge with an even wider audience,” said Mr Simpson.

ENDS

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