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Specialists To Assist With Disaster In Haiti

MEDIA RELEASE

07 September 2008


Haiti Bound: Two New Zealand Red Cross Telecommunications Emergency Response Specialists To Assist With Disaster In Haiti


Two New Zealand Red Cross telecommunications emergency response specialists are preparing to depart to assist with the International Federation of Red Cross’ (the Federation) disaster response project in cyclone ravaged Haiti.

The two specialists, Pat Maunsell from Christchurch, and Peter Moore from Wellington, will join an Austrian Telecommunications and IT Emergency Response Unit in Haiti where their focus will be on quickly establishing an adequate telecommunications system that the Federation will use to coordinate their disaster response project. Without an effective telecommunications system the adequate provision of relief to the people who need it most is severely jeopardized.

Pat and Peter have specialist skills in establishing, using and maintaining HF and VHF radio systems. They will deploy with portable Red Cross radio equipment that will be used to supplement the equipment the Austrian team will take into Haiti.

They are likely to remain in Haiti for five weeks and may be replaced by other New Zealand Red Cross telecommunications emergency response specialists if necessary.

Cyclone Hanna is the third deadly storm to hit Haiti in recent weeks, resulting in a growing loss of life as severe flooding and mudslides threaten more lives and livelihoods.
While both Pat and Peter have been involved in the telecommunications industry for most of their careers, they only recently qualified as New Zealand Red Cross telecommunications emergency response specialists. They, along with 12 other specialists have trained, part time, for the past year with New Zealand Red Cross’ IT and Telecommunications Emergency Response Unit (ERU).

In this situation, Pat and Peter will be deploying to Haiti to augment the Austrian Red Cross’ ERU. The Federation has five ERUs available around the world to deploy into disaster zones to establish immediate communications systems when required.

The European Union will fund the costs of the Austrian ERU deployment into Haiti, and have indicated they will also cover the costs of Pat and Peter’s deployment.

Ends


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