Trainings and more

Monday brings new work for the VinCaB team

Raimund demonstrates the basic ABC measures. (Picture: T. Heger)

Raimund demonstrates the basic ABC measures. (Picture: T. Heger)

After a quiet Sunday, Monday was another busy day for the volunteers in Kosovo. Some of us held additional workshops for the firemen here at our temporary home. Christof and Carsten went to the gymnasium and showed to the volunteers, how they could possibly set up an emergency shelter there. Finally, Chris, Luka, and Christof held an after-action review with all the partners involved in the two-day exercise.

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The Big Day: Volume Two

A volunteer of the RCK hands out the humanitarian aid boxes for the recipients. The boxes provide rations for four people for a period of four days. The picture was taken during a flood exercise on May 25th in Peja, Kosovo. The exercise is part of the EU-funded VinCaB project. (Picture: T. Heger)

A volunteer of the RCK hands out the humanitarian aid boxes for the recipients. The boxes provide rations for four people for a period of four days. The picture was taken during a flood exercise on May 25th in Peja, Kosovo. The exercise is part of the EU-funded VinCaB project. (Picture: T. Heger)

The second day of the exercise tests the distribution of humanitarian aid by the RCK volunteers and features a special visitor

The big exercise that started on Friday continued on Saturday, May 25th. That day, the distribution of humanitarian aid was at the center of the exercise, that continued the flood scenario of the first day. Normally, most affected people who need to leave their homes because of rising water levels will find refuge with relatives or friends. A smaller number will have to be accommodated and taken care for by Red Cross volunteers in emergency shelters.

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The Big Day: Volume One

Two volunteers of the Red Cross of Kosovo (RCK) assist a patient on the way to the First Aid post. The picture was taken during a mass casualty exercise on May 24th in Peja, Kosovo. The exercise is part of the EU-funded VinCaB project. (Picture: T. Heger)

Two volunteers of the Red Cross of Kosovo (RCK) assist a patient on the way to the First Aid post. The picture was taken during a mass casualty exercise on May 24th in Peja, Kosovo. The exercise is part of the EU-funded VinCaB project. (Picture: T. Heger)

The first day of the exercise confronts the RCK volunteers with a mass casualty exercise in Peja’s city center

Finally, the big day is here! Friday 24th May was the first day of the big two-day exercise planned by the Red Cross of Kosovo (RCK) with support of the VinCaB team. On this first day the focus was on First Aid, Search and Rescue, and transport of patients. According to the scenario a flood was threatening the inhabitants of Peja and some of them had sought refuge in a municipal building on the central square. Others were still outside and waiting for help.

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D -1

The last day before the exercise has passed

Raimund with RCK volunteers at the final First Aid training. (Picture: T. Heger)

Raimund with RCK volunteers at the final First Aid training. (Picture: T. Heger)

On Thursday, 23rd of May, we made various final preparations for the big exercise on Friday and Saturday. Together with our counterparts from the Red Cross of Kosovo (RCK), the Emergency Management Agency of Kosovo (EMA), the municipality of Peja, the fire department, police, and ambulance service, we had to go through a variety of last points that needed to be resolved.

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Search and Dance

The workshops on Wednesday dealt with transportation techniques, Search and Rescue, and – surprisingly – some dancing

RCK volunteers using a scoop stretcher. (Picture: C. Kusserow)

RCK volunteers using a scoop stretcher. (Picture: C. Kusserow)

How do you carry an injured person to safety? This was the big question of one of the two workshops on Wednesday. Christian from Germany and Edgars from Latvia, supported by Liridon of the Red Cross of Kosovo (RCK), introduced various carrying techniques to the local volunteers. They had a lot of fun during this training session and learned a variety of new techniques.

These techniques were of huge importance for the next workshop of the day: Search and Rescue. After a short introduction in the theoretical basis of SAR, the volunteers set out to search for “missing” persons on the area of the fire station. A difficult task at which they excelled under the auspices of Iusuf from the RCK and Martin from Bulgaria.

The volunteers and instructors from the RCK and the VinCaB team had a lot of fun during the day and there was applause and laughter to be heard in the whole fire station. There also was a different kind of capacity building, when the volunteers introduced the VinCaB team to dancing in the Kosovarian style!

Even the occasional rain couldn’t disturb the happy mood that pervaded the fire station during the day, although there was some concern that the massive downpour in the late evening might render the exercise scenario defunct and lead instead to a real disaster response.

RCK volunteers during the transportation workshop. (Picture: C. Kusserow)

RCK volunteers during the transportation workshop. (Picture: C. Kusserow)