Lahore: The District Emergency Officers (DEOs) Conference concluded on Friday with finalization of a comprehensive strategy for establishment of safe communities in Pakistan. Earlier, the Director General, Emergency Services, Punjab Dr. Rizwan Naseer called on an emergency meeting of all District Emergency Officers of Punjab at Rescue 1122 Headquarters in order to finalize the strategies for School Safety, prevention of complex emergencies, community watch and Community Based Disaster Risk Management (CBDRM) Programs in Punjab.
Consequently, after detailed deliberations & positive input by the District Emergency Officers, the Director General directed them to implement this comprehensive & organized School Safety Program in all Districts of Punjab in the month of February. Besides that, the DEOs agreed to evolve a community centered community watch system. They pledged to progressively implement Community Based Disaster Risk Management (CBDRM) Program and Community Emergency Response Teams (CERTs) after selection of best teams with sincere commitment to make it successful.
The responsibilities of the Community Emergency Response Teams (CERTs) include: response to disaster or emergency situation in defined community jurisdiction, identify potential hazards in community endangering public safety including health hazards which are associated with cleanliness and hygienic practices, provide emergency cover during mass gatherings like Eid; Muharram-ul-harram and other social gatherings, and surveillance of suspicious activities and persons in the community and its reporting to the Rescue 1122.
Dr. Rizwan Naseer said that Rescue 1122 has saved lives of 3 million emergency victims through comprehensive emergency management system, and now we are moving towards Changing Minds through Community Based Disaster Risk Management (CBDRM) & Community Emergency Response Teams (CERTs) in order to build socially responsible; healthy, safer and resilient communities in Pakistan. Keeping in view the current situation of the country, all the Districts Emergency Officers discussed in detail about possible threats and hazards in their districts. Afterwards, the meeting finalized the school safety material and chalked out a comprehensive implementing strategy to ensure same quality of services for school safety standards at grass-root level. The meeting talked about community centered approach for disaster management through community involvement in hazards identification, vulnerability and capacity assessment and risk reduction measures with community collaboration.
Dr. Rizwan Naseer directed all the District Emergency Officers to execute the aforesaid School Safety Plan on emergency basis in respective districts in order to save school children, who are the future of Pakistan. He further directed them to involve community members in safety programs like Community Watch through which we can collect information about suspects involved in nefarious activities at local level. “This is our beloved homeland and we have to rescue our country through safety programs on all fronts,” he added. The meeting was attended by Director General Rescue 1122 Gilgit Baltistan Dr. Sher Aziz, 36 District Emergency Officers of Punjab, Deputy Director Training Dr. Farhan Khalid, NIDM representatives including Brig. (r) Sajid Naeem; Capt. (r) Asif Iqbal and Capacity Building Specialist Waseem Ahmed.