ASEAN MEMBER STATES EMBARK ON THE SECOND BENCHMARKING VISIT TO THE REPUBLIC OF KOREA
The Second ASCEND Benchmarking Visit marked a collaborative effort between the ASEAN Member States and the Republic of Korea to bolster their emergency and disaster response capabilities. Taking place from 28 to 31 August 2023 in the Republic of Korea, this event offered 26 participants from the ten ASEAN Member States, the ASEAN-Korea Programme Management Team (AKPMT), and the AHA Centre a unique opportunity to learn from South Korea’s exemplary practices in disaster management.
The four-day schedule was packed with informative and hands-on experiences in various benchmarking sites. First, the delegates visited the Fire Equipment Center in Eumseong County, where they had the chance to understand the critical role of the Fire Equipment Center in managing and inspecting fire equipment. The visit also included a briefing by the Korea Fire Institute, providing an overview of fire equipment management, followed by an exhilarating hands-on experience driving a fire vehicle simulator.
On the second day, the participants travelled to Busan and visited the Busan Fire Academy. The academy offered delegates a comprehensive introduction to its various operations, including the rescue and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) operations at sea during the maritime disaster response. An observation of a simulated exercise (SIMEX) on emergency response at sea ended the visit to the academy.
Still in Busan, delegates explored the Busan 119 Safety Experience Center, which features various facilities for safety training and simulations. Briefings on each facility and its functions were followed by active participation in programmes such as earthquake and cyclone simulations. This immersive experience provided insights into disaster preparedness and response strategies.
The visit culminated with a trip to the International Fire and Safety Expo Korea 2023, where state-of-the-art fire technology and safety innovations from companies worldwide were on display. Delegates had the opportunity to observe cutting-edge fire and safety equipment, fostering connections with international partners and staying updated on the latest advancements in the field.
Similar to the first visit, the second ASCEND Benchmarking Visit was facilitated by the Korean National Fire Agency, which supports and contributes to the ongoing implementation and development of ASCEND. South Korea’s commitment to sharing expertise and facilitating learning among its regional counterparts was evident throughout the visit. The event concluded with participants expressing gratitude to the Republic of Korea for its warm hospitality and invaluable insights. The commitment to ongoing collaboration and knowledge sharing in the realm of emergency and disaster response was reaffirmed, promising a safer and more resilient future for all.
Written by: Excel Botigan | Photos by: AHA Centre