TSF expands emergency telecoms training in Haiti

Scout leaders in Haiti can now train other local people how to use emergency telecoms kits thanks to a Télécoms Sans Frontières (TSF) disaster preparedness programme.

The Inmarsat-sponsored communications agency has been working in Haiti since the island was hit by a massive earthquake in January 2010.

TSF experts deployed immediately to set up emergency telecoms centres for first responders battling to help survivors in a country left largely devastated.

Local responders
Since then, TSF has established a programme to train people in every Haitian department to use equipment, including IsatPhone Pro and BGAN.

This means they can make contact with relief agencies immediately and re-establish communications in the event of another disaster.

A partnership with the National Association of the Scouts of Haiti (NASH) has created a network of scout leaders acting as a local emergency telecoms response team.

Automatic messaging
TSF has certified the first group of scout leaders to be trainers themselves.

They can show colleagues how to use the ICT equipment, set up WiFi networks, and create frontline SMS automatic messaging networks.

Last month the new trainers completed their first training session, certifying 40 additional scout leaders and further expanding the roster of local emergency telecoms responders.

Next emergency
“TSF and the scouts will continue to work together in 2013 to improve Haiti's preparedness for the next emergency,” said TSF spokesman Laure Crampé.

“TSF will conduct regular practical training sessions, the Haiti scouts will conduct a wide-ranging information campaign so the Haitian people know what to do in an emergency, and Haiti's new emergency telecoms trainers will carry out two disaster simulation exercises to improve the skills of programme graduates.”

TSF: www.tsfi.org