CSP Trains the Female Volunteer First Responders of Jurd el Qaitea Union of Municipalities on Firefighting Techniques and Safety
Located in the mountainous forested region of North Lebanon, the Jurd el Qaitea Union of Municipalities (UoM) is composed of fifteen towns and villages, home to around 130,000 Lebanese residents and 4,000 Syrian refugees. The union experiences recurring wildfires which have been exacerbated by weak municipal response mechanisms. The fires have also severely affected tourism in the area, which in turn significantly reduced local economic opportunities and increased tensions among residents over limited livelihoods. In response, USAID’s Community Support Program (CSP) supported the union to better respond to the wildfires by providing its fire truck with necessary fire response equipment – including a water pump and thrusters, a fire-resistant water hose and tank, fire hammers, extinguishers, and protective gear – to be used by the union’s recently established volunteer first responders’ team. To sustain this investment, CSP is training the members of the team on the operation and maintenance of the provided equipment and is enhancing their capacities to safely and effectively fight wildfires. On October 15, 2022, ten female members of the team attended a four-day training on firefighting techniques and safety.
“As female firefighters from this community, we are faced with many cultural barriers. The training provided by USAID/CSP is contributing to us challenging long-standing gender biases by gaining people’s trust and becoming effective members of the team,” stated Shadia Mohammed, volunteer in the first responders’ team.