USAID’s Community Support Program Trains the Jurd el Qaitea Union of Municipalities First Responders on the Use of Air Pressure Machines
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 and have 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. On September 15, 2022, seven members of the first responders’ team attended a training and fire drill on the use of air pressure machines provided by CSP which is enabling their specialization in tackling house fires and saving victims whilst ensuring their own safety. Next, in October 2022, CSP will provide training to 18 female first responders team volunteers on firefighting techniques.
“This assistance from USAID/CSP is enabling us to safely save more lives and limit the risk of fires expanding,” stated Yaacoub Ahmad, volunteer in the first responders’ team.