In the frames of Building safe and resilient communities project financed by Austrian Red Cross, Emergency Response and Humanitarian Coordination Center was established on the basis if ARCS Stepanavan Territorial Branch. In 2018, the Center was technically equipped, becoming a disaster management community reserve center.
Special software was prepared for the Center, which allows conducting disaster risk assessment, for example: to predict the possible consequences of the disaster and the required scope of response.
“Having equipped the Center technically we’ve enlarged our response capacities. This is a huge step forward in the field of Disaster Management”, Armen Arakelyan, Stepanavan TB Chairman says, “We have all necessary equipment as well for mountain rescue, for working in high mountains and in the snow. Now we have here an artificial mountain, where our volunteers exercise. We can, for example, turn on or off the street lights partly or totally, in case of need”.
ARCS Stepanavan TB is mainly focused on Disaster Management field. The team of 20 specially trained rescuers – volunteers conduct awareness raising activities about community resilience, search and rescue, disaster risk reduction. Among them are those rescuers with international qualification, who were involved in rescue operations after Spitak earthquake back in 1988.
In the frames of the mentioned project, the Center purchased a drone, which is the first of this kind of drones in Armenia.
“Using this drone, we not only conduct search and rescue, but, for example, are able to reach the victim with 6-7 kg parcel of necessary items, such as food, first aid kit, etc. ”, Armen Arakelyan mentioned.
A special volunteer rescue team is ready for rapid respond to disasters. In the winter, when a 14-year-old kid fell off a cliff, volunteers from the team were the first to help. They also cooperate with the Stepanavan State Crisis Management Academy, where they conduct trainings for students.