FEMA and A.D.S. Inc recently teamed up for the purpose of disaster relief training. FEMA, otherwise known as the Federal Emergency Management Agency, is a government organization who provides help to communities struck by natural disasters. This year they were heavily involved with assisting those affected by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria; as well as those recently impacted by the devastating California wildfires.
FEMA was formed over 39 years ago, originally serving under the Presidential Reorganization Plan. For the agency to be utilized in a crisis, the Governor of a State affected by a disaster must declare that his state is in a State of Emergency. This is primarily due to the fact that the program has jurisdiction under the Federal Government and the States must request assistance. FEMA has an annual budget of around $14 billion dollars. They work to help rebuild structures, as well as assist the people living in a community affected by a natural disaster. The agency has provided a lot of help for people in need. Prior to their start, there was very few government funded ordinations of the such. They were put in place to support the people drastically hurt from unpreventable events.
What helps FEMA greatly in times of disaster stems from the planning, education, and training that occurs when there isn’t a disaster happening. Throughout the year they run many training exercises to prepare for emergency situations.
On Tuesday October 17th, FEMA held an event in conjunction with a government supply contractor based out of Virginia Beach called A.D.S. A.D.S. helped provide equipment; in particular very specialized helmets and other tactical gear for those in attendance. They then assisted in some of the training exercises so that volunteers and first-responders could properly use the equipment and act efficiently.
Training exercises were segmented into a handful of different exercises including lifting and moving, shoring, and breaking and breaching. The Captain of the Virginia Beach Fire Department, Glenn Burnett, spoke at the event. He explained the process that his team members go through to work from outside of a building and into one. He also spoke on a few strategies to prevent buildings from falling during a natural disaster. Raker beams are a specific type of building support that hold up well in disaster scenarios. They are very strong, but can be mobilized quicklu. USR (Urban Search & Rescue) units from FEMA install these beams into buildings that have collapsed from a disaster.
While the disaster training event was held in Virginia Beach, trainees traveled all the way from places such as Panama, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Washington to be there. Overall it was a resounding success.