Fire Services gets Aussie helping hand

The work of the Samoa Fire Emergency Services Authority (F.E.S.A.) has received a A$9,992 (T$17,800) boost thanks to the Australian Volunteers Programme Impact Fund.

The money will help train F.E.S.A's ambulance and fire first-responders in the use of personal protection equipment and understanding the risks of COVID-19.

In addition to the Impact Fund, Australian Volunteer partner organisations can apply for support through the Remote Volunteering initiative, which allows repatriated volunteers to complete a short-term remote assignment, helping them to stay connected and continue to support their partner organisation from Australia.

F.E.S.A Manager Corporate Services stated in a response to Samoa Observer email queries that the funds will be used for the purpose in which it was granted for which is to secure F.E.S.A and its staff against COVID19-linked events.  

“It aims to build the resilience and knowledge base of first responders and FESA staff in the event of a COVID19 case,” she said.

Australian Volunteer partner organisations could apply for grants of up to AUD10,000 to continue to work with volunteers and respond to COVID-19.

According to Ms. Alisi, Krystelle Syme was brought in to assist with building capabilities of F.E.S.A. staff to provide ambulance services to the people of Samoa. Ms. Syme had returned back home in March on the repatriation flights.

“As one of the few recipients from Pacific countries, we are fortunate and thankful to have received this grant which will help in ensuring we are prepared as first responders in the event of a positive case of COVID19 in Samoa," she said.

“We rely a lot on our partnership with Australian Volunteers International for capacity building of our Emergency Medical Response staff who implement the ambulance service hence this grant has come at a crucial time for the Authority.”

The Australian High Commissioner to Samoa, Sara Moriarty stated in a response to Samoa Observer email queries that Australian Government, through the Australian Volunteers Program, remains committed to supporting our valued partner organisations in Samoa.

“Partner organisations with an Australian volunteer that returned home because of COVID-19 were invited to apply to the Impact Fund to help communities respond to and recover from the pandemic,” she said.

“We are pleased that the Samoa Fire and Emergency Service Authority received funding to build the capabilities and knowledge base of first responders and staff to possible COVID-19 cases in Samoa.”

Australia is supporting a number of civil society and non-government organisations to respond to COVID-19 through our AUD10.5 million COVID-19 support package Samoa.

These include Nuanua o le Alofa (N.O.L.A) and Women in Business Development Inc (W.I.B.D.I) who will receive support through the Australian Humanitarian Partnership Program to promote livelihoods, food security, and hygiene in communities.

The Australian High Commission in Samoa Facebook provides information on grant opportunities through the Australian Aid program in Samoa as they arise.

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