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Colombian Air Force Bolsters Humanitarian Aid Capacity

first_imgBy Yolima Dussán/Diálogo March 28, 2018 Colombia’s disaster response system led to an increase in the number of relief missions in local communities, and also provided assistance during recent disasters in Chile, Peru, Mexico, and Costa Rica. The system is built around several public and private entities, and community and military organizations brought together under the National Unit for Disaster Risk Management (UNGDR, in Spanish). UNGDR was established in 2008 by the National Center for Personnel Rescue (CNRP, in Spanish) that the Colombian Air Force (FAC in Spanish) operates to aid the civilian population. The unit is based at the Military Air Transport Command in Bogotá. “The level of disaster response coordination that Colombia attained saves more lives each time,” FAC Major Ricardo Ovalle, coordinator of Joint Operations for CNRP and UNGDR, told Diálogo. “FAC plays a decisive role in this process. It’s round-the-clock work that never lets up.” Emergency response fronts CNRP operates on three fronts. The center transports personnel and cargo to put out massive wildfires and responds to landslides and floods. CNRP also conducts aerial surveillance over areas where civilian populations are at risk, such as volcanoes, snowy regions, and rivers. “Avalanches and mudslides are more critical. Fires have a huge impact on flora and fauna, but you have some time before they impact people. Avalanches involve a lot of wounded people, without houses, without services,” Maj. Ovalle said. “They require more effective assistance.” The second front consists of search-and-rescue operations for military and civilian personnel following aircraft crashes or river accidents. The center’s third front is unquestionably the area of highest demand: relocation and aeromedical evacuation. In 2004, the Directorate of Special Air Operations (today’s CNRP) established a broad set of procedures in an efficient protocol for disaster response and rescue. Since then, the unit transported more than 19,000 service members and civilians from all places and especially from hard-to-reach areas that only military aircraft can access. Every minute counts CNRP never rests. Its command is made up of just 22 officers and enlisted who coordinate its interfaces with a large army of specialists from every unit of FAC, who almost always race against the clock when responding to emergencies. “In our mission to save lives, every minute matters,” FAC Lieutenant Colonel John Jairo Baez, head of CNRP, told Diálogo. “In disaster response, every minute counts to save the lives of those who are in harm’s way. In search and rescue, a single minute can make the difference to find those injured or lost. And in aeromedical evacuation, time matters even more.” Every decision is based on a stream of information to carry out the procedure as quickly as possible. Strict adherence to established response protocols shape their use over time. “Our mission during the April 2017 avalanche in Moca showed how our disaster response system evolved and how FAC’s response capabilities increased thanks to the incorporation of [response] developed resources and protocols,” Lt. Col. Baez said. “We’re at the forefront of disaster response in the region.” FAC pilots execute CNRP’s operations. Trained to operate under the most stressful circumstances, pilots review every request for assistance to choose what resources to use to respond to each case. Pilots, who understand the implications of their choices, make quick but thoughtful decisions. “To go where someone needs help is one of FAC’s commitments. We did entire military operations to bring women in labor out from far-flung places and transfer sick children and adults,” FAC Lieutenant Colonel José Luis Avendaño Hurtado, chief of CNRP’s Transportation and Aeromedical Evacuation Division, told Diálogo. “There are several factors to assess to ensure operational effectiveness: weather conditions, nearby treatment locations, and the amount of time needed for treatment based on indications from the medical evaluation system.” The amount of combat evacuations for wounded soldiers across Colombia during the armed conflict required capacity building to overcome obstacles. Up to 2015, members of the public security forces represented the largest number of transfers. But, since 2016, civilian rescues lead the statistics. “We follow a doctrine set forth by the International Maritime Organization and the International Civil Aviation Organization—the governing bodies on search and rescue procedures—to determine the locations and conditions in which a person can survive,” FAC Lieutenant Colonel Fernando Mendoza, chief of CNRP’s Search-and-Rescue Division, told Diálogo. “We work with technology, but, when technology fails us, the power goes out, and there are no indicators, we are left with the experience of our pilots, trained in war operations and used to applying their knowledge of basic geometry and trigonometry to perform triangulations and find the target.” Effective equipment and human commitment To carry out these missions, CNRP has a fleet of three medically outfitted Beechcraft King Air 350 aircraft, and three UH-60 helicopters, dubbed the “Angels Squadron,” which are equipped with a hoist system to perform personnel rescues in hard-to-reach areas. The aircraft are also equipped to carry the Bambi Bucket system, a must to put out fires. Three Cessna 208 Caravan aircraft supplement the fleet. When needed, a C-130 Hercules can be fitted with the Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System (MAFFS II). “The experience gained from the conflict allowed us to know what’s needed to survive on land, in water, in poor visibility conditions, and at night—in extremely risky conditions,” added FAC Major Pablo Mora Díaz, deputy director of Human Resources and Technical Support for UNGDR. “We do whatever needs to be done. We follow protocols, and we’re creative. We work for the well-being of all. We’re soldiers who rescue people,” he concluded.last_img read more

Euthanasia referendum: Should it be a health priority for New Zealand at present?

first_imgStuff co.nz 19 September 2020Family First Comment: Important questions: “If the referendum is passed, money and time will be put into establishing a bureaucracy to deliver aid in dying, and doctors will have to provide the service. This represents an opportunity cost, as these resources cannot be spent on other aspects of the health system. To comply with the law there is a lot to do. There are committees to be formed and policies to be written. All doctors will need to decide if they want to take part. All practices and hospitals will have to respond to someone who seeks assisted dying”OPINION: Discussion of the euthanasia referendum has mostly been around the ethical question of whether euthanasia should be allowed. There has been little discussion about whether this is a priority for action now.If the referendum is passed, money and time will be put into establishing a bureaucracy to deliver aid in dying, and doctors will have to provide the service. This represents an opportunity cost, as these resources cannot be spent on other aspects of the health system.To comply with the law there is a lot to do. There are committees to be formed and policies to be written. All doctors will need to decide if they want to take part. All practices and hospitals will have to respond to someone who seeks assisted dying and that is likely to lead to a lot of discussion and debate.Hospices have already said they will not do this but what about all the other providers? Whilst the financial costs will be balanced by the money saved in someone dying earlier and not requiring some pension or some care costs, the personnel resource and the time spent setting systems up needed to do all this is still problematic.What is the size of the potential quality of life benefit?If the referendum passes, we don’t know how many people would seek aid in dying. A reasonable comparison would be with Oregon.Oregon has a population of 4.2 million (New Zealand 5 million) and has had a Death with Dignity Act in force for the past 22 years. Their Act is similar to ours. Their experience is that patients are older, on average 74 years (range 33-98 years).Just over 50 per cent of patients had a university degree and 96 per cent of patients were white. In 2019 a total of 188 people were assisted to die, 0.51 per cent of total deaths.During the first five years of the Act around 25 people a year (around 0.08% of total deaths) were assisted to die. Whilst there are differences between Oregon and New Zealand, we are alike enough for this to give us some idea of what might happen here.If this level of demand is reflected in New Zealand, then it will benefit a few people from a group who can afford the costs and who already get significant benefit from our health system.– Ben Gray is a senior lecturer in Primary Health Care and General Practice at University of Otago, Wellington.READ MORE: https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/euthanasia-debate/300107980/euthanasia-referendum-should-it-be-a-health-priority-for-new-zealand-at-present?cid=app-iPhonelast_img read more

Teen pageant promotes self-confidence, self-esteem and poise

first_imgLocalNews Teen pageant promotes self-confidence, self-esteem and poise by: – January 25, 2012 Tweet Share Share Sharing is caring!center_img Director of the Waitukubuli Dance Theatre Company, Raymond Lawrence. Photograph by Josiah St. Jean of Pictastic Photo StudioChief Cultural Officer and Director of the Waitukubuli Dance Theatre Company Raymond Lawrence has characterized the Teen pageant as one which promotes self confidence, self-esteem and poise of its participants.The 35th annual Teen Pageant was launched on Tuesday evening at the Arawak House of Culture, an initiative of the Waitukubuli Dance Theatre Company who will this year celebrate their 41st anniversary of existence.Lawrence noted that the pageant affords participants the opportunity to develop their talents and skills. He says the pageant is not merely for entertainment and development of culture but also an educational experience for the participants.“The Teen Pageant has allowed contestants to be trained in walking and modeling, in performance of their talent and skills and also in their public speaking and responding to questions. Quite apart from being a modeling and beauty pageant, it is also an educational experience for all the contestants and we should always remember that it is not so much about the winning or losing but it is about the experience the show affords to the contestants in helping them to develop their self-confidence, their self-esteem and poise.”Lawrence highlighted a few former Miss Teen Pageant winners who also won the Miss Dominica titles.Reigning Miss Teen Dominica – Nicole Rodriguez.Photograph by Josiah St. Jean of Pictastic Photo Studio.“It is interesting to note that there are a number of teen contestants who went on to win the title of Carnival Queen for example, Vanessa Isles, Minerve Lewis, Leandra Lander and Marah Walter all were part of the teen pageant and they went on to win the Miss Dominica title.”According to Lawrence, Miss Monroe College 2011 Samarya Joseph who copped the awards for best talent, Miss Intelligence and best in evening wear was also the Miss Teen Pageant 2006. Miss Joseph out shined eight other contestants when she won the Miss Monroe College title in New York last year. Meanwhile, nine teenagers will participate in the 2012 Miss Teen Pageant competition on Sunday 12th February at Festival City in Pottersville.They are;Shawnelle Walsh representing the Convent High School and sponsored by Guiyave Limited,Mernel Christmas representing the Isaiah Thomas Secondary School,Siedah Charles representing the Orion Academy,Christel Bertrand of the Goodwill Secondary School,Brianna Peltier representing the St. Martin’s Secondary School, sponsored by New India Assurance Company LimitedAlize Charles representing the Portsmouth Secondary School, sponsored by Ross University School of MedicineTamika Balson representing the Dominica Grammar School, sponsored by DOMLECMelina Riviere representing the North East Comprehensive School, sponsored by Dominica Coconut ProductsTahnee Baron representing the Pierre Charles Secondary SchoolPhotographs by Josiah St. Jean of Pictastic Photo Studio [nggallery id = 125] Dominica Vibes News Share 66 Views   no discussionslast_img read more

Farah declines marathon spot at World Championships

first_img(REUTERS) – European record holder Mo Farah has declined a chance to contest the marathon in the World Championships in Doha, increasing the possibility of a return to the track.Farah, a four-time Olympic champion over 5 000 metres and 10 000 metres, retired from track athletics to focus on marathon events in 2017.The 36-year-old has since broken the European record when winning the Chicago Marathon last October, but only finished fifth at the London Marathon last weekend, over three minutes behind Kenyan great Eliud Kipchoge.British Athletics yesterday announced their marathon participants for the World Championships in September – the men’s lineup consisting of Callum Hawkins and Dewi Griffiths – and Farah was the notable absentee.Earlier this year, the three-time 10 000m world champion Farah said watching Briton Laura Muir claim the European Indoor 1500m and 3 000m double made him realise how much he missed the track.“Having seen my fellow athletes, who I’ve competed against in the past, and watching the European Indoor Championships on TV, I was thinking ‘Oh man! I want to get back out there’,” he said in March.“That’s just me. If things are going well and I’ve got a chance to win a medal then I’d love to come back and run for my country.“Part of me when I watch track races I’m like, ‘can I still do it? I want to do it’. I do miss the track.”last_img read more

Mascot change a symbol of new brand

first_imgUSC doesn’t throw out some cartoon, costumed mascot on the football field like many other colleges. Instead, Tommy Trojan rides his noble steed Traveler around the field to pump up the crowd. And the pair often succeeds in rousing the Coliseum after each USC touchdown.The basketball team, however, appears to be going in a different direction — and not just because there’s no room for Traveler to gallop around the Galen Center.On Wednesday, USC unveiled the new Tommy Trojan and Traveler, a more kid-friendly version of the mascot with full-on cartoon costumes. The new mascots will be cheering from the Galen Center every home game for both the men’s and women’s basketball team.The mascot change in itself is not a major development in USC athletics, but sparks a greater discussion that the basketball team has clearly answered and the football team will be asked at the end of this current season: What’s next?USC men’s basketball comes into its season opener today at Utah State with a drastically different-looking program from last season. The biggest change of course is new head coach Andy Enfield, the high-flying bundle of energy taken from Florida Gulf Coast to lead this year’s team.Enfield led Florida Gulf Coast University to the Sweet Sixteen of last year’s NCAA Division I National Championship tournament. Florida Gulf Coast had easily the maddest run of March Madness — well, save for maybe Kevin Ware’s right fibula. The Eagles came into the tournament as a No. 15 seed and shocked the No. 2-seeded Georgetown Hoyas, then upset the 7-seeded San Diego State Aztecs before ultimately falling to          No. 3-seeded Florida.The Eagles used a fast-paced style, pushing transition whenever possible and avoiding set 5-on-5 half-court possessions, and had arguably the best dunkers in the tournament.USC basketball, on the other hand, spent all of March Madness on the couch. For the second year in a row, the men’s team didn’t qualify for the 68-team tournament. The team finished 14-18 overall with a slightly more respectable 9-9 finish in Pac-12 play. Former head coach Kevin O’Neill was fired midway through the year after going 6-26 the year before with only one win and 17 losses in conference play. Former interim head coach Bob Cantu did well to prevent the season from becoming another complete failure like the year before, but the team still missed the tournament.Athletic Director Pat Haden obviously wanted to make a splash in the coaching market to see if that would turn things around in the Galen Center. So the Trojans made Enfield a contract offer he could not refuse — no surprise that USC has a little more financial support behind its storied athletic program than Florida Gulf Coast — and fans have been anxiously waiting to see the new look of the team ever since.Enfield isn’t the only change to this year’s basketball team. Since Enfield was announced as the new head coach, several noteworthy players have transferred to USC, including former Maryland point guard Pe’Shon Howard, former UNLV shooting guard Katin Reinhardt and former Charlotte forward Darion Clark. Though the new players might not be enough for USC to legitimately compete for the Pac-12 title just yet, the surge of player interest since the new hire shows how much a coach can influence the recruiting process.The question Enfield will have to answer is if an exciting new recruiting pitch is enough to change the program’s dynamics. Will March Madness become a rite of passage for USC basketball players every year like it is for schools such as Duke, UNC, Louisville or even UCLA? Is transitioning to a fun style of play all that it will take to build some tradition around USC basketball?It’s the same question USC football will have to address at the end of the season. Unlike Enfield’s squad, the Trojans who compete in the Coliseum already have a lot of tradition to build on. But recent struggles beg the question of whether or not a team needs something more in today’s game.Should USC bring in a football coach that can run a spread offense? Is the traditional pro-style offense that won USC two Heismans and two national titles (insert NCAA sanction joke here) from 2004 to 2005 too old-school? Can USC rely on its tradition, or does it need to change the face of the football program with a new coach, new offense and even a new costumed mascot?The pro-style offense is the same style that legendary head coach John McKay relied on to mold USC into a national power long before Pete Carroll came and built upon the tradition. But today, so many teams are replacing traditional offenses with no-huddle, hurry-up, pass-heavy, dual-threat quarterback offenses because the system is both much more fun to watch and much more fun to play, regardless of any real strategic benefit that such a system could bring.Interim head football coach Ed Orgeron has shown on the football field that the right coach can certainly make a huge difference just by bringing a bunch of new energy, even if most of the style of play stays the same. Maybe the basketball team didn’t need to totally change the team’s style of play, and just needed to bring in more enthusiasm at the head coaching position.USC has some time before it has to answer all of the football team’s big questions. For now, Trojan fans can finally start enjoying one of the greatest times in all of USC sports, when the tail end of football season overlaps with the beginning of basketball season and fans have twice as many games to watch.And since the basketball team tips off tonight at Utah State, the Trojan faithful won’t have to wait long to see if a new coach — or mascot — on the court is all the program needs to kick-start a streak of success to rival that of their counterparts on the football field. “Holthouse Party” runs every other Friday. To comment on this story, email Luke at cardinalsandgold@gmail.com or visit dailytrojan.com.last_img read more