Creating a Culture of Preparedness: Inaugural First Responders Forum in the Maldives

Creating a Culture of Preparedness: Inaugural First Responders Forum in the Maldives

21 Feb 2024

Malé City, Maldives

The inaugural First Responders Forum took place from February 20th to 21st, 2024, in Male City, Maldives, under the theme 'Creating a Culture of Preparedness.' Organized by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and the Maldivian Red Crescent Society in collaboration with ADPC, the forum was part of the Strengthening Preparedness and Resilience through Inclusive Community Governance in the Maldives (SPRING) project, supported by USAID's Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (BHA).

The opening ceremony resonated with insightful remarks from distinguished speakers. Mr. Hisan Hassan, Chief Executive of the NDMA, and Ms. Fathmath Himya, Secretary-General of the Maldivian Red Crescent, emphasized collaboration in disaster preparedness. His Excellency Mr. Hugo Yon, the US Ambassador to the Maldives, highlighted the significance of fostering strong alliances and shared responsibility in disaster response efforts, while the Chief Guest, Honorable Minister of Defense Mohamed Ghassan Maumoon, underscored the government's commitment to enhancing emergency preparedness.

During an introductory session, Dr. Sisira Madurapperuma, Director of Preparedness and Resilient Recovery at ADPC, delivered a poignant message, stating, "At this inaugural First Responders Forum, we're reminded of the critical role of first responders in proactive planning. Just as the saying goes, 'If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail'. In a country like the Maldives, where unforeseen challenges can arise, the dedication of first responders is paramount in ensuring the safety and well-being of communities."

The forum categorized responders into core and cooperating groups, recognizing their essential roles in emergency response. Core responders, directly engaged in response efforts, were tasked with specific duties, while cooperating responders played vital roles within their sectors. This comprehensive network ensured effective and coordinated responses to emergencies.

Throughout the event, participants engaged in discussions focused on improving emergency response. By sharing experiences and ideas, they aimed to enhance preparedness in the Maldives. The forum served as a practical platform for fostering coordination and preparation, driven by collaboration among stakeholders.