This article is a summary of the special speech presented by the executive director of
A-PAD Japan, Ms. Kaori Neki on February 16, 2019 at Saga University Medical School
Pictured above: Ms. Neki Kaori, Executive Director of Asia Pacific Alliance Japan
We were able to reach each disaster sites immediately after onset, including the Great East Japan disaster in 2011, by mobilizing our resources and through assistance from our private sector partners. However, we were unable to meet emergency medical care needs for the disaster victims. That’s why since 2011, A-PAD Japan and our partner NGOs have been exploring how we can address issues regarding rescue missions and medical care.
In 2015, A-PAD Japan opened in Saga Prefecture upon an invitation from the local government and initiated the Airborne Rescue and Medical Project. This project aims to dispatch a rescue team along with medical doctors when a disaster strikes to provide search-and-rescue and emergency medical care at the disaster site.
For domestic natural disasters, traditionally, emergency medical services have been offered by groups such as Disaster Medical Assistance Team (DMAT) and rescue operations have been conducted mainly by the fire departments and Self-Defense Force. However, I believe our Airborne Rescue and Medical Team is the first in Japan to combine medical and rescue professionals to dispatch them as one team. The Team is participated by the members of Saga University Medical Hospital Advance Emergency Medical Service Center. We also partner with Saga Prefecture and Saga City to carry out our activities.
Using a local airport in Saga to dispatch our team during the 2016 Kumamoto Earthquake proved to be convenient due to the close proximity.
Pictured below: Helicopter on stand-by to be refueled at Saga Airport for the 2016 Kumamoto Earthquake
Pictured below: Airborne Rescue and Medical Team’s Gulfstream Commander 695
We procured an airplane, a Gulfstream Commander 695, for its speed and efficiency. The airplane that carries the Airborne Rescue and Medical Team can reach Sendai Airport from Saga in just 2.3 hours and is only 5.6 hours to Manila, the Philippines.
Continue to “How the Great East Japan Disaster changed the way we provide disaster assistance – A-PAD Airborne Rescue and Medical Team’s Journey（2/2）”
＜Ms. Neki Kaori＞
Executive Director of A-PAD Japan
Executive Director of Civic Force
2001 – Joined Peace Winds Japan and stationed in Afghanistan, Iraq, and etc. Seconded to an UN agency or private sector to gain experiences.
2009 – Established Civic Force.
2012 – Contributed to the establishment of A-PAD
2015 – Established A-PAD Japan
＜Asia Pacific Alliance for Disaster Management Japan (A-PAD Japan)＞
A-PAD Japan, a platform to facilitate cooperation among NGOs, the business sector, and governments when disasters occur, was established in November 2015. Our Airborne Rescue and Medical Team consists of a search-and rescue-team, rescue dogs, medical professionals and pilots, and we work as a joint unit to save lives in less time.
<Be part of creating a disaster preparedness mechanism>
March 1, 2019, A-PAD Japan launched a government crowdfunding campaign through the hometown tax scheme in Saga to raise money for disaster assistance conducted by the Airborne Rescue and Medical Team. Donors are eligible to receive thank you gifts made in Saga such as rice, Saga beef, and traditional arts and crafts. Through this hometown tax scheme, we would like to build a strengthened disaster preparedness mechanism with each one of you to protect against future disasters.
Donate here (Open period March 1 - May 31, 2019)