Honduras and Puerto Rico Exchange Expertise to Improve Emergency Response

first_imgThe COPECO delegation also visited the Fire Department of Puerto Rico, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Enhanced Response Force Package, which is a U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) unit. The visit occurred a week after SOUTHCOM Commander U.S. Navy Admiral Kurt W. Tidd went to Honduras to meet President Juan Orlando Hernández and Military officials from the Central American country. State Partnership Program The delegation’s visit was made under the framework of the U.S. National Guard State Partnership Program. The program was established in 1993 to link the National Guards of the United States and its territories to other countries’ Armed Forces, expand cooperation in the defense of the United States, and strengthen Military partnerships. A number of U.S. states and territories have active partnerships with nations in South and Central America and the Caribbean. Training to prevent and fight fires was a key component of the delegation’s visit. Honduras is taking steps to decrease its vulnerability to forest fires due to the effects of climate change. Fires damaged 39,585 hectares of Honduran forest in 2015, according to figures from the National Human Rights Commissioner. Retired Brigadier General Carlos Cordero, the National Commissioner of the Permanent Contingency Commission (COPECO for its Spanish acronym), commanded the 40-member Honduran interagency delegation. The group included members of the COPECO Rapid Response Unit, the Humanitarian Response Unit of the Armed Forces, the National Police, the Fire Department, the Department of Health, and the Central American Corporation for Air Navigation Services. COPECO is the coordinator of the National Risk System, which is divided into seven regions covering the country’s 18 departments and includes the cooperation of other institutions that have improved emergency management response times. The January visit was not the first joint training session for Honduran firefighters. This past August, they participated in the Fire Guardians course, which focused on improving interoperability among fire departments from the United States, the Fire Department of Honduras (CBH), and the COPECO. The week-long training, which was led by the CBH and sponsored by the Office of Security Cooperation, was conducted according to the standards of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), adhering to international standards on the use and maintenance of personal protective equipment during the rescue of victims in collapsed structures. Belize and El Salvador are planning to join the program. The delegation visited Puerto Rico’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (PREMA) to study its response to threats involving hazardous materials and to analyze the Central American country’s preparation for critical situations. “The support of the PRNG is very important for prevention and response activities, which help promote the training of citizens in risk management, creating a positive effect on the country’s prevention projects,” explained Commissioner Cordero, whose delegation also participated in a search and rescue workshop. Honduras and Puerto Rico exchanged emergency management experiences when a group of Military representatives and civilians from the Central American country visited the facilities of the Puerto Rico National Guard (PRNG) in late January. center_img The NFPA’s international prestige ensures that developed and developing countries will maintain the same firefighting standards, which is why many countries have adopted these regulations. Within the framework of the 2016 Fire Guardians Program, Honduras is emphasizing training for new techniques to battle forest fires. “Honduras is preparing to become a logistics center for disaster relief and emergency management not only at the local and national levels but at the regional level,” Commissioner Cordero said. “The meeting was based on the exchange of information about how to assist the government institutions that make up the program during emergencies,” Commissioner Cordero told Dialógo. The meeting was also attended by the coordinator of personnel recovery from the Security Cooperation Office of Honduras and members of the Soto Cano Air Base Joint Task Force Bravo’s Personnel Recovery Control Center. “The mobilization time in response to disasters has diminished,” Commissioner Cordero explained. “When Hurricane Mitch occurred in 1998, the response time was 48 hours. It was an important lesson. Now the preparation and organization has been improved nationwide, 20 years after that disaster, with plans for prevention, education, and training. Emergency operations centers are not the same. All departments along the Atlantic coast have their response plans and mitigation plans that will allow them to respond in emergencies.” Good morning, great article but I believe that Mr. Cordero is not a Brigadier General (military) Retired.The trials are necessary between countries like ours which are faced with these kinds of natural phenomena. Response times Advanced training has helped Central American fire departments and security forces respond more quickly to emergency situations. Response times are better than they were in 1998, when Hurricane Mitch caused heavy flooding that collectively killed about 11,000 people in Honduras, Guatemala, and Nicaragua. In Honduras, the regions most vulnerable to hurricanes and heavy rains are along the Atlantic coast, according to COPECO. By Dialogo March 10, 2016last_img read more

FIFA proposes Americas-wide qualifying contest for 2026, says official

first_imgBy Brian Homewood(REUTERS)-FIFA has proposed merging the CONCACAF and South American qualifiers as part of its plans to expand the 2026 World Cup, a leading official from the region said in a newspaper interview.Venezuelan Football Federation (FVF) president Laureano Gonzalez said the idea for the merger had come from FIFA president Gianni Infantino.Gonzalez, who is also a vice-president of CONMEBOL, the governing body for South America, said it would want at least 14 places at the finals for the two regions combined before accepting the proposal.CONCACAF represents North and Central America as well as the Caribbean.The FIFA Council is due to vote tomorrow whether to increase the number of teams at the finals from the current 32 to either 40 or 48 from 2026. FIFA will decide at a later date which regions will be awarded the additional slots.CONMEBOL currently has four-and-a-half places at the World Cup for its 10 members while CONCACAF, which has 35 FIFA members in its ranks, has three-and-a-half places.“There is a suggestion from Gianni Infantino to unify the CONMEBOL and CONCACAF qualifiers,” Gonzalez told the Venezuelan sports daily Meridiano.“This would have support if they gave us more places. At the moment, we have seven between the two confederations, plus two half places,” he said.“If this went up to 14, similar to what Europe has for more or less the same number of teams, the idea would catch on on the continent.”FIFA could not immediately be reached for comment. Europe currently has 13 places for 55 teams, plus one for 2018 World Cup hosts Russia.CONCACAF is also a leading contender to host the 2026 World Cup, possibly with a joint bid involving at least two out of the United States, Canada and Mexico.Gonzalez also said there was “a spirit” in the region in favour of holding a repeat of last year’s Copa Centenario in 2020, but with 24 teams instead of 16.The Copa Centenario, which celebrated the Copa America’s 100th anniversary, was a special tournament in addition to the regular Copa America.The Copa America is played every four years in the year following the World Cup and traditionally features 10 teams from CONMEBOL and two from CONCACAF.The Centenario, however, took place in the United States and featured six teams from CONCACAF plus the 10 from South America.CONCACAF also has its own biennial tournament, the Gold Cup, staged in odd-numbered years.Gonzalez said officials were in favour of another extra tournament in 2020, with a similar makeup to the Centenario but under a different name and with the format increased to 24 teams.“Obviously it wouldn’t be called Centenario,” said Gonzalez. “Our Copa America would continue to be played as usual.”Such a tournament may face opposition from European clubs, where many of the region’s top players are based.last_img read more

Juve snatch Serie A lead from Napoli with dramatic win

first_imgSubstitute Simone Zaza scored a dramatic goal two minutes from time to give Juventus a 1-0 win over Napoli on Saturday as they snatched the Serie A lead from their opponents with a 15th league win in a row.The game, which began with Napoli two points ahead of Juve, appeared to be petering out into a goalless draw when the shaven-headed Zaza found space on the edge of the area, burst forward and fired a left-foot shot past Pepe Reina.Juventus defender Leonardo Bonucci was also at the centre of the action after he collided with team mate Sami Khedira early on, made a crucial interception to prevent an almost certain Napoli goal and went off injured after halftime.Napoli had won their last eight games and boasted the league’s most prolific attack with 53 goals but veteran goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon barely had a save to make as Juve’s defence, the stingiest in the championship, prevailed.Juan Cuadrado tested Napoli goalkeeper Pepe Reina for the first time after 13 minutes with a long-range shot and Paul Pogba curled a free kick narrowly wide from nearly 30 metres. A Napoli goal looked on the cards when Elseid Hysaj’s cross appeared to be heading straight for Higuain, unmarked in front of goal, but Bonucci came from nowhere to stick out his leg and deflect the ball out for a corner.A moment of brilliance from Pogba nearly unlocked the Napoli defence on the hour as he controlled the ball on his chest and slipped the ball inside to Dybala, whose shot flashed over the crossbar.An anti-climatic stalemate appeared likely until Zaza, heavily criticised for recent performances, produced his moment on inspiration.–Follow Joy Sports on Twitter: @JoySportsGH. Our hashtag is #JoySportslast_img read more