A paramedic lecturer from the University of Cumbria is playing a leading role in a military exercise which could help shape a country's response to natural disasters.
Major David Bates ARRC is currently deployed as an army reservist and is leading a UK mentoring team made up of 16 mentors and advisers in Kosovo.
The exercise, called Silver Sabre 18-2, is a NATO Kosovo Force (KFOR) Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response exercise designed to assist the Kosovo Security Organisations and the Institutions in Kosovo with mitigating actions and preparations for natural or man-made disasters.
By bringing together the responder agencies to rehearse their plans and to learn from one another the local agencies can improve their response to future threats and hazards, such as flooding.
“This exercise is vital in bringing together the responder agencies to rehearse their plans and to learn from one another in order to improve their response to future threats and hazards such as flooding,” Major Bates said. “This work will hopefully feed in to two new modules at the University of Cumbria that will better prepare humanitarian and disaster response operators to meet the challenges of working in austere and potentially hostile environments. There is real synergy between what we do in the Army Reserve, with voluntary organisations and the university. Everybody benefits and it is very cost effective sharing knowledge, skills, experience and time.”
“David leads the university’s Disaster Response module so it is essential that he maintains his knowledge and skills when not deployed on real disaster operations by supporting exercises and training such as this,” Louise Nelson, head of the University of Cumbria’s department of nursing, health and professional practice. “He also volunteers with the Humanitarian Aid and Relief Trust which deploys to help communities that are voiceless and therefore do not receive international assistance. This kind of practical experience means he’s able to pass on real, relevant insight to our students.”
Photograph Crown Copyright: David Bates flanked by members of the Kosovo Security Council’s Situation Centre and Marko Bulmer (far right) during Exercise Silver Sabre 18-2.