United States Forest Service Conducts Incident Command Systems Training

U.S. Forest Service lead instructor Tim Murphy (far right) performs a tabletop exercise with members of the Windhoek Emergency Management Division.
Members of the Windhoek Emergency Management Division and U.S. Forest Service Instructors prepare to test their equipment before the final exercise.

Windhoek – The U.S. Embassy in Windhoek facilitated a visit by instructors and experts from the U.S. Forest Service and Cape Town Fire and Rescue Service from March 19-23, 2018.  Over 25 personnel from the Windhoek Emergency Management Division participated in the specialty training over a period of five days.  This is the third such workshop in Namibia; the first was held in Windhoek in August, 2016.

The training course focused on the Incident Command System (ICS), which is a management system designed to enable effective and efficient incident management by integrating a combination of facilities, equipment, personnel, procedures, and communications operating within a common organizational structure.  ICS has been proven through 40 years of use in the United States and several other parts of the world to be an effective and economical means to bring order to chaos during disaster operations and emergency response.

U.S. Forest Service lead instructor, Tim Murphy, who facilitated the training said, “It has been a rewarding experience for the U.S. Forest Service instructors to work with such a cadre of Namibian professionals who are so dedicated to protecting the citizens of Windhoek.”  The station officer for training at the Windhoek Fire Department, Immanuel Tsowaseb , stated, “It was a pleasure and an honor to have worked with our colleagues from the United States and South Africa on this training initiative.  Since the relationship has started, we have already instituted many aspects of the ICS training into our emergency response capabilities to ensure the safety of all Namibians.”

The U.S. Embassy continues to support the Government of Namibia in enhancing their emergency management capabilities and has been a willing partner in these operations with the City of Windhoek.