ERTSAR Launches NEW Marine Unit Challenge Coin
The NEW Challenge Coin Award is Awarded for Dedicated Service.
EXPLANATION OF THE DESIGN
The Medallion Challenge Coin is bordered with the full name of the organisation (Emergency Response Team Search and Rescue) with the specialist Marine Unit after it.
The word “AWARD” at the top shows that this must be ‘earned’ and something special must be done to receive this.
"ERT SAR" our abbreviated name, is imprinted on the anchor to represent the pride of the team in their work, effort and results.
Inside the circular border is the depicted is the graphical representation of the globe which signifies the Marine Units AO (Area of Operations) – being one of local, national and international capacity and response. (The team is year around ready to deploy anywhere in the world as well as their local communities and has done.)
The Trident is the Trident of Poseidon / Neptune, and some say, Britannia, with each prong representing the land, water and air – of their response and travel operations … some say!
The Anchor which also visually depicts the water and maritime or Marine environment is also deliberately a ‘fouled’ anchor. This represents the challenges and problems that the Marine Unit and ERT SAR Marine Operators will respond to, and subsequently solve.
It also represents stability, loyalty, steadfastness and qualities of dependability and trust.
The colour Black was chosen for the border to represent the unknown and the strength, power, authority and mystery of the role.
The colour grey was selected to represent the countless hours and immeasurable efforts that members go through without wanting recognition not fame, but for the desire to help others and do good. It also represents the ‘dirty’ nature of some of the work done and the professional, formal and conservative way in which this is carried out.
The colour white on the bar and the hawser rope (selected to represent the nautical line and cable as well as technical rescue) represents pure intent, dedication and seeking perfection and high standards.
The Award was launched in 2019 and retroactive to 2018.
This particular ERT SAR Challenge Coin is an award and cannot be purchased. It must be earned.
Currently the team have awarded this uniform Challenge Coin to the following members:
(The number in Brackets is the number of times they have been awarded - July 2019)
For Dedication & Service
We have started to organise the Award for August and September as we have more names to add!
AWARDS SO FAR:
UK: Many consecutive days (3 or more) of Operational Marine Unit Service (i.e., TTBF)
Bolivia: Deployment to Floods and Coordinating Rescue Operations
Canada: Operational Deployment to Ontario Floods over several days
Q. Can "non-members" be Awarded this Challenge Coin.
A. YES. Not common but certainly possible. In fact we have highly deserving names added soon.
Q. Can ERT SAR Members get more than one
A. Presently members can only receive 'one' as part of their Award.
OUR PROJECT TEAM:
Gary Foo, Jhaimir Cuellar, Julie Grainger, David Ivanko, Virginia Foo, Sonja Weigl, Josh Foo and Damian Cameron
We will have a lot of updates and resources here so please come back and check in and support!
Natural Hazard Risk
"Bolivia is highly vulnerable to a number of natural hazards, including droughts, earthquakes, floods, landslides, and volcanoes. Droughts and floods present particular challenges and are exacerbated by deforestation and land degradation. Heavy rains caused floods and landslides that impacted hundreds of thousands. The economic impact was estimated over $400 million after El Nino. Heavy seasonal rains in 2013 and 2014 caused severe flooding and landslides, affecting 44,000 households in 113 municipalities—five times more than the previous rainy season—with total losses of about $450 million."  Bolivia is one of South America's poorest countries. 
ERT SAR (The Emergency Response Team Search and Rescue) is an experienced Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response organisation with a history of deploying to major emergencies and disasters for many years. ERT SAR is coordinated by the United Nations and conversant in many standards including the UN OCHA INSARAG, US FEMA / NFPA and UK DEFRA etc. for Search and Rescue. This includes structural collapse, flood response and water rescue. (Also, as a team of Medical Professionals, ERTSAR is also in the process of pursuing WHO / PAHO EMT status)
ERTSAR was invited by the Bolivian Government to provide a capacity building project.
Looking at the hazard profile and doing a needs assessment the decision was made to focus on the following four areas and disciplines:
ERTSAR were also honored to be a part and participate in a visionary inaugural event! This was the International Forum on Risks and Emergencies concludes successfully It was focused on more than 10 international experts who came from different countries, who presented their experiences and committed to provide training to teams of first responders.
ERTSAR Members attended and talk was written and presented by Gary Foo and Jhaimir Cuellar.
ERTSAR also has professional instructors and academic researchers and the selected team dedicated two weeks to this deployment. Materials and presentations were created in English and Spanish and more are expected. We, ERTSAR, expect this to be the "first" deployment with others to come and we have made many contacts and more importantly friends, as a result. And most importantly, we have been able to support and assist many people "That Others May Live."
There were so many pictures of training, visits and meetings. we will post some here.
Flood Rescue Incident
Our Member Jhaimir Cuellar is interviewed by local news channel (One minute in)
Thank you Acknowledgements
We feel it is especially important to thank certain organisations and people for their unconditional support and assistance in this project.
Additional Funding, Donations, Transportation & Logistics project support
We would also like to make mention and thank you to these two rescue training agencies for their support and assistance in this project: Outreach Rescue (Wales / UK) & Access Rescue (Canada)
Capacity Building Factsheets
As part of the project we have created bilingual Spanish and English Factsheets for many of the hazards and disasters that frequently affect the lives of the people of Bolivia.
ERTSAR are providing ongoing development and support especially in the sustainable Disaster Risk Reduction and Capacity Building space. ERT SAR Specialists Rescue and Medical trainers will also be working with the Government of Bolivia and provide training in rescue as well as disaster and emergency medicine. We are also developing bilingual materials for the community. More
We will be updating more in the coming days! Thank you for all your support!
Please Donate Kit & Money
WE NEED YOUR HELP!
To support us and our many Humanitarian Projects please get in touch. If you have equipment and gear to donate - just email us at HQ@ert-sar.com and if you can donate please do so on our DONATE page on this website. If you wish it to go to a specific project (such as this Bolivian project) or a local Community you live in where we are based, please let us know! :-)
PHOTOS FROM THE AWARD
Well done! Damian with his very deserving team of brave Fire Service Colleagues and a Proud CFO!
Damian's ERT SAR Bio
Technical Rescue & USAR
In his 8 plus years as a member of ERT SAR, he has deployed several times and notably the Typhoon Haiyan deployment to the Philippines. Damian is a Tactical Advisor (TacAd) and Technical Rescue Advisor. Previously he also servced as the Technical Rescue Lead of The Marine Unit and ERT SAR Technical Rescue Section for over 6 years.
Damian is a qualified Teacher (Huddersfield University), National Training Award Winner with FSC, Diploma in Specialist Rescue (Coventry University), Incident Command Station Manager qualification (FSC), Incident Management of Land & Water operations (Outreach Rescue). He is medically qualified in Immediate Casualty Care.
He has trained and worked all over the world including North America, South Africa, Iran, the Gulf States and the EU (European Union). He also teaches Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) and Trench Rescue to other services teaching at the Fire Service College (FSC) Moreton-on-the-Marsh.
LINK TO BIO
Great weekend doing medical training! | Stop the Bleed | RYA First Aid
& The Canadian Coast Guard
The Niagara Regional Police Marine Unit is a specialist branch of the the Niagara Regional Police Service. Like many Police Marine Unit's they have a huge responsibility for many public safety, service and rescue as ell as investigative calls. ERT SAR Marine Unit had a great time training together and performing a specialist technical rescue exercise involving a water, cliff drops and land and we were also well supported by the Canadian Coastguard who were also present.
The Niagara Regional Police Marine Unit is a very highly qualified Underwater Search and Rescue Unit (Dive Team) as well and have a lot of specialist gear and their facility includes a dive training tank on site, for capside and sunk vessels. ERT SAR plan to train again soon.
More pictures to come.
& The Royal Canadian Air Force SAR Techs
Our Marine Unit were honoured to train with the Peel Regional Police Marine Unit and the Royal Canadian Air Force - Search and Rescue Technicians (SAR Tech). Please enjoy these video clips.
"Global Operators And Leaders" Humanitarian and Disaster Response Symposium 2018
Members of the Royal Marines Commandos with ERT SAR Disaster Response Search and Rescue team members and Directing Staff and Speakers at the Summer 2018 GOAL EXPO (Symposium) 
Timeless Lessons learned from International deployment to Pakistan
| ERT SAR, GARY FOO
UN Coordinator, Former Police Officer, Paramedic and Technical Rescue specialist Gary Foo speaks about their 2005 deployment to the Earthquake in Pakistan, their very successful humanitarian medical rescue mission and paralleled lessons identified with recent humanitarian deployments.
Flood and water Rescue Response in Britain & Outreach Rescue
| OUTREACH RESCUE, AL READ
Al Read is a 17 year veteran of the Royal Navy and a Search and Rescue and Flood and water subject matter expert. Here he talks about the DEFRA ConOps (Concept of Operations) and national flood response training and capacity as well as OUTREACH RESCUE*
"OPERATION RUMAN" C/Sgt Dixon, Royal Marines Commandos
| ROYAL MARINES COMMANDO, C/SGT JOHN DIXON, 40 CDO
Op. Ruman was the UK government's combined military & humanitarian operations in Sept' 2017 providing relief to British Overseas Territories in the Caribbean affected by Hurricane Irma. C/Sgt Dixon talks about the great work done by the Royal Marines of 40 Commando who deployed there.
International Disaster Medicine
| ERT SAR, DR LAUREN CLARKE, DISASTER & MEDICAL SPECIALIST
Dr Lauren Clarke first joined ERT SAR over 10 years ago when she had a degree in Disaster Management. Dr Clarke then completed her Medical Degree and became a Doctor specialising in and subsequently gained significant practical experience in disasters and emergencies.
PRACTICAL TRAINING SESSIONS
| RESCUE AND WATER RESCUE SESSIONS
The Emergency Response Team Search and Rescue (ERTSAR) and The Royal Marines Commandos got to train together in combined interoperable flood and swiftwater rescue skills taking from establish global best practise and using standards from the NFPA 1006 / 1670 2017 edition as well as the UK's DEFRA ConOps (Concept of Operations) for Flood and Swiftwater Rescue in the UK.
* ERT SAR are proud to be an Approved Centre for OUTREACH RESCUE
 G.O.A.L. is an acronym for "Global Operators And Leaders" and SAR Chief Gary Foo created this regularly held event almost 10 years ago to promote learning and sharing of information between members and guests. This year ERT SAR had TWO G.O.A.L.s... a winter G.O.A.L. in Canada and a Summer G.O.A.L. in the United Kingdom.
SUPPORTERS: Huge thank you to
The U.N. recognized N.G.O., "The Emergency Response Team Search and Rescue" Chief Executives Gary Foo and Virginia Foo were honored to be invited to attend a Mess dinner on board HMS Victory in Portsmouth by the Royal Navy Fleet Commander Vice Admiral Ben Key CBE.
The Vice Admiral and his lovely wife Mrs Elly Key, hosted a wonderful event recognizing the humanitarian work of the military, especially the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Commandos, as well as civilian groups like ERT-SAR (The Emergency Response Team Search and Rescue.)
Left to Right: Vice Admiral Ben Key, Fleet Commander of the Royal Navy,, ERTSAR Chief's; Virginia and Gary Foo at Mountbatten House
The Royal Navy is made up of five arms. The might of ships in the Surface Fleet, the aerial strength that is the Fleet Air Arm, the covert Submarine Service, the elite and amphibious Royal Marines, and the civilian fleet central to their effectiveness, the Royal Fleet Auxiliary. There were members of the elite Royal Marines also present, some of whom had recently returned from the humanitarian deployment in the Caribbean, following the recent Hurricanes.
Her Majesty's Navy and does a lot of outstanding work in the service of others and it was wonderful to share the unique stories of success and achievement in the UK and around the world.
It was a lovely setting with prominent guests and representatives from the military, government, the private section and a few non-government organisations.
NOTE: GARY'S MILITARY GRANDPARENTS
Gary Foo was especially proud to be in Portsmouth again, as his 92 year old grand mother Constance "Connie" Bateman and late grandfather Cyril Nash both saw services during the Second World War in the Royal Navy. Cyril Nash saw very active service aboard the Hunt Class Destroyer HMS Quantock during the war.
"Connie later went on to marry Parachute Regiment Warrant Officer Bill Batemen, another decorated war veteran and goes to Arnheim in Holland, every year. VIDEO
ABOUT ERT SAR:
ERT SAR is a Disaster Response humanitarian organisation with deployments all over the world and works closely with bona fide partners, agencies and organisations with similar aims and objectives to alleviate suffering and distress and provide life saving rescue services as well as support.
Gary and Virginia Foo founded ERT SAR as a volunteer charity over 15 years ago and have deployed or assisted to aid thousands of victims and casualties around the world as well as in our local communities. ERT SAR train year around and are on stand by 24/7/365 to assist at times of need.
ERT SAR depends of dedicated selfless work of their volunteers and members who train to a high standard to ensure the best service delivery and care even in austere and compromised surroundings during times of crisis and recognizes the dedication of all of their members.