JTI Foundation’s partnership with GEA was initiated in 2005. For nearly ten years, the JTI Foundation has supported the organization in terms of its capacities and in acquiring the necessary equipment to qualify as a highly respected volunteer SAR team. GEA is also a member of the International Search and Rescue Advisory Group (INSARAG).
GEA’s nationwide network of over 1,200 volunteers has assembled and dispatched missions to locations as varied as Japan, Haiti and Pakistan – and also widely within Turkey. GEA is particularly praised for its ability to deploy rapidly, for example, during June 2014 floods in Bosnia or the April 2015 Nepal earthquakes.
Within this renewed partnership agreement, the JTI Foundation supports a broad range of GEA’s activities, better preparing its volunteers for call-up. Examples of these activities include: nine national and 60 regional SAR training exercises; flood rescue training camps; and humanitarian aid training sessions to improve the volunteers’ range of skills. In addition to technical training, the partnership enable GEA to maintain standards at its training sites and to remain abreast of the latest SAR technology.
Over the next three years, GEA will work towards making the team even more effective during deployments and capable of dispatching a larger number of better trained volunteer Search & Rescue teams in Turkey and internationally.