SMART gets INSARAG certification

PETALING JAYA: The Special Malaysia Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team (SMART) has been awarded with International Search and Rescue Advisory Group (INSARAG) certification for complying with United Nations standards on disaster management.

The National Disaster Management Agency (Nadma) said in a statement earlier this week that Malaysia is the second country in Asia to receive INSARAG certification.

“Units will be able to deploy all human and material resources to participate in exercises under the auspices of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs,” said Nadma.

The SMART Team was established in 1995 as the operational arm of the Government and is tasked with responding to disasters not only internally but also at the international level.

Among the disasters that SMART has been involved with include the search and rescue mission for tsunami victims in Acheh in 2004, the Muzafarabad Quake in Pakistan in 2005, the 2006 landslide in Leyte, the Philippines and in the search and rescue at Mount Kinabalu after the 2015 Sabah earthquake (2015).

“Having teams classified according to a standard enables disaster affected countries to prioritize acceptance of international response support from USAR teams who can add proven value to their national capacity,” it said.

INSARAG is a global network of more than 80 countries and organisations under the United Nations umbrella that deals with urban search-and-rescue related issues.