FEMA Achieves Remarkable Reduction in Emergency Response Time, towards enhancing disaster management, the Federal Capital Territory Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has successfully reduced its emergency response time from five minutes to an impressive three minutes. This milestone aims to minimize casualties and safeguard lives and properties.

During a sensitization campaign to mark the 2023 International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction, Mrs. Florence Wenegieme, Director of Forecasting, Response, and Mitigation at FEMA, unveiled this achievement. The campaign, themed “Fighting Inequality for a Resilient Future for All,” was carried out across the six Area Councils of the FCT, commencing on October 4.

Wenegieme attributed the shortened response time to the strategic training of community structures to act as initial responders in their respective areas. These structures include local divers, emergency vanguards, disaster marshals, town criers, volunteers, and various community groups, including youth and women.

These community members have undergone rigorous training in emergency response through drills and simulations, equipping them with crucial knowledge and skills. Additionally, FEMA has procured power bikes for its officials to swiftly navigate through the bustling traffic of Abuja, ensuring they reach the emergency site within the crucial three-minute window.

Emphasizing the collective responsibility of emergency management, Wenegieme highlighted the pivotal role of community members as first responders. She stressed that their preparedness and rapid action in the critical moments before FEMA’s arrival significantly amplify the chances of saving lives and properties.

The awareness campaign’s primary objective is to empower residents to recognize and address disaster risks within their communities, thereby reducing their impact. Wenegieme reiterated the importance of inclusivity, urging special attention towards vulnerable groups such as children, pregnant women, the elderly, the visually impaired, and those residing in disaster-prone areas.

In response to FEMA’s efforts, the Esu of Bwari, Ibrahim Yaro, pledged full cooperation in disseminating disaster risk reduction messages to every household within the Bwari area council.

Earlier, Mr. John Bagaya, Chairman of the Bwari Area Council, announced the inauguration of the Local Emergency Management Committee, reinforcing the council’s commitment to swift local-level emergency response. Proactive measures, including refuse clearance, drainage desilting, and community sensitization against building in vulnerable areas, have been undertaken to preempt disasters.

Bagaya, represented by Council Secretary Me Eli Kadanya, assured FEMA of the council’s unwavering support in mobilizing and enlightening community members to take decisive action against potential disasters.