German Red Cross Field Training & MSF condolences
By Nicole Brewer
Hello Globe-trotters! I hope this message finds you well. So I’ve survived my intensive weekend of training in the field with my classmates and the local Red Cross here in Germany on the Platkow military base fields just outside of Berlin this past weekend. It was an amazing experience to be a part of simulation exercises that consisted of using satellite radios, driving Red Cross trucks and 4x4s in sandy conditions (reminded me of my time in Oman & UAE going sand dune bashing!), the proper way to put out huge fires (I even got to maneuver a real fire-fighters hose!), as well as learning practical first aid tips from experienced professionals from the German Red Cross with field experience. There was also an incidence of dealing with “rebels” (well actors lol) that tried to undertake our convoy! These are tips that I will take with me where ever I trot the globe to next after completing graduate school.
However, I recently read a news report about several MSF- Médecins Sans Frontières employees that were recently robbed and killed at gunpoint along with civilians while providing aid in CAR, the Central African Republic. I’ve been seeing more and more stories as of late of such incidents. It is so heartbreaking to see such news as someone who is currently studying International Humanitarian action and have dreams of working in the field, where such conditions and events can occur. I will continue to keep MSF and other humanitarian aid workers in my thoughts and prayers.
I’m very grateful for the opportunity to learn from professional staff skills that will help me to Hopefully be brave enough to react calmly and rationally if ever in a terrifying predicament while in the field. I pray that all of my classmates and I are able to work in safe conditions, but am totally aware of the consequences of going into a field where you can possibly be endangered giving need and restoring dignity to others. GTs please keep the families of not only military personnel but also the brave humanitarian aid workers across the globe that are doing what they can to assist those in need. Thanks!