The Eastern part of Georgia is prone to many disasters such as earthquake, flood, landslide, mudflow, etc. That was the reason of starting the Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) programme co-funded by Austrian Development Cooperation/Austrian Red Cross in Kakheti region: Sagarejo, Telavi, Kvareli and Lagodekhi municipalities.
The first step of Georgia Red Cross Society (GRCS), which is implementing the programme “Building Safe and Resilient Communities” in above mentioned parts of Georgia, was the establishment of Community Volunteer Teams (CVT), consisting of 20 members in each target community. The teams are well trained in fire and rescue activities, first aid, psycho-social support, disaster preparedness and response activities, etc. They can act as first responders during disasters in their communities. Besides, team members are supporting local community members to be prepared and to cope with many disasters.
On 29 April 2015, GRCS Telavi branch local coordinator Giorgi Michilashvili and two volunteers from Busheti CVT, Giorgi Baindurashvili and Valeri Subladze, had one of their regular meetings in Telavi Fire-Rescue service, when fire brigade representatives received information about car accident on Nafareuli highway. The situation was the following: because of damaged car, the driver could not leave the car; two people – the driver’s wife and a son – were in panic. The volunteers expressed their readiness to go with the professionals to the accident place. While rescue service was supporting the driver to leave the car, the volunteers – trained in psychosocial support – were calming down the driver`s family. In a few minutes the rescuers managed to take the driver out of the car, whose head was injured. The volunteer from the First Aid team pressed and bandaged the driver’s head to avoid possible infection before the Emergency reached the place. Besides, volunteers calmed down the driver and provided psychosocial support to him. The volunteers were proud and happy as they had a chance to help people, and to see their role in the community. After that incident, more and more people wanted to become a Red Cross volunteer, as they understood that trained and skilled people are very much needed for the society.