SEARCH and rescue has been considered an important and critical government responsibility given the number of distress calls requiring search and rescue operations received over the years.
And to further enhance and boost Fiji's search and rescue operations, the first-ever three-day national workshop on search and rescue started at the Fiji Police Force Academy in Nasova, Suva yesterday.
Opening the workshop in the presence of members of the Fiji Navy, Fiji Police Force and the National Fire Authority, the Minister for Defence Joketani Cokanasiga said because of advancements, searches no longer lasted for days or weeks but were usually over in 24 to 48 hours.
"Regardless of how extensive or complex a search becomes, the proper initial actions are identical and crucial to success," he said.
Mr Cokanasiga said effective initial actions could maximise survivability and detection, minimise cost and establish a firm direction for those incidents that becomes usually complex.
"My ministry through the government endorsement decided to establish a national framework that would enable the three rescue sub-centres to effectively co-ordinate and organise search and rescue operations that will contribute to greater success rate," he said.
He said the vast areas of sea and air search over the rugged rocky mountainous and thick tropical forest often made it difficult to conduct searches and the unco-ordinated operations frequently provided a huge and challenging task for search and rescue operations.