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Chongqing hosts 1st national race for volunteer rescue teams

Updated: 2019-05-08

By Tan Yingzi, chinadaily.com.cn

Chongqing hosts 1st national race for volunteer rescue teams

The first national competition for volunteer rescue teams takes place in Chongqing on May 7-10 to promote the development of the civilian emergency response force. A total of 280 teams participated in the preliminaries and 27 of them made it to the final stage. [Photo provided to China Daily]

China held the first national competition for volunteer rescue teams in Chongqing on May 7 to promote the development of the civilian emergency response force.

It is the first national event organized by the newly established Ministry of Emergency Management, which was set up in March 2018 to take the lead in handling China's major emergency responses and to improve the public safety system.

The event has attracted 280 teams around the country in preliminary matches in six regional zones in Chongqing, Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, Hebei, Liaoning, Zhejiang and Guangdong provinces. Only 27 made it to the three-day final race in the southwestern city.

Chongqing hosts 1st national race for volunteer rescue teams

The first national competition for volunteer rescue teams takes place in Chongqing on May 7-10 to promote the development of the civilian emergency response force. A total of 280 teams participated in the preliminaries and 27 of them made it to the final stage. [Photo provided to China Daily]

The 27 teams will compete in the forcible entry, rope and swift water rescue skills. The winners will get the opportunity to participate in the rescue projects of the ministry.

China's volunteer rescue force has been developing very fast in recent years. The ministry estimates that there are over 1,100 civilian rescue teams in the country with about 694,000 people, almost triple the number involved in State-backed rescue teams.

But many insiders suggest that the government needs to strengthen the management of the civilian teams and provide laws, regulations and capacity-building assistance to achieve orderly participation.

Chongqing hosts 1st national race for volunteer rescue teams

The first national competition for volunteer rescue teams takes place in Chongqing on May 7-10 to promote the development of the civilian emergency response force. A total of 280 teams participated in the preliminaries and 27 of them made it to the final stage. [Photo provided to China Daily]

During a field research tour to Zhejiang province in August 2018, the ministry's Party secretary Huang Ming said that civilians are an indispensable part of the country's emergency response system and they have many advantages, including "flexible organization" and "high enthusiasm".

He said the ministry will build a more complete system of laws and regulations, organize competitions and assessments, and offer training for volunteers.

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