State President hails efforts, contributions by VPA's search, rescue forces hinh anh 1President Vo Van Thuong meets officers and soldiers of the SAR Administration under the General Staff of the VPA (Photo: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) - State President Vo Van Thuong on June 10 praised the role and efforts of search and rescue (SAR) forces of the Vietnam People's Army (VPA) in performing SAR activities, describing them as the "fighters in peace".

Visiting the SAR Administration under the General Staff of the VPA, the Office of the Steering Committee on National Civil Defence and the Office of the National Committee for Incident and Disaster Response and Search and Rescue, he underlined that incidents, natural disasters have always been a great challenge for all countries, including Vietnam. During the country’s national construction and defence, prevention and control of incidents and natural disasters have always been defined as one of the leading important tasks, he said.

The leader highlighted the Party and State's great attention to controlling and responding to man-made and natural disasters, in which the armed forces play the core role. He recognised and hailed the sacrifice and contributions by soldiers and officials of the forces in minimising losses in human lives and property.

Stressing that the climate changes, natural and environmental disasters as well as epidemics are becoming more serious globally, leading to increasing risks to socio-economic development in all countries, including Vietnam, President Thuong asked the administration to continue to effectively implement the Party and State and Ministry of National Defence's orientations and policies in civil defence.

The administration should further complete the organisation of the civil defence forces at all levels to ensure their high capacity and close coordination, while effectively mobilising and using resources for the prevention and control of all incidents and disasters, he said.

He stressed the need to strengthen the communications to raise public knowledge and awareness of civil defence significance, building strategies and plans in the work and increasing the application of science and technology in the field, and improving the quality of forecasting activities.

Along with paying greater attention to training activities for SAR forces, it is necessary to promote international cooperation in civil defence, focusing on technology transfering, information sharing, disaster forecasting, and providing equipment support for incident and disaster responding.

At the same time, Vietnam should also actively engage in international missions to affirm its external policies and high sense of responsibility towards the international community, as well as the capacity of the VPA, he stated.

A report by the SAR Administration showed that since 1996, the agency has given advice to the Government in responding to 222 storms, 63,574 incidents, natural disasters and epidemics, while mobilising over 4.1 million people and more than 164,900 vehicles for the work, including more than 3.4 million VPA soldiers and officers, and successfully rescuing 73,865 people and 6,563 vehicles.

The administration actively engaged in COVID-19 prevention and control activities, as well as humanitarian and SAR activities during the earthquake disaster in Turkey in February, it said, adding that 66 military soldiers and officers laid down their lives while performing SAR missions./.