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June 10, 2015
The Belgian First Aid & Support Team (B-FAST) was created after devastating earthquakes ravaged Turkey in August and November of 1999.
To the Belgian government, Turkey’s tragedy highlighted the need for a rapid response unit to provide emergency aid to countries hit by disasters, both natural and manmade. Since then B-FAST has provided assistance all around the world, in countries such as Albania, Haiti, Peru, the Philippines, Romania and Thailand. Each time, the team mobilizes within 12 hours of the decision to intervene and stays for a maximum of 10 days.
“A reliable source of electricity is essential for our rescue and support efforts in the field,” says B-FAST’s Dimitri Defre. “Without constant contact with the command post and our teams as well as those from other countries, our efforts wouldn’t be fully coordinated, which could have serious implications for human safety and health.” Because disasters usually involve a host of infrastructure and transportation challenges, portability is an important requirement for B-FAST’s generator. “We needed a powerful generator that was easy to maneuver over rugged terrain,” says Defre. “The solution we found was the Atlas Copco QAS 14 generator with a trailer, which is light enough to be handled by just a few team members. It gives us peace of mind that the generator is fuel-efficient, only using one and a half tanks of fuel for a week of operations. It is big enough to power our command post and recharge all appliances, including our satellite phones, camp lighting, water heaters and the radio system.”
Defre says the QAS 14 has never failed the team, and it provides more than enough power for their needs. “Overall, I’d say it’s an essential part of our equipment.”
Written by Linas Alsenas