First Assistance Samaritan Teams (FAST)
In case of an emergency ASB helps as quickly as possible and as long as necessary. In order to further strengthen its response capacities, ASB is building up Emergency Response Teams – the First Assistance Samaritan Teams (FAST).
Set up by the ASB Federal Association as a specialist abroad emergency response team, FAST combines all of ASB's know-how and resources provide effective, professional and speedy response in the event of catastrophes and disasters around the world. Key components of international FAST-Aid and theRapid Response Teams are provision of basic medical care and purification of drinking water.
The FAST teams consist of volunteers from regional ASB associations, who have receivedspecific training to be able to operate abroad. In their main occupation most of the volunteers work as paramedics or (male) nurses.
In the event of a disaster, team leadership is provided by ASB-Foreign Aid Headquarter staff.
Basic medical care
The Medical Teams are working in a tented primary health care unit consisting of a triage, four treatment units, an emergency area and a pharmacy with storage space. The equipment is based on the WHO Emergency-Health-Kit (basic & supplementary). Moreover it contains comprehensive additional devices and disposables. Each team consist of 5-8 members: a team leader, a technical leader, a logistician and medical assistants. The average duration of a FAST deployment is six weeks – usually corresponding to the immediate post-disaster emergency period when the need is most demanding.
The teams for water purification are equipped with a reverse osmosis unit (RO 1500) which generates high pressure to force contaminated water through membranes. Water can easily be supplied on the ground for 1.800 (15l/person) up to 3.600 (7,5l/person) persons per day. Due to the high quality of the water it can even be used to serve medical centres and hospitals. The members of this unit are on stand-by and fully equipped to provide drinking water for people in need holding up autarky for up to 10 days if necessary. The water treatment unit will also enable the medical teams to work independently and mobile.
In May 2014, FAST water purification teams were providing drinking water in Bosnia and Herzegovina, in December 2013 three FAST teams were deployed to the Philippines to provide assistance to the victims of typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan. In November 2012 the FAST teams supported syrian refugees in an IDP camp in Northern Iraq. Other FAST missions were in Haiti 2010, following the earthquake or Sumatra/Indonesiain 2009.
All FAST members are united by a commonmotivation: to help people in acute distress.