Glendale group provides training in Armenia for responding to emergencies, disasters

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Monday, August 14, 2023
Glendale group helps provide disaster training in Armenia
The Glendale-based group provides training that includes first aid, CPR and rescue techniques.

GLENDALE, Calif. (KABC) -- They come from all over the world to Armenia. Training for those who might be involved in the next conflict that Armenia has with Azerbaijan.

Not direct battle necessarily, but battle support such as first aid, CPR and rescue.

Mike Leum, a Los Angeles County sheriff search-and-rescue team member, leads the training.

"Not everybody in a conflict has to be a trigger-puller and actually be engaging in the fighting," Leum said. "They can be behind the scenes receiving wounded soldiers and treat them. Give them first aid and get them to a hospital."

He's part of the American Armenian National Security Institute, which was founded and is based in Glendale.

Armenia and Azerbaijan have been engaged in a border conflict since 2021.

Azerbaijan occupied an area known to Armenians as Artsakh. Armenians say access roads are shut down, blockading the region and causing hardship to more 120,000 people, including 30,000 children and elderly.

"If that blockade is ever removed, we can provide humanitarian assistance to include provisions, medical supplies, medical equipment," said Mark MacCarley with AANSI.

"Quite a few of Armenians in Armenia, and Artsakh this uplifted their spirit," says Appo Jabarian who is also a member of AANSI.

Jabarian says they don't know exactly what's happening on the other side of the blockade but they know the need is great. With this training they will be ready whether it's war or an earthquake or flood.

"Hopefully when the blockade is lifted, AANSI humanitarian support brigade can continue its mission by taking the spirit of making a difference," says Jabarian.

There are 47 people training this week. In a few months another 100 are expected. The goal is to have 500 prepared for any emergency.